Italian Short Stories

15 Short Stories To Take Your Italian To The Next Level 

But first, four smart tips to learn Italian better with the short story method. 

  1. Be proactive; don’t limit yourself to reading the stories. Use them with your Italian teacher or language exchange partner. Summing up each chapter in 6-8 sentences (better if in written form) or discussing it with your teacher is a brilliant way to cement the new vocabulary and fix the grammar patterns.  
  2. Don’t underestimate reading at any level. Why? When you read, you naturally absorb things like the correct order of the different parts of speech, the correct conjugations, or the use of prepositions.
  3. Re-read your story, two or three times. When you are done with one of these short story books in Italian, don’t put them away for ever. Set them aside for a couple of months and go back to re-read them a second or third time; that’s how you will learn efficiently (retain) your vocabulary.
  4. Finally, make sure you create a learning environment that makes it possible to internalize the information rather than just consume it.

Due amiche e un album di fotografie – beginners A1/A2

Sneak a peek of chapter one here.

This is an easy-to-read Italian short story ebook, with each unit taking no more than 10–20 minutes to complete.

This book course, designed for English-speaking students, is intended for both newcomers to Italian and intermediate students looking to brush up on their skills.
The story is set in one of Italy’s most beautiful regions, South Tyrol (or Alto Adige, in Italian), and revolves around the life of Costanza, who embarks on a summer adventure in the Dolomites with her friend Anna. The book is divided into 16 short units and is finished with useful vocabulary and explanations in English. This short story series is ideal for those who want to learn more than just the language, but also about the culture, food, and way of life in various Italian regions. The e-book is completed with an audio book narrated by the author. 

Incontri – lower-intermediate (A2 and above)

Sneak a peek into chapter 1 here 

Incontri is the second episode of my short story collection which help you understand Italian and Italy better through real-life dialogues. The protagonist is Fiona, the first in her Italian-American family to learn her ancestors’ language. At university in the US, she earned a scholarship and moved to Rome to improve her Italian for a semester. But there’s more to the story. To complete an Italian citizenship application, she must obtain a copy of her great-grandfather’s birth certificate. This brings her to Sicily. In Sicily, she has several encounters that will forever alter her future.This short story is appropriate for all Italian learners who have at least a pre-intermediate level of proficiency in the language (A2). This book might be useful for advanced beginners as well.

If you have learned Italian for a month or two, Amore and Cappuccino is the first short story you should read. This is an Italian short storybook for the A0-A1 level. If you are an advanced beginner, you will find this book way too easy, so scroll below for the other ones :). The language used is simple and tailored for a real beginner Italian learner. Each chapter consists of short dialogues between the two main characters: a German girl visiting Rome and her date, Claudio, a man who hides a few mysteries. The setting is the eternal city of Rome. The best thing about Amore and Cappuccino is that it takes place in Rome’s most iconic areas, and other than the language, it teaches you a few elements of Roman art and culture. This is an excellent introductory course to the eternal city if you are planning to visit Rome one day.


Italian short stories

We are in Milan, Italy’s fashion and financial capital.
A blonde woman walks into detective Antonio Esposito’s office one October morning.
Margaret, her daughter, who is a model, is missing, and she’s on the lookout for her.  This is a lovely mystery book for advanced beginners or intermediate students who want to improve their Italian language skills while expanding their vocabulary by reading a brilliant short story in Italian tailored to their level.



Dolomiti – beginners A1

I love this short story because it takes you to one of my favorite areas in Northern Italy—the Dolomites!

This storybook is written in the present tense. It revolves around Emanuela, a young woman who lives in Dobbiaco (a picturesque mountain village immersed in the Dolomites) and is still not very happy with her life… until she finds a way to change it. 

The story uses a great deal of useful Italian vocabulary for work, transport, and the mountains. At the end of the book, you will find a cultural section where you can read in simple Italian all about the culture, the language, and the food of Aldo Adige (Sudtirol), the region where the Dolomites belong.

The book’s level is for Italian learners who have learned the language for 34 months and are familiar with the basic Italian grammar and most recurring Italian everyday vocabulary.

