The 17 Best Italian Audiobooks for All Skill Levels and Interests
If you’re wanting to accelerate your Italian language learning experience, then look no further than Italian audiobooks to hit all the right notes.
With authentic Italian audio combined with the useful context of books—it’s the perfect mix of material for learning Italian.
We’ve created a list of 17 Italian audiobooks, from authentic, Italian narratives and stories to popular American books narrated in Italian for your listening experience.
Let’s listen in!
- 1. La Divina Commedia
- 2. Le Avventure di Pinocchio
- 3. La Contessa di Karolystria
- 4. Raccontini
- 5. Short Stories in Italian for Beginners
- 6. Easy Fast Italian for Travel and Eating
- 7. Power Italian Accelerated
- 8. Wonder
- 9. The Harry Potter Series
- 10. Jane Eyre
- 11. Alice nel paese delle meraviglie
- 12. The Missing Cat
- 13. Le avventure di Tom Sawyer
- 14. Il Dottor Jekyll e Mister Hyde
- 15. Il Libro della Giungla
- 16. Piccole donne
- 17. Orgoglio e Pregiudizio
- Where You Can Find Italian Audiobooks
- The Benefits of Italian Audiobooks
- Tips and Tricks for Learning Italian with Audiobooks
1. La Divina Commedia
English title: “The Divine Comedy”
Author: Dante Alighieri
Unlike other selections here, “The Divine Comedy” was originally written in Italian. This epic, narrative poem depicts the medieval vision of the afterlife, commenting on man’s temporal and eternal destiny. Many scholars consider “The Divine Comedy” as one of the foremost works of Italian literature and is thus a must-read for Italian language learners.
Despite its length, it’s approachable to beginners because the lines are simply structured. The work was written in the Tuscan dialect and played a pivotal role in the eventual standardization of the Italian language.
2. Le Avventure di Pinocchio
English title: “The Adventures of Pinocchio”
Author: Carlo Collodi
Who is not familiar with the beloved story of Pinocchio? He’s the talking wooden puppet who wanted to become a real boy.
Follow the adventures of Pinocchio while also picking up Italian vocabulary along the way. This work is equal parts entertaining and educational.
3. La Contessa di Karolystria
English title: “The Countess of Karolystria”
Author: Antonio Ghislanzoni
This work is also done originally in Italian and was rendered to audio by Riccardo Fasol. The author, Antonio Ghislanzoni, is an Italian novelist, journalist and poet who also wrote for the great Verdi.
Follow this tragicomedy of the Vicomte d’Aguilar and La Contessa di Karolystria as they escape from one misadventure only to start another. You can hone your reading comprehension and translation skills with this audiobook, whose sentences are simple enough to follow.
English title: “Tales”
Author: Alfonso Borello
This reader is a collection of three short stories geared toward intermediate-level learners. They cover very different topics and use simple vocabulary meant specifically for learners to be able to follow easily.
They’re also available individually, so if you’re trying to gauge whether you’ll be interested in this collection, try one to decide!
5. Short Stories in Italian for Beginners
Author: Olly Richards
“Short Stories in Italian,” covers a number of genres including science fiction, history and thrillers. Its focus is on entertaining while teaching, so be ready to power up your vocabulary skills and learn authentic, everyday conversational skills.
While beginners will appreciate this audiobook for its simplicity, more advanced learners will benefit from listening to it, as well. The eight stories range from A2 to B1 levels on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).
The stories build upon each other, starting easier and gradually increasing in difficulty, so listeners will find that by the time the final story concludes they’ll have been exposed to lots of new vocabulary and grammar—all while having fun!
6. Easy Fast Italian for Travel and Eating
Author: Mark Frobose
This Italian audiobook is perfect for those preparing for a culinary trip to Italy—or even for anyone who just wants a handle on basic conversational skills.
Whether it’s ordering food, asking basic cooking questions, or calculating the tip after a fabulous meal in Rome, this audiobook will give you the tools to do all that—and more!
7. Power Italian Accelerated
Author: Mark Frobose
Brought to you by the same author as our previous pick, “Power Italian Accelerated” is a bestseller that’s helped countless students learn Italian quickly and easily. The 144 units in this book teach learners how to speak Italian, fast.
It’s a quick-moving book that’s designed for on-the-go learning!
Author: RJ Palacio
“Wonder” is a best-selling children’s book that’s been a hit with readers of all ages. It’s also the inspiration for the acclaimed movie by the same title.
This is a story about a child born with a facial difference who just wants to be treated like other kids. In the past, his facial issues have kept him isolated but now, finally, Auggie is going to school—and what happens when he gets there will touch any reader’s heart.
The book is intended for young readers so the vocabulary, grammar and plot line make it a good option for even basic-level Italian language students.
