Best Songs to Learn Italian — Europass

The Best Songs to Learn Italian

Italian songs are a great way to learn a language by yourself. You can improve your language skills in a fun way and, at the same time, get to grips with some elements of Italian culture.  

Listening to songs exposes you to all sorts of grammatical structures such as verbs and conjugations, and these are much easier to memorize with a melody attached.

We selected some of the most popular and useful Italian songs that will help you to master your Italian language grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary in context.

For beginners

Lorenzo Jovanotti: Un raggio di sole

If you don’t know him yet, you have to listen to our beloved Italian singer Lorenzo Jovanotti. First, we suggest to listen to this fun ballad in which he tells us about his complicated relationship with his girlfriend using a lot of past tenses. Here you can hear the difference between the perfect (“ha fatto”) and the imperfect (“faceva”).

Once you get to know this song, discover all the other popular Jovanotti songs, you will love his sound and his energy! 

Check out the lyrics!

Giuliano Palma & The Bluebeaters: Tutta mia la città

This is a cover of the original song of Equipe’s 84, a famous Italian group of the 80’s and the 90’s. We suggest Giuliano Palma’s version because it sounds a bit more contemporary, but it’s worth listening to the original version also! With this song, you can improve your listening comprehension of present, simple future and also conditional tenses.

Read the lyrics!

Paolo Conte: Vieni via con me

Written and performed by one of the greatest Italian songwriters, this song is considered almost like an Italian hymn.

Paolo Conte is very easy to understand as he speaks slowly, with a very clear Italian accent. This song is perfect to listen to indicative verbs and for the use of prepositions. His style is timeless, so even if this song was written in 1981 it is still current for the younger generation.

Here the lyrics of this song.

Mina: Un anno d’amore

Mina is definitely the most talented Italian singer of all time. With this song you get to know the diva and her style, while listening to a lot of future simple verbs in the second-person singular like “ricorderai” (will remember) and “capirai” (will understand). In this song, she warns her lover that he’ll miss her when she’s gone.

Read the lyrics!

Domenico Modugno: Nel blu dipinto di blu

Learn how to use the infinitives with this renowned Italian song! You will spot some infinitive verbs like “volare” (to fly/flying) or “cantare” (to sing/singing) as well as the imperfect tense. This famous song also gives some catchy examples of Italian vocabulary and it is perfect for beginners but also for those a bit further ahead.

Here the lyrics!

Francesco De Gregori: Buonanotte Fiorellino

This serenade is great to learn from because you listen to a lot of very simple vocabulary, though sometimes in the diminutive form like “fiorellino” (little flower) or “monetina” (little coin). Improving the Italian diminutive will help you in Italian conversation, when you want to be sweet and kind, or just want to talk about something small.

Read the lyrics here

Intermediate level

Rino Gaetano: Ma il cielo è sempre più blu

Rino Gaetano was a popular singer of the 70s in Italy, famous for his socially and politically committed lyrics. This song tells about the contradictions within Italian society, looking at the fact that even if we all have different troubles and ambitions, the sky will always be blue for everyone. Here you will find many present verbs and a lot of vocabulary.

Check out the lyrics!

Adriano Celentano: Azzurro

One of the greatest Italian songwriters, actors and directors, Adriano Celentano was the first 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. Azzurro is perfect to improve your listening comprehension and learn many Italian phrases and verbal structures like the present and the past perfect.

Read the lyrics!

Tiziano Ferro: Non me lo so spiegare

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) or “l’aria che tirava” (the atmosphere).

Read the lyrics here.

Lucio Battisti: Amarsi un po’

From Battisti’s song you can learn lots of great plural adjectives to talk about love and feelings, such as “uniti” (close), “indivisibili” (indivisible) or “irraggiungibili” (unattainable). He also uses some simple phrases to make comparisons, like “amarsi un po’ è come bere” (loving each other is like drinking). Moreover, you will understand the use of many Italian reflexive verbs like “guardarsi” (look at yourself) “avvicinarsi” (get closer) or “lasciarsi” (leave each other).

Read the lyrics!

Andrea Bocelli: Con te partirò

This is probably one of the biggest international hits in the history of Italian music. Bocelli’s Italian is easy to understand, so you can also listen to his other famous song “vivo per lei” (I live for her). We choose the song “Con te partirò” (I’ll leave with you) because it symbolizes the concept of a journey, a very important aspect for those who learn another language. Improve your vocabulary as well as the present and the simple future!

Read the lyrics!

Advanced level

Carmen Consoli: Bambina Impertinente

In the lyrics of this psychedelic song you can spot some verbal construction to give orders, commands and instructions, using the imperative. Carmen Consoli has a sicilian accent, so it’s better to listen to her songs if you have an advanced level of language comprehension. Here she also uses the ever so problematic Italian subjunctive, so there’s no excuse for not practicing!

Check out the lyrics here.

Daniele Silvestri: Salirò

Daniele Silvestri 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 future “salirò” (I will go up) and the use of the conditional tense “preferirei” (I would prefer).

Here you can check the lyrics.

Max Gazzè: La vita com’è

Max Gazzè is a pop-rock Italian musician. His song will be stuck in your head for a long time! Here you will listen to lots of hypotheticals such as “se fossi” (if I were), some verbal structure, new vocabulary and  common Italian expressions like “prendere la vita com’è” (take it easy) or “ammazzare il tempo” ( killing time).

Here the lyrics!

Caparezza con Tony Hadley: Goodbye Malinconia

With this rap song you will learn many aspects of the Italian culture, as Caparezza is the most culturally and politically committed artist of the Italian contemporary music scene. At the beginning it will be slightly difficult to understand every single word, because of the fast rhythm, but once you get used to this song, you will be able to learn new and refined Italian vocabulary and a lot of idiomatic expressions too!

Check out the lyrics.

Lorenzo Baglioni: Il Congiuntivo

This song is very useful to those who struggle with the Italian subjunctive. It was the hit of Sanremo Festival 2017, Italy’s most important music festival. Through the lyrics, you will learn many tenses of the subjunctive, like the present, perfect, imperfect and past perfect as if you were in an Italian grammar class but, at the same time, enjoying the music. Baglioni recounts how difficult it is also for an Italian native speaker to use the subjunctive correctly, so that you can always remember that Italians and foreigners share the same struggle!

Check out the lyrics!

Mina: Se telefonando

Another masterpiece from the Italian Diva Mina. In this song the words are quite easy to understand, but to fully grasp the meaning of hypothetical phrases you should have an advanced level of Italian listening comprehension. You will also find the passive form “è già finito” (“it’s already finished” meaning “it’s already over”).

Read the lyrics!

Fabrizio De Andrè: La ballata dell’amore cieco

Fabrizio De Andrè was a great Italian songwriter, also known as the “poet of the losers”, as his songs are all about about poor and miserable people. What makes him stand out is that he usually wrote songs in different Italian dialects, leaving an amazing folk music heritage in Italy.

In this ballad you will find some interesting examples of the use of the Italian past tense passato remoto, such as “disse” (he said), “andò” (he went) or “fu” (he was), as well as the correct use of the imperfect tense.

Here the lyrics!

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