30 Minute Italian



Boost your confidence in speaking Italian in 30 minutes or less with the 30 Minute Italian Podcast. We cover expressions, sometimes sexy grammar, and culture through personal travel stories and detailed examples.


  • Dinner Conversation

    03/02/2019 Duration: 18min

    1.) Qual è il tuo piatto preferito? - What’s your favorite Italian dish? 2.) Cosa prendi? - What are you getting? 3.) Che tipo di vino è? - What type of wine is this? 4.) Non ci sono mai stato/a! - I’ve never been here before. 5.) Come si chiama quel ristorante? - What’s the name of this restaurant? 6.) Prepari i piatti italiani a casa? - Do you make Italian food at home? 7.) Cos’hai fatto oggi? - What did you do today? 8.) Cosa faremo domani? - What are we doing tomorrow? 9.) Brindiamo! - Let’s cheers! 10.) A cosa brindiamo? - What are we toasting to? 11.) Mamma mia questa è la cosa più buona che abbia mai assaggiato in vita mia! - My goodness, this is the best thing that I’ve ever tasted in my life! 12.) Credo proprio che questo diventerà il mio ristorante preferito… - I really think this will become my favorite restaurant… 13.) Cosa hai comprato al mercato? - What did you buy at the market? 14.) Sei andato/a a quale museo? - Which museum did you go to? 15.) Ho comprato (questa borsa) al mercato centrale. -

  • (Native Italian Recording) Making Plans

    31/01/2019 Duration: 05min

    Ciao mia cara, Come stai? È veramente un sacco che non ci sentiamo. Senti, mi sei venuta in mente perché ho sentito che hanno aperto un nuovo locale che sembra molto carino vicino Piazza della Repubblica e che stanno facendo degli aperitivi promozionali. Insomma si prende un drink, si mangia qualcosa, e costa sette euro ma mi hanno detto che il cibo è molto buono. Allora mi domandavo se per caso eri disponibile per andare insieme a provare questo nuovo posto. Così nell’occasione facciamo due chiacchiere e mi aggiorni un po’ sulla tua vita perché veramente è passato troppo tempo e non ci siamo più sentite. Anch’io ho sacco di cose da raccontarti - Ho cambiato casa, ho fatto delle modifiche sul mio lavoro. Insomma ci sono tante novità però te le vorrei raccontare faccia a faccia perché di fronte a uno spritz si parla sempre meglio, no? E quindi… questa è la mia proposta, io sono abbastanza flessibile in questi giorni, quindi fammi sapere tu come sei messa. D’accordo? Un bacio. To learn more about Beatrice and

  • Sexy Phrases to Seduce Your Italian Lover

    28/01/2019 Duration: 11min

    While I firmly believe that we should infuse romance and lots of pepper -- as the Italians say -- into our love lives every day, it’s not so bad that we have one day a year to do something a bit more special. (Plus, I like getting chocolate, so I won’t be the first to complain about the commercialization of love.) In another article, one of our contributing writers, Hannah, shared romantic Italian words and phrases with you. Then, I gave you some pointers on what to say in the bedroom (in the classiest way, of course). We’ve talked about what to say on the first date (and what to say when you don’t want to go on a date at all). We’ve even covered what it’s like to date an Italian -- both from the perspective of non-Italians and native ones. All in all, we’ve really done a thorough job of covering love. But, love being how it is, there is always more to say about it. So, this time around, we (that is, Rachel, Carlotta & I) thought we would make this list a little steamier. The phrases below are divid

  • False Friends in Italian

    28/01/2019 Duration: 10min

    Ripetere does indeed mean to repeat. Avocado means avocado. There have been many a time where I’ve guessed a word relying solely on English and have added an Italian ending… and I’ve been right. And there have been many other times where I’ve guessed based solely on my English and have been very, sometimes embarrassingly, wrong. I’m guessing I’m not the only one. That’s why I thought it could be interesting to put together an episode of some of the most common false friends in Italian - the words that seem friendly because they’re so close to English but then turn around and trick you. 1.) Ultimamente - Recently, lately - I thought it meant ‘ultimately’, ALLA FINE 2.) Camera - Room - Not photography camera, macchina fotografica 3.) Casino - mess - Not casino where you gamble 4.) Preservativo - Condom - NOT a preservative (conservante) in foods or like jam (marmellata) 5.) Attualmente - now, currently - NOT actually, in realtà 6.) Le terme - thermal baths - NOT school term 7.) I parenti - relatives - NOT paren