9. The Harry Potter Series
Author: J.K. Rowling
From the first book, “Harry Potter e la pietra filosofale” (“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”) through “Harry Potter e l’Ordine della Fenice” (“The Order of the Phoenix”) all the way to “Harry Potter e il Principe Mezzosangue” (“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”) and beyond, Audible’s got every Hogwarts adventure ready for Italian language listeners!
And since these books are intended for young adult readers—though people of all ages adore them—they’re approachable for intermediate learners.
10. Jane Eyre
Author: Charlotte Brontë
“Jane Eyre” is fabulous in any language and Italian is no exception. The story told in the first-person narrative, showcases family dynamics and emotional growth. It’s a tale of hardship and endurance, with a timeless ending.
High intermediate and advanced learners will have a lot to learn from this classic.
11. Alice nel paese delle meraviglie
English title: “Alice in Wonderland”
Author: Lewis Carroll
Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” is a beloved classic that has been tickling our childlike imaginations for generations.
In this Italian edition read by Elisa Giorgio, you’ll go down the rabbit hole and meet not only strange and wonderful creatures, but you get to experience the rich Italian language as well—which is an adventure in and of itself.
12. The Missing Cat
Creator: Berlitz Publishing
This old favorite is available in audiobook, accompanied by the hardcover version to follow along.
The story of Nicola and her missing cat is a great story for beginners learning Italian and with this Italian audio CD/book combo, there is also a list of vocabulary words for listeners to review and repeat over and over again.
13. Le avventure di Tom Sawyer
English title: “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”
Author: Mark Twain
“The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” is an 1876 novel about the mischiefs of a boy who lived along the Mississippi River.
In this account, you can readily hear that Tom’s intrepid spirit is not lost in translation. Just like the original version, you’ll get the twinge of his daring escapes. It’s a treasure-hunting adventure that many can only dream of and a classic that continues to be enjoyed to this day.
14. Il Dottor Jekyll e Mister Hyde
English title: “Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde”
Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
This Italian reading of Stevenson’s classic about the good and bad struggling within the same person is captivating.
This work would be most appropriate for advanced learners. The original text is wonderfully rendered in Italian, so it’s a great opportunity to study how the phrases and sentences are artfully nested and structured in this piece.
15. Il Libro della Giungla
English title: “The Jungle Book”
Author: Rudyard Kipling
Here, Kipling’s work is rendered by the exuberant tones of Pino Insegno.
The book is about a boy raised by a pack of wolves, who goes on to meet a bunch of pretty memorable characters which includes a tiger, panther and bear.
Here, intermediate learners will have their Italian brought to another level by artful use of language so descriptive you’ll feel like you belong in the wild.
16. Piccole donne
English title: “Little Women”
Author: Louisa May Alcott
This is the story of sisters Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, and how they deal with the different challenges in life.
The book covers about 15 years in the life of the March family of Massachusetts and details how poverty can shape goals and ideals.
Advanced learners should look for the linguistic nuances employed by the author to differentiate the characters in the novel. Notice how different vocabularies and phrases can shape each character.
17. Orgoglio e Pregiudizio
English title: “Pride and Prejudice”
Author: Jane Austen
Jane Austen’s beloved classic “Pride and Prejudice” is available as an Italian audiobook on YouTube. The story is divided into two parts.
Parte 1 (Part 1) begins with Mr. Bennet of Longbourn toiling over the fact that he has no male heirs to give his fortune, thus he must find a suitable man to marry one of his five daughters. It focuses on the role of women in society in 19th-century England and whether it is important to marry for love or for money.
The second half, with its satisfying conclusion, can be found in Parte 2 (Part 2) of the narrated reading.
This should be considered an intermediate-level book in any language. But with audiobooks, there’s the option to pause, check out any unfamiliar vocabulary and then continue on with the story.
Where You Can Find Italian Audiobooks
Audible, whose mission is “to unleash the power of the spoken word,” is owned by Amazon and houses the largest collection of audiobooks online.
Here you can find titles and genres that range from mysteries and thrillers to sci-fi and fantasy. They most definitely have an excellent collection of Italian audiobooks to regale and challenge every language learner.
FluentU teaches Italian by starting with authentic Italian video content—stuff that’s made by and for native speakers—and adding valuable features for learners like multimedia flashcards, interactive subtitles, customizable vocabulary lists, full video transcripts, adaptive quizzes and so much more.
It’s a great way to train your ears to the natural flow of the Italian language and to supplement your audiobook learning with some visual stimulation.
Everything you need to be entertained—that’s what iTunes is all about.
With a host of choices from music, movies, podcasts and pretty much all of your media, this is an excellent resource for Italian language learners—and iTunes offers a Mecca of audiobooks to last a lifetime.
Google Play has a variety of Italian course books for audio listening. Course books are a very good way to add some listening, pronunciation and vocabulary practice to any language program.
And despite being an Android-centric store, the audiobooks you get on Google Play are accessible on many devices via the apps, including your computer as well as Android and iOS devices.
