What’s red, white and can teach you Italian?
In this post, we’ll look into some of the most useful Italian learning YouTube channels.
We’ve assembled seven channels that should be in your subscribe list.
But before that, let’s look into three of the things that make them great so that you can spot others yourself and add them to the list.
What Makes an Awesome “Learn Italian” YouTube Channel?
They might be a native speaker with a thick Italian accent. Maybe they speak only Italian. They could be an English speaker who’s taken the language journey and now wants to share the lessons they’ve learned firsthand with the world.
He or she is the single most important element of what makes a YouTube Channel awesome: the host.
All other factors come second. The host could be sitting in front of a dull whiteboard and still give otherworldly Italian lessons.
If the host…
- has an engaging personality, the kind that makes you want to finish the whole video as if it’s an exciting Italian movie,
- teaches with passion,
- loves the culture,
- is funny and doesn’t take themselves too seriously…
…then almost always, you will have an awesome channel.
The host is important because essentially, they’re the medium by which you learn the language. They give you the lessons and contextualize them.
And guess what: If you’re really serious about learning Italian, you’ll be viewing these language videos not once or twice but several times. This will be very difficult to do if the host isn’t engaging, hard to understand or generally rubs you the wrong way.
How do you know if the host is right for you? Just see if they pass the “airport test”: Would you want to be stuck with them in an airport, during a snowstorm? If the answer is a vehement yes, then you’ve got yourself a keeper.
The Bells and Whistles
The extras are the different technical elements of an Italian learning YouTube channel. They aren’t all necessary for having an excellent channel, but they’re a nice bonus that can add to the appeal of a particular channel.
The first one is the channel name and description.
A channel name is good if it’s clear, simple, punchy or funny. Does it instantly hook you into watching the videos?
Read the channel description. Does it sound like a clear vision of what the videos contain? If yes, then that’s a sign that this channel will be worth your time.
Next, check out the individual videos themselves. Are they appropriately titled, or simply clickbait-titled clips void of substance?
Remember the old adage about not judging a book by its cover? The same holds true here. Don’t just look at the thumbnails on a channel: actually sample two or three videos to determine the quality of the rest.
Many good Italian language learning videos also have well-timed, non-intrusive graphics and audio that help the viewers understand what the host is talking about. These visual and audio extras help tell the story or deliver the lesson, punching it up.
For example, if the host is talking about Italian gelato, a picture of the cold treat suddenly appearing would deliver more impact and make the lesson more memorable. Or if the host suddenly switches to Italian, a helpful subtitle would allow viewer to follow.
Catchy songs, or even little sound effects like a bell ringing, a round of applause or a drum roll, can all add pizzazz to the whole video and enhance the watching experience.
These editing and production features all make for an awesome channel. They mean somebody actually put in the extra effort to make the video more entertaining and educational—and engaging videos are more likely to stick in your mind than bland ones.
That said, if a channel doesn’t have all these elements that doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t be good. Sometimes, the best instructional videos simply have the host sitting in front of a whiteboard and speaking.
Remember: Give a few videos a watch before you pass over a channel. You might find an unexpected gem!
Having a large number of subscribers is a decent indicator of a channel’s success. But to really see how well the channel is doing, check out its community.
Open the three latest videos in a channel and scroll to the comments section. Is there a healthy discussion brewing? Is the presenter or host interacting with the audience?
Sometimes you’ll even find community members jumping in to help answer questions or clarify concepts in the comments.
Having a vibrant community of watchers interacting in the comments section is a sign that a channel is doing something right.
A good channel will have followers who can’t wait for next week’s episode. They share the videos with like-minded individuals and are personally invested in the success of the YouTube channel.
Now that you know what makes a good instructional Italian YouTube channel, you’re ready to hit the road and the subscribe button. We’ve created an awesome list of seven channels to get you started. Check them out below!
7 Must-watch Italian YouTube Channels That Pack a Learning Punch
Dive into these Italian YouTube learning channels for some solid instruction and concepts made simple.
Just remember that watching an instructional video is very different from listening to real people speaking the language! Reinforce the concepts and vocabulary you learn on these channels by using FluentU.
FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons. That means you’ll be able to hear words and grammar as real native Italian speakers actually use them!
FluentU takes these authentic YouTube-style videos and packages them into a comprehensive language course, complete with adaptive quizzes, interactive subtitles and video flashcards. The immersive, entertaining content makes grammar and vocabulary much more memorable.
We’ll talk about ItalianPod101 first, and for good reason. This channel hits all the right notes when it comes to the alchemy that makes an awesome Italian YouTube channel.
This one is brought to you by Innovative Language—a leading language learning company which is also the content creator for sister channels like SpanishPod101 and GermanPod101.
The Italian iteration is hosted by Desiree, Consuelo and Ilaria, who headline different topics and programs. Desiree gives the Top 25 lists, Ilaria takes care of the “Weekly Italian Words” and Consuelo presents “Italian in 3 Minutes.”
This channel doesn’t skimp on the production element of things, including engaging sounds and graphics to accompany each lesson. There are also helpful texts and subtitles that pop-up so you can follow what the hosts are talking about. Even the thumbnails look great!
This channel is updated regularly and is closely tended to by ItalianPod101 staff, so you can be sure that somebody’s reading those comments and responding to them appropriately.
With over 300 videos and counting, this is easily one of the best Italian language learning channels on YouTube!
If you love these videos and find yourself picking up Italian quickly—and something tells me you might—you should probably consider investing in their complete ItalianPod101 course. This has audio and video lessons combined with interactive learning features. You can also take their free trial for a spin!
This channel is really being true to its tagline of “building the largest community of learners and lovers of the Italian language.”
