Wise Up: Learn Italian Language and Culture with These 12 News Sites
Are you fed up with politics?
Done with hearing what’s going on with those higher up on the political chain? Don’t worry. We’re with you on this one.
The good news is, you don’t have to throw your phone out the window to get away from the constant reporting on the latest political gaff.
The Italian news resources we’re going to highlight will give you a break from the political world and feature a wealth of cultural and entertainment topics.
If you’re just starting out learning Italian, it can be hard to navigate the news to find stories that interest you—the home pages of most news sites focus exclusively on politics.
But what if you want to discover a new book to read in Italian or catch up on what your favorite Italian actors and actresses are up to? And what about all the fascinating cultural developments that are constantly going on in Italy?
This article will explore how to find interesting news stories on Italian news websites. It’ll also introduce you to the best online news outlets in fields like the arts, culture and entertainment. Fortunately, in a country like Italy, there’s no shortage of content!
Why You Should Read the News to Learn Italian
We’ve already explored some reasons why you should learn Italian through the news, but that’s only the beginning. In addition to improving your grammar, vocabulary and reading comprehension, reading the news in Italian has these additional benefits:
- It increases your knowledge of Italian (and world) culture. American newspapers don’t often cover events in Italian culture. British newspapers cover Italian politics and culture to a greater extent, but to really get a good perspective on the culture you have to read newspapers from Italy. Many news resources in this article are also internationally oriented, so you can increase your knowledge of world culture as well.
- You gain an Italian perspective on events happening in your field of interest. Whether you’re a scientist, historian or movie buff, it’s good to be able to keep tabs on your favorite subject in another language. By reading about your field of interest in Italian, you’re gaining another cultural perspective on these topics. This, in turn, will broaden your viewpoint and make you a more nuanced thinker.
- You can also become a well-informed global citizen. Becoming a knowledgeable global citizen is becoming more important, as is increasing one’s media literacy and considering different perspectives on current events. Of course, reading the news in Italian, or any foreign language, is a good way to achieve this.
Who knew reading news in Italian came with such hefty benefits?
How to Find Stories That Interest You
When you navigate to the home page of a large Italian news organization such as Corriere della Sera or La Reppublica, you’ll find the most important stories of the day. On the top menu, there will be a variety of different sections. You’ll see a section for local editions (edizioni locali, for Italy’s major cities), services (servizi) and the different sections of the newspaper (sezioni or menu).
The servizi section is helpful if you’re looking for a job or a place to live in Italy. (And who knows, if you learn Italian really well you may get an opportunity to study, live or work there!) The servizi section is also where you’ll find the weather, horoscopes and obituaries.
But what if you want to find articles tailored to your field of interest?
Find where it says either sezioni or menu. If you click on this you’ll get a drop-down menu with all sorts of topics, just like on an English-language news site. In the drop-down menu, you’ll find a dozen or more topics such as economy (economia), sports (lo sport), travel (viaggi) and many others.
There are a few differences between an Italian newspaper and an English-language newspaper. For example, on most English-language news sites the “culture” section will talk mostly about film, TV and celebrities.
In Italy, the cultura section talks more about art, history and cultural issues in society. There are then even more specific cultural sections dedicated to things like film, theater and literature.
News sites will give you an in-depth look into the affairs of Italy, which can ultimately enhance your language learning experience. If you’re all about being culture-savvy, then you should also check out what FluentU has to offer.
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
All the content is authentic, which means that you can learn real tidbits of Italian culture while also learning the language in context. The diverse nature of the extensive video catalog will be sure to make for an engaging and informative educational experience!
Increase Your Italian Cultural Awareness: 12 News Sites to Learn From
Best News Sources for the Arts in General
Il Bello dell’ Italia
Corriere della Sera has the most comprehensive cultural reporting of any Italian newspaper. Il Bello dell’ Italia is a selection of Corriere’s best stories on Italian music, art exhibitions, theater and events of local cultural significance.
It gives a complete overview of the most important cultural stories going on in Italy today. It’s also a great way to find out about cultural and heritage sites, as well as events in smaller Italian cities and villages.
This is an Italian entertainment blog dedicated to music, cinema, TV, the arts and much more. This site is a good one to check out because it’s quite comprehensive in its subject matter and gives an independent opinion on cultural events happening in Italy and the world. This blog offers a more thoughtful and in-depth analysis of media topics than the typical news site.