  • Italian Insults That Will Make You Laugh Out Loud

    27/01/2019 Duration: 13min

    There is something so satisfying about learning swear words in another language. That’s why so many new language learners rush to ask native speakers how to say things like, “f*** you” and “you’re an idiot.” After Rachel wrote this article with 8 swear words to add sass to your Italian vocabulary, we thought it would only be fair to follow up with another list of insults. They range from affectionately rude (like to tease your friends) all the way to when you’re really angry, or when you’re incazzato nero (totally pissed off). Some basic vocab for you: -- Gli insulti - Insults -- Insultare - To insult Affectionately rude -- Sei pazzo(a)? - Are you crazy? -- Sei diventato pazzo(a)? - Have you gone crazy? -- Sei impazzito(a)? - Have you gone insane? -- Ci sei cascato come una pirla! - You fell for it like a stupid person! If there’s an “a” in parentheses, it means that this adjective can be masculine or feminine. Remember that adjectives also change in number in Italian. If you’re unfamiliar with this grammar c

  • Phrases to Order Pizza and Gelato in Italian

    17/01/2019 Duration: 20min

    Ordering Pizza I really like pasta (cacio e pepe is my favorite), gelato (fragola, every day all day), and cheese (pecorino forever and ever), but pizza? I love pizza. For the first few weeks that I lived in Rome, the only people I knew were the ones who sold pizza. (If you’re ever in Monteverde in Rome, my favorite pizza al taglio shop is the one on Viale Villa Pamphili.) For those of you who aren’t familiar with a pizza al taglio shop, it’s basically a place where they make large sheets of varieties of pizza and when you walk in, they cut a piece off for you, hence the “al taglio” part. They also have delicious fried things like arancini, supplì and depending on the location, roasted chicken and potatoes.r To help you navigate this experience with more ease and confidence, here are some phrases to know. -- C’è qualcosa con... (il pesto)? - Is there something with (pesto)? -- Vorrei / Prendo un pezzetto di quella con il prosciutto. - I would like / I’ll talk a little piece of that one with the prosciutto. --

  • 2 Must-Know Connector Words in Italian - Poi and Cosi

    13/01/2019 Duration: 08min

    I’m back to talk to you all about how to use the Italian words “poi” and “così.” I would describe both of these as “connector words,” or words that you use to easily and fluidly connect two sentence pieces together. Let’s start with “poi.” ROUND #1: POI Popular definitions of “poi,” as defined by WordReference & Context Reverso, are: -- Then -- After -- Furthermore -- Additionally -- Later (on) / Afterwards -- Next -- Plus And, of course, here are some examples to help you get a better idea of how you’ll use it in conversation. WAY #1: Then -- E poi, mi ha baciato. - And then, he kissed me. -- Prima sono andato in Italia, e poi sono venuto in Grecia. - First I went to Italy and then I came to Greece. WAY #2: Next / Plus / Furthermore / Additionally -- ...poi penso che dovremmo andare in Toscana. Che ne pensi? - Next I think we should go to Tuscany. What do you think? -- E poi, Gal Gadot è un’attrice incredibile. Per questo penso che il film era magnifico. - And plus, Gal Gadot is an incredible actress. Th

  • Compliments to Give in Italian

    10/01/2019 Duration: 16min

    How do you “fare complimenti” to a person in Italian -- whether it’s for how good they look, what they’re wearing, their language skills, or just to be polite and show your appreciation? APPEARANCE -- Sei in gran forma! - You're in great shape! -- Quanto sei bello/a. - You’re so handsome/beautiful. -- Ti vedo bene. – You look good. -- Ha un bell'aspetto. - He looks good. -- Hai un bell'aspetto, sei in ottima forma, e sei intelligente. Sei il pacchetto completo! - You have good looks, you're in excellent shape, and you're smart. You're the complete package! -- L'hai visto? È bellissimo, no? - Did you see him? He's really gorgeous, right? -- Sei molto raffinata nei movimenti. - You’re really delicate in your movements. -- Emma è la classica ragazza acqua e sapone, ha davvero un bel viso anche senza trucco. - Emma is the classical natural beauty, she has a really nice face even without make up! -- Marco mi incanta quando parla, è così colto! - Marco fascinates me when he talks, he’s so cultured! -- Giulia è la p