Come hai detto che ti chiami – advanced beginners / A1-A2.1

Have you already laid the foundations for your basic Italian grammar and vocabulary? If you have learned the Italian present perfect (passato prossimo), the common irregular verbs, and the basic pronouns, this story is for you. The setting is the beautiful city of Como in Northern Italy. It’s a story about a young German woman learning Italian in Germany and an Italian young man learning German in Italy. They meet online for a language exchange; their friendship is based on a misunderstanding, though! This book is a fun story that won’t only reinforce your basic Italian grammar but also help you internalize a lot of relevant Italian vocabulary through the power of reading in context. And if you haven’t been to Como yet, you will learn a lot about the city too.


Le città impossibili – advanced beginners A1/A2

This is a great short storybook for those who explore the major Italian cities through their cliches. The book contains 12 chapters: each chapter focuses on a different town, from Palermo to Turin. Every chapter isn’t longer than two pages and follows the steps of a first-time visitor to the cities. At the end of the book, you will find some useful vocabulary, exercises, and cultural insights about each town. This resource helps advanced beginners, and it focuses more on vocabulary (lots of adjectives, vocabulary related to cities) than grammar.


Storie per i giorni di festa – advanced beginners A1/A2

Have you ever heard of Carnevale? Or Ferragosto? Or do you know how Italians love to spend their Saturday nights? This Italian short story book for advanced beginners is culture-based. Each chapter tells you a story related to a significant Italian holiday and the Italian habits that go with it. This is a brilliant book if you want to expand your Italian vocabulary and strengthen your beginner grammar. As usual for the Alma Italian Short Stories book, you will find grammar and vocabulary exercises and extra cultural insights.


Le favole di Esopo (A1/A2)

This Italian short story book contains fourteen of Aesop’s fables translated and adapted for a beginner level: the first seven are in the present tense, the last seven in the past tense.Each chapter (fable) comes with a vocabulary list of the story’s essential words and some simple exercises. You will also have the option to listen to the audio tracks by downloading the audiobook for free by following the last page’s instructions. The fables are profound and straightforward, with a final moral to discover. This short story series in Italian is ideal for those learning Italian at A1 or A2 level.


Pasta per due – false beginners (A1)

What happens when we are in a foreign country and we don’t understand the language well? Many misunderstandings, of course. Like those that occur to Minni, an Asian girl, when arriving in Italy for the first time to meet her Italian friend Libero in Rome. A fun story that not only reinforces your beginner grammar but also teaches you frequent Italian popular expressions, especially those involving the verb fare.


Storie di Italiani famosi – beginners (A1-A2)

This is a delightful Italian short storybook for beginners about nine great Italian historical and cultural personalities: Leonardo da Vinci and Federico Fellini, Michelangelo, and Gianni Versace. All the stories recount a real or imaginary episode in the protagonists’ lives, while also highlighting their world and their time. As icing on the cake, every chapter comes with vocabulary and grammar activities and short texts about cultural aspects. In a nutshell, one of the best short story books available on the market is not just about Italian, but about Italian history and Italian culture.

La vicina di casa (intermediate, A2/ B1)

This is a short story aimed at intermediate students. The story takes place in Piedmont, a mountainous region of Italy bordering France and Switzerland. This ebook is available on Amazon and tells the story of a young Italian writer who relocates to a picturesque village in the heart of Piedmont for a change of scenery. There, she experiences a different pace of life, makes new friends, and learns about different cultures and traditions of the territory.

Mafia, amore e polizia  (advanced beginners A2+)

A short mystery novel that combines love and crime for lower-intermediate Italian students. An insight into the Italian mafia (written in simplified Italian) stands out, especially at the end of the book. This ebook, which includes audio, uses the present simple, imperfect, and past tense. This is a fantastic story for Italian students at the lower intermediate level.


In other words – Jhumpa Lahiri (intermediate, B1)

In other words, this is an unusual book about the author’s fascination with the Italian language and the tenacity with which she pursued her goal for more than two decades, to the point where she wrote an Italian book about how and a little less about why she made this life choice. This version of the book is especially useful for English-native speakers because it includes a page-by-page English translation. The book is aimed at advanced or upper-intermediate Italian students.


Piccole storie d’Amore (intermediate, B1)

This is a short story for intermediate Italian learners. The book is made up of nine different love stories. Each story is unique and contains new and exciting vocabulary. Several different verb tenses, pronouns, and prepositions are discussed in the book. It is necessary to have a solid grasp of intermediate grammar. The audiobook is included.

Before you start, check my guide on how to learn Italian effectively with short stories

How to proactively use a short story to speak better Italian at any level



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