20 Best Italian Songs for Language Learners

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Key Takeaways

Dive into the heart of Italian culture with this guide to the 20 most iconic Italian songs! Perfect your language skills while basking in the melodies that define Italy’s rich musical heritage. 🎶

  • Memory Improvement: Music aids vocabulary retention by leveraging rhythm and melody, creating lasting language patterns in your brain.
  • Pronunciation Enhancement: Listening to Italian songs helps you grasp natural intonation, pronunciation, rhythm, and accents.
  • Increased Motivation: Music makes the learning process more enjoyable and motivating, keeping you engaged in your language studies.
  • Cultural Exposure: Songs contain cultural references, deepening your understanding of both the Italian language and its culture.
  • Vocabulary and Grammar Expansion: Songs introduce new vocabulary and grammatical structures within a meaningful context, making learning more effective.

Quick facts

Why use Italian songs to learn the language?

Songs provide a memorable and enjoyable way to master vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation through melodies that stick with you.

How does singing along with Italian music benefit language learners?

Singing aids in retention of new words and phrases, making it easier to remember grammatical structures like verb tenses and conjugations.

What makes "Con te partirò" by Andrea Bocelli suitable for beginners?

Bocelli's slow, clear enunciation and the song's moderate tempo make it perfect for understanding vocabulary and pronunciation.

Why is "Nel blu dipinto di blu" a great learning tool?

The song is rich in infinitive verbs and imperfect tense examples, providing a fun way to practice essential grammar.

What linguistic challenges does "Sapore di Sale" help address?

This song is packed with prepositions, aiding learners in mastering these tricky elements of Italian grammar.

How does "Ma il cielo è sempre più blu" reflect Italian society?

Rino Gaetano's song highlights societal issues like corruption and injustice, offering both linguistic practice and cultural insight.

What Italian expressions can you learn from "Non me lo so spiegare"?

Tiziano Ferro's song is filled with idiomatic expressions and common phrases, enriching your conversational Italian.

Why are imperatives important in "Bambina impertinente" by Carmen Consoli?

The song uses imperatives to give orders and instructions, providing practice in this essential grammatical structure.

How does "Il congiuntivo" by Lorenzo Baglioni aid grammar learning?

This song humorously addresses the challenges of the subjunctive mood, making it a fun and educational listen.

What themes are explored in "La vita com’è" by Max Gazzè?

The song features hypotheticals and common expressions, helping learners grasp complex sentence structures and everyday language.

My Thoughts

Songs to Learn Italian

Why is Music Useful to Learn Italian?

Whether you are a beginner or an advanced Italian learner, music will help you improve your language skills. In fact, integrating Italian songs into your language study can be beneficial because music:

  1. Improves memory: it helps with vocabulary retention, thanks to rhythm and melody which help create language patterns in your brain.
  2. Enhances pronunciation: it allows you to hear natural intonation, pronunciation, rhythm, and accents.
  3. Increases motivation: music makes the learning process more enjoyable and motivating.
  4. Exposes you to the culture: songs contain cultural references which deepen your understanding of both the language and its culture.
  5. Reinforces repetition: the repetitive nature of songs makes them ideal for repetitive learning, essential for language acquisition.
  6. Expands vocabulary and grammar: songs can introduce new vocabulary and grammatical structures within a meaningful context.

Italian Music Culture

Music is a very big part of Italian culture. Italians listen to music quite often and make reference to popular songs in the middle of conversations.

Whether you want to learn more about the culture or want to improve your Italian language skills, Italian songs are a great tool you can easily make use of.

In fact, you can play music everywhere, and this exposes you to language wherever and whenever you want. With music, you can even learn Italian in the car!

I selected some of the most popular and useful Italian songs that will help you improve your Italian language level, pronunciation, and vocabulary in context.

I tried my best to list the songs in an increasing level of difficulty, therefore the first songs are easy songs for beginners, then there are some for intermediates, and finally for more advanced people.

I did not list Italian children’s songs, but there are many for young learners as well!

Best Italian Songs to Learn Italian

Con te partirò – Andrea Bocelli

Andrea Bocelli - Con Te Partirò - Live From Piazza Dei Cavalieri, Italy / 1997

This is probably one of the biggest international hits in the history of Italian music.Con te partirò (“With You I Will Leave”) talks about a journey, which is presented in a romantic and poetic way. The artist dreams of rediscovering lost and new places thanks to the love of his partner in the journey of life.