Librivox is an open source for free Italian audiobooks. Yes, free!
It’s a non-profit literary organization made up of volunteers who eagerly published classics for the public domain to be appreciated and studied by anyone.
Liber Liber is a non-profit organization that aims to use technology to promote cultural as well as artistic expression—making learning media available for everybody.
And with more than 4,100 audiobooks in their library, you’ll find many free Italian audiobooks of classics!
Languages-Direct.com offers audiobooks, movies, electronic dictionaries, language games and parallel-text books all aimed to make language learning fun and rewarding.
You’ll have over 1,000 language products to choose from, including some excellent Italian audiobooks.
Overdrive is an app that makes e-books and audiobooks available for free through public libraries and schools.
To search OverDrive for Italian audiobooks, you’ll need to connect to your library account or your school. Once connected, you can run an advanced search through your institution’s database of books. Then select “audiobook” for format and “Italian” for language and you’re able to enjoy the free Italian audiobooks that become available for you to borrow!
OverDrive is the ideal spot for finding language-learning audiobooks as well as authentic options.
eBay is a language learner’s paradise. Yes, really!
There are audio and print books available for pennies on the dollar—if you’re willing to do a quick search and return frequently to search again. Since it’s eBay, the options available change rapidly.
To locate audiobooks in Italian, simply type “Italian audiobooks” into the search bar at the top of the page—or just click the eBay link above to be taken straight there. It’s lots of fun to see what’s available!
YouTube has a treasure trove of Italian audiobooks—and they’re all absolutely free!
Simply type “Italian audiobooks” in the search bar and choose amongst your favorite stories to listen to in Italian!
The Benefits of Italian Audiobooks
- Free Up Time and Space. Audiobooks are untouchable when it comes to multiplying opportunities for study. We often find ourselves pressed for time, but audiobooks can be set to work virtually anywhere, at any time of the day.
- Sensory Stimulation. Most audiobooks today come with written text or transcriptions so you can closely follow the story or the lesson. The text serves as an additional layer of stimulation that ultimately helps you efficiently absorb whatever it is you’re listening to. Audiobooks and the text integrate both visual and auditory stimulation so that you’ll have more anchors in the memory.
- Portability, Durability and Affordability. They’re not only portable—but weightless as well. Combine that with the fact that you can obtain audiobooks for a very low—sometimes even free—price, and you’re on your way to owning many of the classics for far less than a physical book.
Tips and Tricks for Learning Italian with Audiobooks
Audiobooks That Teach Italian
There are Italian language audiobooks that function very much like textbooks, providing you lessons about the Italian language, and are often topically divided into chapters or modules.
Here are some tips to get the most out of these types of audiobooks:
- Get a copy of the transcript whenever possible. Many of these come in written form and you should take advantage by following along with the transcript as you listen to the audio. It helps you familiarize yourself with the differences in spelling between English and Italian. It can also help you get a feel for the pronunciation and spelling dynamics of Italian.
- Use play and pause often. You can do this on two levels. You can hit “pause” and repeat at that instant where you missed something, or you can hit that repeat button once you reach the end of a module or chapter. The moral of the lesson is to listen actively.
- Speak when the narrator asks you to speak. Practically every last one of these audiobooks will strive to be interactive and ask you to “Repeat after me!” Or they’ll ask some questions and leave a few quiet moments for your answer. Always participate in these exercises.
- Write out the vocabulary, examples and grammar rules provided in the lessons. Writing about the words, phrases or rules discussed in the audiobook adds another layer of insight into the language.
Audiobooks That Are Read in Italian
There are also audiobooks that tell a story in Italian that show how the language is used by native speakers.
Here are some tips on how to get the most out of them:
- Get a copy of the book whenever possible. There’s material for different levels and it’s really important that you not only are able to follow what’s being said in audio but you also can see how the words and phrases interact and build on each other.
- Read along with the audio. Kids learning the language often use mimicking or shadowing, and there’s no reason why adult learners of Italian can’t emulate that technique. An advantage of audiobooks is that you not only hear authentic use of the language, but you can also read along with the audio and compare your pronunciation for good measure.
- Divide the material into chapters and subchapters. It’s always a good idea to divide your audiobook into manageable chunks and chapters. Don’t try to finish everything in one or two sittings. Don’t hurry the plot. Spread the material out and give yourself ample time to deal with the chapters.
- Translate some sections into English. Translation serves as a linguistic exercise. Converting sections of the material from Italian to English gives your language muscles a workout.
- Don’t memorize! You’re dealing with a story. The worst thing you can do with an audiobook is to memorize large swaths of it and know nothing. Audiobooks are essentially stories. They’re communicative in nature, aiming to hook you with the plot.
So, there you have it!
With these 17 audiobooks, you’ll realize that Italian is really a very approachable language and becoming closer to fluency has never been easier!