  • How to Shop at a Market in Italy

    03/01/2019 Duration: 13min

    Rachel and I walked behind Giacomo, Mary, and Hannah as we snaked our way through the Sant'Ambrogio market in Florence. Giacomo, our cooking teacher and chef, was leading us to a vegetable stall to buy ingredients for the meal we were going to make that afternoon. Deep, red radishes and green lettuce covered with droplets of water stood on display with signs displaying il prezzo, l’origine, la varietà, and la categoria. I watched him pick up cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions, placing each in their own brown bag before handing them to the fruttivendolo. If you’re in Italy, I’m 110% sure that you’re going to run into some kind of open market, whether that’s inside or outside. And when you do (hopefully when you’re on our Not Your Typical Tourist Language Immersion Retreat), what are you supposed to say and do so you get what you want and avoid making una brutta figura? Here’s a quick guide on vocabulary, phrases to know and the etiquette to follow. Basic Market Vocabulary First, there are a handful of different t

  • Italian Word Speed Date: Tanto

    27/12/2018 Duration: 14min

    ITALIAN Rachel: Hai bisogno di qualcosa dal supermercato? Carlotta: No, no, dai, non ti preoccupare. Rachel: Macché! Tanto, oggi vado al supermercato comunque. Have you ever heard an expression like the one above that starts with “tanto?” You might already know that “tanto” means “a lot” but obviously in this case, that translation doesn’t make much sense. I hear all the time that this sentence structure is confusing! So what does “tanto” mean when used this way? It’s simple, so let me demystify it for you. In this example, “tanto” is used a bit like, “really,” “anyways,” or “as” in English. So for example, in the previous dialogue, the conversation might have looked something like this: ENGLISH Rachel: Do you need something from the supermarket? Carlotta: No, no, come on, don’t worry about it. Rachel: Nonsense! Really, I was going to the supermarket today regardless. Other Examples of “Tanto” 1.) Non abbiamo fretta, tanto andiamo in macchina ci metteremo al massimo 5 minuti. 2.) Tanto anche se piangi non ot

  • Did You Know You Could Use 'Sentire' and 'Trovare' In These Ways?

    20/12/2018 Duration: 20min

    // SENTIRE WordReference lists it as meaning: — To taste — To feel — To hear — To smell And you might be confused because you know that “ascoltare” can mean “to hear / to listen,” too. Verbs in Italian can have so many different meanings, so the entire goal of this article is to help you identify which ones you have to know in order to have fluid + enjoyable conversations in Italian. Ways to Use the Verb “Sentire” Here are examples and explanations for each of the definitions. To taste — Hai sentito? Io lo adoro!! – Did you taste it? I adore it!! (The above line is a snippet from a dialogue at an olive oil tasting. Check it out here.) — Fammi sentire quel cocktail. – Let me taste that cocktail. What’s the difference between “sentire” and “assaggiare – to sample / to taste” in this sense? There’s no difference! They’re perfect synonyms. YAY for simplicity. To feel — Hai sentito quel terremoto ieri mattina? – Did you feel the earthquake yesterday morning? — Sento la mancanza dell’Italia.* – I miss Italy. — Sent

  • Figuring Out Verbs Like Andarsene, Volerci, Avercela, and Entrarci

    16/12/2018 Duration: 22min

    In Italian, a pronominal verb is basically a verb mixed with pronouns. Pronominal verbs look similar to verbs you already know, making it a little bit easier to take a guess at their meaning. We’re all familiar with the Italian verb ‘andare,’ meaning ‘to go’. The pronominal verb that looks similar to andare is andarsene. You can guess by how it looks that andarsene probably has something to do with going somewhere. Andarsene means ‘to go away somewhere’. Pronominal verbs often end in –sene. The ‘se’ is actually the pronoun ‘si,’ but it changes to ‘se’ because it is preceding another pronoun. The pronoun it is preceding in this case is ‘ne,’ which is called a pronominal particle. The ‘ne’ often refers to something or somewhere. In the case of andarsene, it relates to somewhere. Here are some other pronominal verbs that end in –sene: – pentirsene – to regret something – fregarsene – to not care (only used colloquially) about something   Besides –sene, pronominal verbs can have other endings too. They can end in