The emotional value of this song has no time, but not only is it worth listening to (and learning it) for purely artistic reasons, but also for linguistic ones.

In fact, Bocelli marks the words slowly, making the words very easy to understand. This is what makes this song perfect for a beginner’s language level.

Nel blu dipinto di blu – Domenico Modugno

Domenico Modugno, born in the Italian region of Puglia, was inspired to write this song to celebrate his land, its sea, and blue sky. Personally, I love it because the lyrics conjure up a feeling of freedom and light-heartedness.

In this famous Italian song beginners can have a fun time with infinite verbs, as well as with easy Italian vocabulary.

Sapore di Sale – Gino Paoli

This 1960s summer hit is perfect to practice the present tense and the prepositions. If you listen carefully, you’ll hear every variation of prepositions!

Solo noi – Toto Cutugno

This is the song with which Toto Cutugno won the 1980 San Remo Festival. The single remained in the Italian top ten for several months.

The song is about a pair of lovers, their love, and the end of their passion, and it is very useful to practice the imperfective tense.

Felicità – Al Bano & Romina Power

Al Bano & Romina Power - Felicità

This song is known all over the world, for its themes of joy, satisfaction, serenity, and excitement that people experience in a wave of optimism. The lyrics make use of comparisons to describe what you feel when you’re particularly happy.

Ma il cielo è sempre più blu – Rino Gaetano

Ma il cielo è sempre più blu - Rino Gaetano (lyrics video & testo)

I would recommend this song – and the following ones – for intermediate Italian language learners.

At first glance, the song lyrics seem to be optimistic and lighthearted. At a deeper level, this song actually highlights the issues and problems of Italian society in the 70s, such as corruption or social injustice.

The vocabulary is a bit more advanced, as well as some structures likechi ruba, chi lotta, chi ha fatto la spia (who steals, who fights, who snitched).

Azzurro – Adriano Celentano

Adriano Celentano was the first Italian songwriter who introduced rock’n’roll music in the country. This song is very popular also abroad and it is very representative of the Italian summer melancholy.

It is a perfect exercise to improve your listening comprehension and verbal structures which play with tenses and prepositions.

Non me lo so spiegare – Tiziano Ferro

Tiziano Ferro - Non Me Lo So Spiegare (Oficial Vídeo) [HD]

Tiziano Ferro, one of the most appreciated Italian singers abroad, is famous for his romantic songs, as they are all about love, feelings, and complicated relationships.

This song is particularly interesting if you want to deepen your knowledge of idiomatic expressions and Italian common phrases like “non me lo so spiegare” (I can’t explain it).

La canzone del sole – Lucio Battisti

As one of Italy’s most famous and most influential musicians, Lucio Battisti is often selected by Italian teachers as a starting point for discovering the country’s rich musical heritage.

La Canzone del Sole is clear, comprehensible, and tells the story of two lovers meeting again after years apart. However, it makes use of a quite researched vocabulary that might be complex for beginners.

La cura – Franco Battiato

Franco Battiato - La Cura

Without any doubt, this is one of my favorite Italian songs ever. Franco Battiato is a musical hero in Italy, so if you want to speak the language you must at least be able to recognize the name when he comes up in conversations.

As well as trying out many musical styles, Battiato often features philosophical and esoteric themes in his type of music. For this very reason, his songs are not advised to beginners, because of their complex vocabulary.

Voglio una pelle splendida – Afterhours

The lyrics for this rock ballad is perfect to practice the imperative mood. At the same time, its repetitiveness makes it easy to retain new vocabulary.

50 special – Lùnapop

This one is one of my all-time favorite songs. If you go to an Italian karaoke night you can be sure you’ll hear (and sing!) this song.

As you might already know, 50 Special is a kind of Vespa, the popular Italian scooter manufactured by the Italian brand Piaggio, which has become one of the symbols of Italian culture.

This super cheerful song sings about the good times you have when riding a Vespa and the singer, in the beautiful, summery landscape of his native Italian region, Emilia Romagna.

I bet you’d love to travel around the “colli bolognesi” with a Vespa too!

Ragazzo fortunato – Lorenzo Cherubini

Ragazzo fortunato (lucky boy) tells the story of a young boy who feels grateful for the little things in life. This is a song you want to sing when you feel happy about life, and Italians love celebrating life!

