BEST ITALIAN SHORT STORIES FOR INTERMEDIATE LEARNERS
There are countless ways to learn new vocabulary and grammar at an intermediate level of Italian, but the most important thing you need to keep in mind is this fundamental principle: reading the right content and at your level.
Don’t worry. You won’t need to have an outstanding Italian level before you start reading. And, you won’t need to sit and look up in the dictionary every second word. Reading can be a fun way to learn Italian at any level, providing you pick the right material.
If reading in Italian has been overwhelming for you, maybe you haven’t used quite the right content, and you should think about changing it.
Remember, to see steady progress in your Italian study, the learning content you use shouldn’t be necessarily authentic. The right level for you should be slightly higher than your actual one, a little challenging but not much. Overwhelming takes the fun away!
WHY USING SHORT STORIES AS A LEARNING TOOL
If you have tried to learn new vocabulary through endless vocab lists or flashcards without success, I hear you. It’s happened to me too.
We can’t learn words in isolation. We need to attach meaningful content, a memory, or a story to it. In a short story, you will find words fitting with context, and that’s how you will end up memorizing a ton of new vocabulary and naturally perfecting your grammar.
Learning words in isolation won’t take you very far as long as you don’t attach a memory to it. Instead, diving yourself into a short story will give you the chance to absorb the correct grammar naturally, learn words and expression in a context, and design an efficient repetition plan.
A short story won’t often be longer than 20-30 pages, so re-reading the content becomes a doable task. And repetition is the key to virtually learning anything.
If you are an intermediate learner of Italian, you will find in this post a set of brilliant short stories to boost your Italian in a fun way. .All of them have proved to be an efficient and pretty digestible way of leveling up my students’ conversational skills in a relatively short time.
This short storybook is an easy read for intermediate learners who want to also learn about the
beautiful regions of Northern Italy: Piedmont. The story revolves around a young writer who leaves the bustling city of Turin to find peace in the calm and of the Italian Alps, in a small village called Morinesio. There, she will learn to live at a slow pace and make new friends. The book comes with a CD audio version and plenty of excellent drills at the end of the book to help you memorize the new vocabulary and reinforce the main Italian grammar topics at an intermediate level.
This is an exquisite short storybook for those who want to learn about the most important Italian historical events/ages. Each chapter is a short story set in a specific historical time, like the Renaissance, the Fasciscim, or the Italian Unification. The book comes with an exercise section and supplementary information boxes to understand better the time discussed for the story.
The vocabulary and grammar used to suit a good intermediate level.
PICCOLE STORIE D’AMORE
A collection of fun short stories where the main topic is love! Each chapter corresponds to a different mini love story and consists of two to five pages. The vocabulary and grammar used are suitable for lower-intermediate and upper-intermediate Italian learners. This short story book has an audio version and comes with a dedicated exercises section at the end of the book.
IL MISTERO DI VERONICA
This is an easy read for the lower-intermediate level. Veronica is a young woman living in Milan. Her life rotates around her career until she meets on a train a young artist that will turn her life upside down. The two fall in love, but Veronica has a well-kept secret that Massimo will try to uncover.
The book has an audio version. Each chapter ends with a worksheet with vocab and grammar exercises pertinent to the chapter.
LE AVVENTURE DI PINOCCHIO
This short storybook is the original version of Carlo Collodi’s masterpiece “Le avventure di Pinocchio,” written in Florence in 1881. This version has been re-written in a simplified version for intermediate Italian learners as a second language by Jacopo Gorini. The author made sure the text’s musicality and beauty remained the same, as did the totality of the chapters. You can also download the audio-book by following the instructions at the end of the book. A separate exercise workbook will help you to internalize the new vocabulary and grammar at an intermediate level. This book has a kindle version.
This short story book is slightly different from the other ones. It is a collection of comics. Each comic revolves around an aspect of modern Italian society. For example, the way Italians greet by kissing each other on the cheeks or their hatred towards the rain!
If you haven’t used comics to learn Italian so far, you should give it a try. This form of learning will take your Italian a long way as it will help you familiarize yourself with the language in the shape of dialogues. This book is for all levels, from beginners to upper-intermediate. Each chapter ends with a supplementary worksheet about the Italian culture, idioms, vocabulary, and grammar pertinent to the comic you have just read.
Passive learning: read it and listen to the content once.
- Read it.
- Listen to the content repeatedly.
- Seek new words or sentences.
- Create your flashcards.
Proactive learning: use or lose it! Make a written summary of each chapter, ensuring you are using the new set of words and sentences. Talk about it: bring it up in your conversions with your teachers or language partners.