  • Useful Phrases to Say When You Freeze and Forget How to Speak Italian

    13/12/2018 Duration: 16min

    What do you say when you freeze and forget how to speak Italian? Don't worry -- it happens! Here are some useful phrases to try. For more resources visit: http://iceberg.co/italian Special thanks to The Creative Impostor Studios for producing this show, to Patreon supporters for helping fund the show, and to the lovely Timarie Harrison for putting all of the pieces together. It takes a village. Like the podcast? Leave a review in Apple Podcasts! If you like the podcast, I would appreciate it a TON if you left a review. You can hit a star rating in your Podcasts app on your iPhone or go to the iTunes store and click Leave a Review on the show page.

  • How to Buy Cheese in Italy

    09/12/2018 Duration: 14min

    Much like in the US, you can buy cheese at the deli counter. Near the deli there is usually some already pre-packaged and pre-weighed cheeses for you to browse as well. Personally, I like my cheese fresh cut, so I recommend going to the deli versus buying it pre-packaged. Alternatively you can get cheese from a caseificio, which is a shop that specializes in dairy products. These shops are usually close to the farm where the sheep / cows are bred. — Vorrei… – I would like… Parmigiano Reggiano 24 mesi (DOP): This is the good stuff. You can grate it or eat it; it’s good on or with just about every primo or secondo. — Poi? – Anything else? Hint: Rachel prefers 24 months to 12 months aged… the 24 months aging time makes it not too hard, and not too soft, but you can find both younger and older. Carlotta says that the 36 months is the best but to be prepared for a veeeery high cost! — Basta. – That’s enough. Pecorino (Romano, Toscano, Sardo) DOP: Pecorino is a sheep’s milk cheese. I prefer the Sardo version slight

  • Italian Word Speed Date: Altrimenti

    06/12/2018 Duration: 08min

    I don’t know why, but I love the word “altrimenti”. It might be the way it rolls off the tongue or the elegant way it connects phrases together, but I’m off on a language-nerd tangent now. The point is that today we are learning how to use the word “altrimenti” in Italian. (Seriously, say it loud now. Shivers. Kind of like “la schiuma del cappuccino”.) “Altrimenti” can be defined as: Otherwise Or else If not Here are some examples to give you an idea of how you can use it: Non lavorare troppo, altrimenti ti esaurisci/viene un esaurimento. - Don’t work too hard, otherwise you’ll burn out. Se pensi altrimenti, dimmi. - If you think otherwise, tell me. A: Perché hai imparato l’Italiano al liceo? - Why did you learn Italian in high school? B: Perché altrimenti avrei dovuto imparare lo spagnolo e già riuscivo a parlarlo. - Because otherwise I would have had to learn Spanish and I already spoke it. Devo imparare il mandarino, altrimenti non riuscirò a comunicare con la mia famiglia quando starò a Taiwan. - I have

  • CULTURE - What's it like to be an American living in Florence?

    06/12/2018 Duration: 21min

    In episode 208 of the 30 Minute Italian Podcast, Rachel and I talk about what Christmas holiday is coming up in Florence and the reality of being a foreigner - an American - in Italy. We answer questions like - What’s it like to... Pay bills in Italy? Be far away from friends in Italy? Make Italian friends? Buy a house in Italy? Vocabulary Mentioned: L'Immacolata Concezione - Immaculate Conception Il vin brûlé - Mulled wine Mercatini di Natale - Christmas markets Links Mentioned: 20 Ways to Make Your Holiday Season More Italian What It’s Like to Move Houses in Italy Managing Expectations in Italy Not Your Typical Tourist Retreat - June 2019 For more resources visit: http://iceberg.co/italian Special thanks to The Creative Impostor Studios for producing this show, to Patreon supporters for helping fund the show, and to the lovely Timarie Harrison for putting all of the pieces together. It takes a village. Like the podcast? Leave a review in Apple Podcasts! If you like the podcast, I would appreciate it

