The three best newspapers to help you learn Italian
Keeping up to date with the news is one of the best ways you can truly absorb a language. You get to know what people are speaking about in that language today, learn colloquialisms and slang, and pick up a range of ways people express themselves when sharing the news. The internet has given us access to news from all over the world, so why not use that to your advantage? Here are some of the best newspapers to help you learn Italian.
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One of the largest newspapers published in Italy, La Repubblica is a daily general-interest newspaper with a center-left political stance. The home page feels a little chaotic at first glance, but don't let that put you off! Navigate through the politica (politics), economica (economics), esteri (foreign), and cronaca (chronicle) headings if you can't decide what to look for. Further down the page you will find three 'suggested' articles under il commento (the commentary), il caso (the case), or il punto (the point). These could lead you to all sorts of interesting articles, like this opinion piece on the Italian national airline Alitalia, or this critique of how governments are run.
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If the front page of La Repubblica still feels a little intimidating, scroll down without looking at any of the titles and instead look at the articles with images; these will give you the gist of what the articles are about. As examples, a quick scroll might lead you to a story on Elton John, or a hacking risk with Whatsapp. La Repubblica articles are generally an easy standard of writing that anyone at least at pre-intermediate level will benefit from using as an Italian learning resource.
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The thought of a full-on newspaper still a little daunting to you? Why not go for something more familiar! Metro newspapers we know from many countries in the world as a free newspaper often found in or near public transport. Italy's Metro is no different, and covers typically the same kind of news. Though it does manage to at least look like something other than the scandal sheet we have in the UK! To the top of the page you have several pages to navigate to specific sections for: news and sport are easily marked in English, and as well as these you have spettacoli (shows), opinioni (opinions), and animali (animals), among others.
The home page is dominated by a photograph of the biggest current news story, and to the right is a 'ticker-tape' of other latest news. You might find an article on a migrant rescue, or investment news from Taranto if you watch what the ticker has to offer. Metro is a great first Italian newspaper for learners because of the simple way it is laid out, and also because its writing style is more basic. So while La Repubblica might technically have a better standard of journalism, Metro feels more welcoming and easier to navigate.
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Corriere della Sera
Corriere della Sera is another of Italy's most popular daily newspapers, with a mixed history in its political leanings. It has a good balance between the above newspapers since it isn't dominated by either headlines or imagery. You can find local editions from all over Italy at the top of the page under edizioni locali; click on the arrow to choose your region. You will also find CorriereTV in the same information bar - a video of which plays to the right of the home page if you want something to watch before you read. In fact, all of the sections of Corriere della Sera are 'hidden' by a dropdown button. Click on the arrow beside sezioni - sections - to navigate where you want to go.
If you want to get a glimpse of what is happening in Italy, go to temi caldi di oggi - or today's hot topics - to find what is happening around the country. The Il Caffè is a great, almost casual read, perhaps one to head to first if you want to ease your way into Italian newspaper reading. To give you an idea of the style, try this article on comedian Ezio Greggio. From a learner's perspective, this newspaper has a lot to offer that will stretch your understanding of Italian without leaving you feeling overwhelmed.
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