Personally, I love this line of the song

Se devo dirla tutta, qui non è il paradiso ma all’inferno delle veritá, io mento col sorriso.

If I have to say it all, here’s not the heaven, but in this hell of truths, I lie with a smile.

Despite its cheerful and upbeat rhythm, this song carries an important message to make people aware of social issues and injustice.

Certe notti – Ligabue

This song describes a casual Italian night amongst friends but it has different levels of interpretation.

On the one hand, it celebrates the lightheartedness of Italian people, while, on the other hand, it draws attention to the shallowness of some people’s lives.

Ligabue is one of the most famous Italian pop-rock singers, and his songs are always full of interesting metaphors, which make its lyrics not so accessible to beginners.

Vado al massimo – Vasco Rossi

Vado al massimo” is an evergreen Italian song by Vasco Rossi. This is the kind of song that you’d listen to give yourself a boost of energy and enthusiasm.

The lyrics of this song are not particularly meaningful or deep but they play a lot with word sounds and assonance of words.

Vasco Rossi is a real rockstar in Italy and if you like pop-rock music, you should definitely listen to his songs.

Perdono – Tiziano Ferro

Perdono means “forgiveness” and, as you may infer from the title, this song is all about forgiveness within a love story. It is not surprising that most Italian popular songs are love songs because, Italian people are fairly romantic and passionate.

From a linguistic point of view, this song is perfect to practice Italian pronunciation, given its speed. If you can sing this song, consider yourself an Italian pronunciation master!

Bambina impertinente – Carmen Consoli

We are now ready to sing harder songs, so if you are an advanced learner, this section is perfect for you.

This song by Carmen Consoli is full of orders, commands, and instructions, therefore perfect to practice all types of imperatives. As if this wasn’t enough, there also is some subjunctive here and there, so there’s no excuse not to get practicing.

Il congiuntivo – Lorenzo Baglioni

Lorenzo Baglioni  - Il Congiuntivo (Sanremo 2018)

Well… The title says it all! This hit is a reminder that not only foreign students have problems with congiuntivo.

Lorenzo Baglioni’s conjugation of the present, past perfect subjunctive, and past perfect and imperfective is a grammar teacher’s delight.

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This song is very useful to those who struggle with verb tenses, and I bet it will make you feel better to hear someone singing about how difficult it is even for an Italian native speaker to use the subjunctive correctly!

Salirò – Daniele Silvestri

Daniele Silvestri - Salirò (videoclip)

Daniele Silvestri’s songs are well known for their rhythm and groovy melodies. He is politically committed and there is often a message within his songs.

His language is quite metaphoric, so it would be hard for an intermediate or a beginner level to fully grasp the meaning of the lyrics.

In this song, we find many verbal structures: the simple futuresalirò” (I will go up) and the use of the conditional tense “preferirei” (I would prefer).

La vita com’è – Max Gazzè

Max Gazzè - La Vita Com

Max Gazzè is a pop-rock Italian musician. Once you listen to them, his song will be stuck in your head for a long time!

Here you will listen to many “if clauses” to create hypothetical phrases, such as “se fossi” (if I were), as well as some complex Italian expressions like “prendere la vita com’è” (take it easy) or “ammazzare il tempo” ( killing time).

Sing Your Way to Italian Fluency!

Which is your favorite Italian song from this selection?

These songs I chose for you definitely reflect the varied landscape of Italian music: Italian music often sings about lighthearted Italian way of looking at life, as well as love and happiness.

However, you can also find very meaningful songs, with lyrics that discuss social issues and politics.

Start searching these songs online and teach your algorithm what you like! In no time, you’ll be surrounded by beautiful Italian songs, and you’ll be surprised of how fast you can learn Italian thanks to them!

Keep singing and enjoy your learning.

May music never die!

Test your knowledge in 10 quick questions

What's that one famous Italian song?

Bella ciao has always been considered one of the most famous Italian folk songs even outside Italy.

What is the common music in Italy?

Italian popular music is a blend of homegrown styles and foreign influences. From classic Neapolitan songs and singer-songwriters (cantautori) to imported genres like jazz, pop, rock, and hip hop, Italy's music scene is rich and varied.

Italian word of the day
persona
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Mi piace Silvio. Sia come politico che come persona.
I like Silvio. Both as a politician and as a person.
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