Best News Source for Art and Exhibitions
Il Giornale dell’Arte
This art newspaper tells you all you need to know about the fine and visual arts in Italy and abroad. Subject matter covers all areas of ancient, modern and contemporary art.
It also includes great articles about archaeology and events going on in Italian museums. As we know, great art isn’t confined to the big city, so this online newspaper gives a more complete view of the cultural scene because it also covers art from smaller towns.
Best News Sources for Music
Jam TV: Viaggio nella musica
This web magazine features articles and videos all about Italian music. What makes this a great website for beginners is that it features several “mini-documentaries.” These videos of about three minutes long feature music experts talking about the history of rock music. The site also features interviews with Italian musicians.
Rolling Stone Italy
Everything you need to know about the world of rock music, written in Italian. It also features comprehensive reporting on cinema, TV and pop culture in Italy and the U.S. While the site does feature news about Italian artists, it’s still Rolling Stone, so the bulk of their reporting focuses on English speaking artists. It is, however, interesting to read about your favorite artists in Italian and get an Italian perspective on their work.
Best News Sources for Literature
Of course, you know that reading is one of the best ways to improve your Italian. But with so many books out there, which one should you read next? These news sites can help you.
This book review website, published by the Torino edition of La Stampa, is a comprehensive guide to the world of contemporary Italian literature. While the free site is limited, the subscription gives you access to a treasure trove of in-depth literature reviews. It only costs 30 euros a year and is available via e-reader. It’s really the ultimate resource for the lover of Italian literature.
This is the literature section of Corriere della Sera. It features news about books from Italy and abroad. It also features interviews with authors and opinion pieces. This section takes a very broad view of literature, including not only books but graphic novels and works about art, music and photography.
Tip: If you want to read any of these books, you can order them from Mondadoristore.it. Many contemporary books are also available in e-book format and can be downloaded and read with the free Kobo reading app, which you can download on any Android or iOS device.
Best News Sources for Film and TV
One of the best ways to get immersed in Italian culture is through film. You can discover new films and learn more about your favorites with these sites.
This is an Italian blog dedicated to all things cinema in Italy and internationally. It’s heavily oriented towards independent films, so it’s a great resource for learning more about the hidden gems of the cinema world. This site is excellent for contributing to your cultural knowledge, as it covers films not typically explored in the mainstream media. The films the authors discuss also offer perspective into the more contemplative, conflictual and uneasy aspects of Italian society.
On the other end of the cinema spectrum, this movie news site focuses on mainstream pop culture giants like “Star Wars” and the Marvel films. It’s great for fun, light reading about your favorite films and series. What makes it unique is that it also features extensive reporting on video games, anime and other topics not typically covered in the Italian media.
Best News Sources for Celebrity Gossip
Believe it or not, you can learn a lot from Italian celebrities. And you can learn even more from these sites.
Vanity Fair Italy
Vanity Fair’s Italian site features all the juicy gossip on Italian and international celebrities. Of course, there’s also extensive reporting on the topics of beauty, fashion, wellness and cuisine. This is where truly glamorous ladies (and gentlemen) can get their daily fix of glitz and glitter.
If you’re looking to read about the drama-filled world of the Italian rich and famous, then Oggi is for you. This site really gets “the dirt” on your favorite celebrities. The digital version of this magazine is your ultimate resource for who’s getting engaged, who’s breaking up and who made a faux pas on the red carpet. Since you’re using it to practice your Italian, it’s a guilty pleasure read that you don’t need to feel guilty about!
An Italian News Site in English
While reading the news in Italian is an excellent way to build your vocabulary, for absolute beginners it can still be overwhelming. Reading news about Italy in English still gives you valuable information about the culture. It’ll also help contextualize the news that you’re reading in Italian.
When you’re just getting started with reading the news in Italian, try to read one short article per day to enhance grammar and vocabulary. Then, if you still want to catch up on Italy’s news, you can check out this site in English:
This English-language news site features fresh reporting from Italy. It has a lot of great info about travel, food and lifestyle that you can share with your non-Italian-speaking friends.
Also look up “Italy” as a topic on British news sites such as the BBC, The Telegraph and The Guardian. It’ll drum up your interest and might just motivate you to tackle the Italian sites!
Whether it’s current events, cultural topics or even celebrity gossip, reading the news in Italian gives you a unique cultural perspective on what’s going on in the world.
It’ll help you understand the Italian perspective on world events, which will, in turn, help you learn the language. So keep reading!