Whether you're longing for sounds from the country of your birth or just interested in adding global flavor to your music listening, Italian Internet radio stations bring the music of the peninsula to your computer. Its music is as varied and rich as anything you'll find in the world, with everything from oldies featuring the hit songs that Italians loved decades ago to modern rock.
Listen to Italian Radio Online
The following stations, based in a variety of locations around Italy, offer quality programming that is easy to access and enjoy. Although many Italian stations combine American and other Western pop artists into their mixes, the vast majority of songs are pure Italian.
- Lolliradio -- Based in Torino, this station plays Italian-only music from the '60s through to today's artists. It is broadcast in Italian but the site has English text that points you to its music player. The site is user-friendly, and you simply click "Pop-up Player" on the home page and the radio station will begin playing.
- Radio 105 -- This Italian pop station based in Milan plays a mix of Italian classics as well as popular hits from mainstream artists around the globe from the '70s and '80s. The site is mostly in English, but the radio station uses the Italian language during the broadcast. It is very easy to use, as the music begins streaming the moment you click on the link.
- Radio Citta Del Capo -- Based in Bologna, Italy, this station features Italian rock artists. For those who don't speak Italian, the site is not as user-friendly as it has no English translation and the broadcast is all Italian. However, on the home page you must:
- Look for the play button next to the word "Ascolta" to play the station.
- Once you click it, a pop up will appear asking you which player you want to use -- iTunes, RealPlayer, or Windows Media Player.
- Once you make your selection, the station will open up the player on your computer and begin playing as a track.
These extra steps are the only downside to this station.
- Radio Fiesole -- This Florence-based station features Easy Listening from Italian pop artists, and it broadcasts in Italian-only. From the home page, you must look for "Ascolta Live" that flashes above the calendar on the right side of the page. Click this, and a player pops up and begins playing the music. Some of the songs have English lyrics, which is not uncommon for Italian pop
- Radio TSN -- Based in Sondrio, Radio TSN features a mix of talk and news programming focused on local Italian issues, music, and other talk features such as "almanac of the day." It is Italian-only in both its broadcast and website, but once you load the website the station begins playing automatically without additional steps.
- RAI GR Parlamento -- One of Rome's primary Internet stations, it covers the Italian parliament and broadcasts news items about its activities with video feeds as well. To play, you click on one of the blue speaker icons under "Ultime Edizioni Giornali Radio." It will, however, require that you download Microsoft Silverlight if you're using a Mac. It is 100% Italian in both the broadcast and website.
- Abruzzo -- This fun radio station based in the Italian coastal city of Pescara plays what might be called Italian country. Their version of this genre sounds more like a mix of traditional American country with heavy doses of Italian accordion playing. From the home page, click on one of the media player icons underneath "Radio Abruzzo," and it will stream from your media player. It only broadcasts in Italian.
- RAI FD5 Auditorium -- A thriving classical station based in Rome, this station features a wide variety of classical music. Because Italy gave birth to classical music through opera, listening to this station provides an interesting glimpse into the classical music that Italians prefer. Under "Ascolta la diretta di," click the play button labeled with a "5." It will also require Microsoft Silverlight if you're using a Mac.
- Centro Suono Sport -- Based in Rome, this station covers Italian national sports teams, especially soccer . It also plays Italian, American and British pop music. To listen from the home page, click the play button under "On Air." That text is the only English, however, as it broadcasts and publishes its web content in Italian.
- RAI Web Radio 7 -- This station in Rome plays Italy's famous Neapolitan music, which is a mix of Italian folk and classical music dating back to the 1700s. From the home page, click on the play button labeled with a "7" beneath "Ascolta Live." It will need Microsoft Silverlight to work if you have a Mac.
Besides enjoying all of the wonderful music and talk programming, many of these stations feature charismatic Italian DJs whose rapid-fire but clearly articulated Italian will help you learn or brush up on the language.
A Sonic Tour of Italy
Probably the most wonderful feature about Internet radio is that it can take you thousands of miles away without you leaving your living room or office. In an instant, you can join the audience of Italians in Milan or Bologna or Rome listening to their favorite songs. Italian Internet radio is a wonderful way to expand your horizons and experience a different culture.