a group of people sitting on a couch watching a movie.
Mar 31, 2023

Italian movies not to be missed

There are several Italian movies that are worth watching.

Here are our top picks for our students.

At Istituto Italiano Scuola we believe that a useful tool to learn Italian and improve our students’ listening skills is watching an Italian movie. You can also think of using the subtitles tool, in case you feel not ready to watch an entire movie in Italian. In this case you should watch it a first time with subtitles and then re-watch it a second time without them, trying to check if you can understand more of the dialogues having watched it already a first time with that little help. 

There are big masterpieces famous worldwide, like Federico Fellini’s movies, but we want to focus more on recent films, those that represent better the current Italian reality and culture. Since one of our non-profit goals is to spread the knowledge and love for the Italian culture, we believe that the following movies will help us succeed in our mission.  

Please note that we will give you recommendations on the starting level of Italian for each film, so that you can pick the ones that better fit your Italian learning journey.  


  • “Io non ho paura”, by Gabriele Salvatores.  

Can be watched from Beginners 4 up.

It is an ideal movie for students with little Italian knowledge for its use of simple and easy to understand language. This movie gives a clear idea of life in Southern Italy, helping understand Italian matters less know abroad, like the season of kidnapping in Italy, which lasted over 17 years.  


  • “Smetto quando voglio”, by Sidney Sibilia.  

Can be watched from Pre-Avanzato 1 up.

A movie that is best for our advanced students as it uses a more complex language, and the actors often use dialect expressions. It is perfect to learn more about the Italian drama of unemployment and temporary employment in a fun and entertaining way.   


  • “L’incredibile storia dell’Isola delle Rose”, by Sidney Sibila.  

Can be watched from intermedio 1 up.

A movie unknown by the American public, but extremely interesting to discover something new and totally unexpected about Italy and the Italian lifestyle.   


  • “Habemus Papam”, by Nanni Moretti. 

Can be watched from Elementare 1 up.  

Nanni Moretti is renowned for being one of the best contemporary movie directors, and this movie in particular is able to provide an unconventional and entertaining view on the Vatican and the Church reality in Italy.  

“The movies we love and admire are to some extent a function of who we are when we see them.”

Mary Schmich
a bookshelf filled with lots of books in a library.
Mar 9, 2023

Italian books’ list

... For all our Italian books’ lovers

Istituto Italiano Scuola is renowned for the presence of reading books in its group’s classes. Our students start reading a book with their teachers from level Elementare and keep reading throughout all our levels.  

We believe that a reading book can be our students’ best friend, a valuable tool to learn Italian while getting involved in a story, flipping its pages with the classmates week by week. Choosing the book for the following level has slowly become a class effort, with the teachers and their students discussing together what to read as in a typical book club.  

Here below some books, we want to recommend to our readers, based on our teachers and students experience, for level Avanzato onwards – you must be proficient in Italy to read these books in Italian! 


  • “L’amica geniale”, Elena Ferrante

The story of two friends, Elena and Lila. The book gives a meticulous portrait of these two women while telling the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship. Through the lives of these two women, you will read the story of a neighborhood, a city and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her two protagonists. 

L’amica geniale – Libreria Pino


  • “Mordi e Fuggi, Il romanzo delle BR”, Alessandro Bertrante

Italy in 1969 had occupied universities, protests, tensions in factories. Alberto Boscolo is twenty years old, comes from a normal family, he is enrolled at the University but wants more. Disappointed by the inconclusiveness of the Student Movement, he approaches what will soon be the nucleus of the Brigate Rosse. The months pass, Alberto participates in demonstration actions, self-financing robberies and the first arson attack, but his sense of dissatisfaction does not subside. He wants to be serious. In a foggy, violent and unforgettable metropolis, the book gives life to a tumultuous and vibrant human story, in which, intertwining fiction and news, we see the crucial facts that will trigger the tragic events that happened in the following years.  

Mordi e fuggi. Il romanzo delle BR – Libreria Pino


  • “Il treno dei bambini”, Viola Ardone

Based on true events, a heartbreaking story of love, family, hope, and survival set in post-World War II Italy. Though Mussolini and the fascists have been defeated, the war has devastated Italy, especially the south. Seven-year-old Amerigo lives with his mother in Naples, in a poor neighborhood. One day, Amerigo learns that a train will take him away from there to spend the winter with a family in the north, where he will be safe and have warm clothes and food to eat. Together with thousands of other southern children, Amerigo will cross the entire peninsula to a new life. Through his curious, innocent eyes, we see a nation rising from the ashes of war, reborn. As he comes to enjoy his new surroundings and the possibilities for a better future, Amerigo will make the heartbreaking choice to leave his mother and become a member of his adoptive family. 

Il treno dei bambini – Libreria Pino


  • “La Ragazza di Bube”, Carlo Cassola

Mara is Bube’s girlfriend, a woman who in the confused post-war years, in a Tuscany still devastated by tragedy, faces reality with strength, an ancient sense of duty and perception of the passing of time. Mara evolves thanks to her love for Bube, who has committed a homicide and gets arrested and condemned. Albeit slowly, time hardens her, making her less serene but more aware of her tasks, while she is waiting for Bube to complete his 14 years imprisonment. 

La ragazza di Bube – Libreria Pino


“You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.”
Sydney J. Harris