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