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5 Best Movies to Learn Italian

Updated: 16. Jan, 2023

Many people believe that learning German can be difficult and tiring. Thankfully, there is an easy learning method – immersing yourself in Italian cinema. Over the years, Italy has released some incredible videos which have become cultural touchstones for many people. 

Movies of different genres, with or without subtitles, are effective ways to brush up your Italian language skills. In addition, when you watch Italian movies, you expose yourself to authentic Italian speeches that will improve your written and oral expression.

Watching movies in a language you are learning is a good way to make faster progress with learning Italian. So, if you love movies, why not sit down and watch some to improve your Italian language abilities? Movies are fun, accessible, and easy and will help you concentrate completely on listening to the language.

So, let’s quickly take a look at the five best movies to learn Italian and why movies are so useful in learning the language.

5 Top Movies to Learn Italian 

Here are our top five movies that you can watch to improve your Italian language skills.

La Vita e Bella

This movie, directed by Roberto Benigni, has won a series of awards, including best actor for Roberto Benigni. La vita e Bella was set in the 1930s and tells the story of a father who is determined to protect his son from the harsh reality of the Holocaust. Guido Orefice, who is just a Jewish bookshop owner, and his son were taken forcefully by German officers to a concentration camp.

The bookshop owner knew that no good news would ever come from the situation. Therefore, in order to protect his five-year 0ld child, he created an interesting fiction. In this story, they entered a reality where they would have to undergo different tasks to win the real task.

The movie displays the lengths a father will go to protect his child from any situation. Italian language learners will learn much from the effusive man who talks non-stop with grand gestures. Furthermore, you will remember the vocabulary and catchphrases in this movie because the actor was always flailing his hands. The movie also uses fairly contemporary Italian, so you can quickly insert the words into your daily conversations.

Lazzaro Felice

Lazzaro was born into a generation of latter-day sharecroppers on a tobacco plantation called Inviolata. He has always lived an isolated life in rural Italy. However, he had no idea that the Marchioness Alfonsina De Luna was illegally extorting his labor and that of his family and neighbors. He begins to see the injustice of the sharecropping arrangement and eventually joins Tancredi, the son of De Luna, on a quest for justice and money.

The movie is beautifully told with the gritty reality of life and symbolism. Based on the events of this movie, it is a great resource for intermediate Italian learners to challenge themselves with Italian accents and expressions. Lazzaro Felice will take you on a journey through various language channels, though there is also a mix of specific and general vocabulary. So, this movie will definitely benefit learners at the intermediate level because the dialogue is a little bit fast-paced.

Viva la Liberta

This movie, directed by Roberto Ando and released in 2003, tells the story of a secretary, Enrico Olivieri. The protagonist, Toni Servillo, narrates the story of Enrico Olivieri, who is a secretary for the opposition party and lost popular support. So the secretary decided to flee to France, and his twin brother replaced him. 

The producers told the story with humor. In addition, the movie deals with controversial themes such as Italian political systems and freedom of speech. Therefore, this movie is ideal for learners who are already at the intermediate level, and it is also a great movie to listen to and learn Italian accents.


Malena is an Italian movie whose setting dates back to the 1940s. The movie tells the story of a 13-year-old, Renato, who always fantasized about a beautiful school teacher. Monica Bellucci played the schoolteacher with her husband, who was a soldier on assignment in Africa. Although the movie is backdated, you will surely enjoy it, and the narrations by Renato are engaging and intense for any Italian learner

With this movie, you are sure to have your fill of Italian through the vivid and engaging narrations of the jealous town folks and Renato. From a language-learning view, the vocabulary used in the movie is quite simple, which makes it the perfect choice for intermediate Italian learners.


L’attesa, ‘The Wait’ in English, is a story about a mother grieving for a dead child. The movie takes a twist when the dead son’s girlfriend, who is unaware that her lover is dead, starts wondering why he isn’t picking up his calls anymore. So, the girl decides to visit his family and spends the Easter celebration there.

The dead boy’s mother must find a way to tell the girl that her boyfriend is never coming home again. The movie is an emotionally charged, intriguing, and powerful story you can’t afford to miss. The dialogues are well-controlled, deliberate, and run at a slow pace that every Italian learner could comprehend.

Why Should You Learn Italian with Movies?

There are several logical reasons for making movies a regular part of your Italian study plans. First, movies are immersive and multi-sensory, making them the perfect tool for learning Italian. 

Importantly, too, we learn from what we see, and movies offer solid visual context to learning. So, learning Italian through movies allows us to experience the language in different shades. You see the different gestures made by native speakers and the subtle distinctions that make the language unique. In addition, you also get to hear exactly how Italian should sound and appreciate the language more.

One thing you will see when you learn Italian in movies is that the characters speak very fast. This is normal because the producers made the movies primarily for native speakers, not learners like you. However, fast speaking completely immerses you in the language when you watch Italian movies. You train your ears and try to get accustomed to the language at the same pace as native speakers.

Next, movies are flexible, diverse, and nuanced language-learning tools. They consist of a diverse set of stories, contexts, and topics that tackle different fields. A single scene in a movie can contain different phrases, vocabulary, and expressions that will add nuance and texture that you can introduce into your daily conversations. All you have to do is have the insight to apply the words and phrases to other situations.

Relaxed Learning

Movies relax your brain and help you assimilate better. We learn better when we are in a more relaxed situation or position. Even if you are seeing a thriller or an action movie, part of your brain understands that movie time equals fun time. During relaxation, the brain enhances your memories of everything you have learned and becomes more receptive to receiving new information.


Language learning is about commitment and using the right methods and tools. And movies are an excellent language-learning tool. So, if you are a lover of movies, you can watch some of these Italian movies to improve your Italian language abilities.

These are just five of the best productions of Italian cinema for learning the language. And each has a unique style, flavor, slant, and lesson that will help you learn Italian in a fun and engaging way.

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