If you’re in the process of learning Italian, you might need a little break from your grammar book, and we can hardly blame you. We can blame you a little though.
Learning Italian through music will not only unlock your inner maestro, but will also help you decipher typical Italian speech. Remember that once you play that track, lyrics will most likely stick in your mind, and you’ll learn new vocabulary words and idiomatic expressions. By jamming out to some banging Italian tunes, you’ll also improve your oral comprehension (and written skills if you are considering writing the lyrics in your Italian dream journal) and learn about Italy and Italian culture with minimum effort.
Check out this groundbreaking list of 5 Italian tunes to play fortissimo and even wake up a bambino or two. These are just like Nonna used to sing. Note: these are also featured in our online Italian course Saga Baldoria.
Sarà perché ti amo, Ricchi e Poveri (1981)
We begin this list with one most famous Italian pop songs of all time: Sarà perché ti amo (1981) by Ricchi e Poveri.
The group, made up of Angelo Sotgiu (1946-), Franco Gatti (1942-) and Angela Brambati (1947-), performed it at the Festival di Sanremo, and is now their best-known song, exceeding all expectations. Not only did it become the best-selling single in Italy, but it also made the group known internationally.
Pro tip: This 3-minute feel-good record will get you acquainted with the Italian imperative and conditional mode. If you find you’re having trouble grasping some of the vocabulary, you can read a translation of the lyrics.
Did you know? The song was also covered in Spanish by Mexican singer Thalía as Será porque te amo and became a hit in Latin America.
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Grazie Roma, Antonello Venditti (1983)
The moving song Grazie Roma (1983) was performed by Antonello Venditti (1949-). Considered one of the most important singers from the “Roman School”, Venditti’s works focused on love songs and social issues. Grazie Roma is played in Stadio Olimpico at the end of every official game won by A.S. Roma.
Some of Venditti’s other famous songs include Roma Capoccia, a loving tribute to his city, and Notte prima degli esami (literally: The night before the test), a phenomenon dreaded by every person facing exams.
Pro tip: Listening to this anthem will make you want to get on the next flight to the City of Seven Hills, but is there even an airport on those hills? Seems dangerous. In any case, the song provides useful insight on how to say “thank you” in Italian (grazie).
Soldi, Mahmood (2019)
The song Soldi is sung by Milan-born singer-songwriter Alessandro Mahmoud, who goes by the stage name Mahmood (1992-). He won the Sanremo Music Festival and came second in the Eurovision Song Contest.
The lyrics of Soldi include a line in Arabic, one of the singer’s few childhood memories. His father is Egyptian and his mother is Sardinian. The song is autobiographical and tells the story of a father who pays little attention to his son’s needs beyond questions of money.
Pro tip: We would recommend this anthem to advanced learners of Italian, as the lyrics are fast-paced – but that doesn’t make the song any less catchy.
La Solitudine, Laura Pausini (1993)
La Solitudine (1993) is sung by Laura Pausini (1974-). It was her entry into the Sanremo Music Festival and launched her successful career both in Italy and abroad. The song was popular in Europe, Latin America and the United States.
La Solitudine (Loneliness) is an autobiographical song that tells the story of Pausini’s first love, her boyfriend of the time.
Pro tip: As far as the level of Italian is concerned, the ballad is easy to follow and Pausini’s slow cadence will make you want to listen to more of her anthems. However, some parts might be difficult to follow, an English translation of her lyrics may be appropriate at first. Also emotionally you will be a trainwreck.
Did you know? La Solitudine became such a resounding success that the singer decided to adapt it into Spanish a year later under the title La Soledad.
Ti amo, Umberto Tozzi (1977)
The song Ti amo (1977) was recorded by Italian singer-songwriter Umberto Tozzi (1952-).
With 80 million record sales to his credit, Tozzi is one of Italy’s best-selling artists. His single Gloria (1979), was one of the most successful Italian songs released worldwide. Both Ti amo and Gloria were covered in English by Laura Branigan.
Pro tip: The lyrics of the song offer language learners a useful lesson on love and relationships with terms such as cuore, amore, abbracciare and more. To understand the ins and outs of what Tozzi is talking about, try listening to the lyrics in front of you.
Today’s clips are also featured in the “Dessert” section of our online Italian course Saga Baldoria. Each lesson contains an authentic sample of Italian culture to finish off your daily exercises in style. These include excerpts from cinema, series, songs, and more.
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