It’s hosted by the effervescent Manu, who takes absolute beginners by the hand with his series like “How to Survive Italy Without Being Fluent in Italian.” With this channel, you feel like Italian is a totally approachable language, that it’s not beyond the grasp of mere mortals.
Manu goes out of his way to clear the weeds that obscure your understanding of the language with his series “Speak Italian Like an Italiano—Pronunciation Course.” He’ll teach you so much more than proper rolling of your R’s. He might just be standing in front of a whiteboard, but, like I said before, a good host can take you everywhere you need to go.
And, as proof of the channel’s responsiveness to viewer comments, the channel also has an “Ask Manu” series where the host fields specific language questions coming from subscribers.
This channel, led by the lovely Lucrezia, has plenty of content for learners of all skill levels.
It has a beginner’s section, which covers the standard content—Italian lessons on numbers, days of the week and introducing oneself. There are also intermediate lessons about the use of prepositions, adjective conjugations and other key elements of Italian grammar.
But the special something that sets this channel apart is the fact that it has a vlog series (in Italian) which shows Lucrezia and her friends in their natural habitat, roaming about town, doing their thing, enjoying the beautiful city that is Rome.
This is really good for Italian language learners because you don’t want to study Italian divorced from the rich culture and vivacious people who speak it.
Lucrezia is such a generous soul: Not only does she share her life with viewers through her vlogs, she even teaches you how to prepare real Italian meals. If ever you want to learn how to make authentic pesto or real Italian pasta, just follow along with her instructions.
It’s really no wonder why there’s a whole community of language learners (even native speakers) who write to her like she’s their best friend.
“Me” here refers to Luana—your guide to the Italian language, culture and lifestyle.
With Luana, everything seems to be “La Dolce Vita.” She reminds you of everything that’s beautiful in the language, the culture and the people.
Of interest is her “Postcards from Italy” series where she takes you to the most scenic corners of Italy—from the Amalfi coast to Verona. The places she takes you to will make you fall in love with the country, if you haven’t already.
But all that beauty shouldn’t make you forget about the clear language lessons her channel also has. Her “Italian Grammar Pills” series includes lessons on important topics like auxiliary verbs and possessive adjectives.
At the time of this writing, Luana seems to have stopped updating her channel. But there are so extremely useful videos ready for you to watch that we’ll leave this here for you to explore.
And hey, the videos might start up again—such is the ephemeral nature of YouTube!
On the surface, this would seem to be an odd-man-out. Although recently, the presenter has made himself more available visually, many of the older videos only used audio and a moving cursor.
This one is for the grammar-focused folks. If you want to go deep with Italian grammar, this is the channel that you go to. It’s comprehensive and well-paced.
The more you go through the videos, the more you’ll realize that it’s actually very visually smart. The chosen style works really well for the subject matter at hand.
First of all, everything is presented to you in a single slide showing you the big picture of the lesson. This means you don’t need to hurry up reading effervescent subtitles that are gone too soon: it’s all there, in one stationery spot.
Second, you’ve got a cursor that guides your eyes on where to look so you’re never lost during the lesson. The lesson itself is well-paced, which means ample time is given for the speaker to elucidate on different points of grammar.
The host explains the topics really well and in simple English. Each video has a list of time stamps you can click on to skip to key points, like examples and the introduction of new vocabulary.
The community here extends beyond YouTube: join the Facebook study group to receive more study resources and meet like-minded language learners!
The One World Italiano channel is anchored by teacher Veronica and shot in the island of Sardinia, specifically in Cagliari.
The lessons are delivered in Italian with very little English—even those videos that are for absolute beginners. But won’t worry: Veronica is ever ready with props, examples and verbose gestures. She repeats herself so often you’ll be able to figure out for yourself what she’s talking about.
Closed captioning is also available so you can visually refer to what’s being said, but watch out for inaccuracies.
The videos are also a bit longer than your usual fare, lasting about eight to 15 minutes.
This teaching style follows one of the principles of the “Direct Method,” where no translation is given to students, in the belief that this only hinders the acquisition of language.
Instead, students are directly taught in the target language so they’ll become so used to hearing it that they’ll eventually figure things out—just like how they figured out their mother tongues.
It’s a little bit disconcerting at first, but over time you’ll feel like you’re really understanding Italian, without going through translations!
The channel is well supported by staff and has a community of learners that clearly appreciates the work done by teacher Veronica.
It’s a rare treat to have a teacher who has no discernible accent when she speaks in Italian or in English. Well, that’s Melissa Muldoon—an English speaker who, for over 15 years, has consciously made learning Italian a lifestyle choice.
She’s gone to great lengths in order to work on her Italian, even hosting an Italian exchange student for a year. She claims a day doesn’t go by where she doesn’t listen, read, speak and work on her Italian.
Now, she’s more than ready to share what she’s learned over the years.
Melissa could easily remind you of your first grade teacher. She’s passionate about teaching but doesn’t take herself too seriously—even calling herself the “crazy linguist.”
Her YouTube channel is one of those where culture, arts, music, holidays and travel all meld with Italian language learning. She has excellent firsthand learning tips, as one who has taken that language journey and succeeded.
She often pulls from her own experiences to share interesting and unique aspects of the language you might not get anywhere else (like an entire discussion about riding horses and the different vocabulary concerned with that).
The updates on this one also seem to have dried up, but with her excellent existing content in your camp, you’ll inevitably be speaking in Italian with total ease before long.
So check out the channels above and you’ll discover a powerful new way to learn Italian… with YouTube videos!
They’ll give you hours upon hours of useful insights, techniques and invaluable lessons on grammar, syntax and usage. Be an active participant in these channels and let them know how much you appreciate them.
It’ll be time well invested.
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