  • 9 Phrases to Say "That's Delicious!" in Italian

    29/11/2018 Duration: 16min

    1 ) Mamma mia, questa (schiacciata) è puro piacere!!! - My goodness, this (schiacciata) is pure pleasure!!! 2) Giulia: Sentirai che bontà… - You’ll see how good it is! You: Olio nuovo? Non l’ho mai sentito dire… – New oil? I’ve never tried it/heard of it. 3) Adoro il sapore dell’olio appena spremuto, mi ricorda l’infanz ia! – I love the freshly pressed oil taste, it reminds me of childhood! 4)  Mmm…è buono. – Mmm…it’s good. 5) La tua cucina è davvero buona. – Your cooking is really good. 6) Cucini davvero bene. – You cook really good. 7) È buonissimo. EH bwuon-EES-see-moh It’s so good! ‘buono’ is an adjective (aggettivo) which says something about a noun; ‘bene’ is an adverb (avverbio) which says something about a verb. Both ‘avverbio’ and ‘adverb’ come from the Latin ‘adverbium’ which literally means ‘in relation to the verb’. Regina Coeli? La torta - The cake -->  È buonissima! Il sushi - The sushi --> È buonissimo! I frutti di mare - The seafood --> Sono buonissimi! Le lasagne - The lasagna --> Sono buo

  • 10 Italian Phrases to Use When You’re Busy or Running Late

    25/11/2018 Duration: 11min

    I don’t know about you, but recently I have been feeling pretty filled to the brim with tasks to do, and that reminded me of all of the things I say in Italian to tell others that I have a lot on my plate. I’m sure many of you are in the same boat, and so I thought I would share my favorite expressions with you. 1) Ho una miriade di cose da fare. - I have a lot of things to do. 2) Ho una marea di lavoro da svolgere. - I have a tide (a load) of work to carry out. 3) Ho un sacco di cose da fare. - I have a sack of things to do./I have a lot on my plate. 4) Sono impegnato/a - impegnatissimo/a. - I’m really busy. 5) Sono sommerso/a dal lavoro! - I’m overwhelmed by work! 6) Sono in ritardo! - I’m late! 7) Scusi, possiamo parlare dopo? Sono di fretta. - Sorry, can we chat later? I’m in a rush. 8) Vado di fretta. - I’m in a rush. 9) Il tempo è volato! Scusi, devo scappare o farò tardi! - The time flew by! Sorry, I gotta’ run or I’ll be late! If you’re saying this to a friend, use “scusami - sorry” instead of the for

  • Italian Word Speed Date: Mica

    22/11/2018 Duration: 12min

    If I had to choose a few words that I’m asked about all the time in Italian, ones like “proprio” and “magari” would surely be up there, but the one I hear about being difficult constantly is “mica”. In fact, it’s such a difficult word that I was still fuzzy on how to use it as I wrote this lesson. I had to get lots of help from our lovely in-house native Italian editor, Carlotta. Despite that, we’ve done our best to drill “mica” -- a word that’s used informally in everyday spoken conversation -- down to its simplest usages. Buono studio! Definitions: Not at all/not one bit Surely Not even Not in the least By any chance Overall, know that it's used in order to strengthen the negative meaning of a sentence. POPULAR EXPRESSION #1: Mica Male “Mica male” can best be translated as “not bad”, as in: Questo gelato non è mica male! - This gelato is not bad at all! (in the sense of, “this gelato is quite good”.) Mica male quella ragazza! - Look at that girl, not bad, right? Mica male questo libro. - This book isn't

  • What’s It Like to Be Pregnant in Italy?

    18/11/2018 Duration: 18min

    Rachel and I talk about what others have been talking about from the news a lot in Italy, what holiday just passed in Florence, and what it's like to be pregnant in Italy. We answer questions like 'What's the difference in Italy and America between': Maternity leave? Preferential treatment? Doctor's appointments? Parties/planned events? Gifts? Vocabulary Mentioned: Fare il ponte - Make a long weekend (Literally: Make a bridge) Ho fatto il ponte. - I made a long weekend with the holiday. L'ecografia - Sonogram La portafortuna - A good luck charm in reference to the first nightie the baby will wear usually made of silk/cotton. Links Mentioned: What Is Il Giorni dei Morti in Italia (and Why Is It Important?) How Rachel Made Her Dream of Living in Florence a Reality Tutti i meme del compleanno di Fedez al supermercato   Resources & more at... http://icebergproject.co/italian   Like the podcast? Leave a review in Apple Podcasts! If you like the podcast, I would appreciate it a TON if you left a re

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