5 Best Movies to learn Italian: Christmas Edition! | ELLCI

The 5 Best Italian Movies to learn Italian

Christmas movies to learn italian

The 5 Best Italian Movies to learn Italian

The holiday season is the best time to watch movies to learn Italian, stay warm and prepare for Christmas!

Watching movies and going to the cinema are part of the Christmas traditions. At the end of the nineties in Italy the term “cinepanettone” spread to indicate those films with a mainly commercial vocation made specifically for Christmas programming. The term was coined in a derogatory sense by film critics in reference to panettone, the typical Christamas’ dessert.
Critics, and not only, were not particularly enthusiastic about this type of comic film characterized by a series of misunderstandings, double entendre, slapstick gags and general vulgarity.

Over time, the neologism has become commonplace, film critics have extended its meaning to other films with similar characteristics and in part it has lost its negative connotation.

Our list of Christmas movies to learn Italian, while retaining the link with the Christmas theme, draws from different genres: road movie, mystery, comedy, and a forerunner of cinepanettone.


5 Italian Christmas Movies to watch 

Vacanze d’inverno (1959)

Winter holidays

This 1959 film inspired Carlo Vanzina for his subsequent Vacanze di Natale/Christmas Holidays, a sort of progenitor of the “cinepanettone” cycle.
Already in the 1960s, Cortina d’Ampezzo, where the film takes place, became the destination of excellence for winter holidays for the skiing holiday (the so called settimana bianca/white week).
The film tells in four episodes the adventures – sentimental and grotesque – of different characters from the comic to the satirical against the backdrop of Italy’s economic boom.
A cheerful and light comedy, held together by  the couple Alberto Sordi and Vittorio De Sica, two pillars of Italian cinema.

Curiosity: Winter Holidays is also a sort of sequel to Racconti d’estate/Summer Tales, a film from the year before about 5 sentimental stories on the Ligurian Riviera. Likewise Vacanze di Natale – the first real cinepanettone of 1983 – originated from the commercial sequel to Sapore di mare of 1982.


La banda dei Babbi Natale (2010)

best movies to learn italian

The Santa Claus Gang is a comic film of the Italian comic trio composed of Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo.

In the film, they are three inseparable friends who have formed a petanque team, The Charlatans. In fact, everyone has his own problems, Aldo is a time waster, Giovanni a bigamous veterinarian and Giacomo a widower doctor who lives in the memory of his wife.

On the night of December 24, the three dressed as Santa Claus are surprised by the police in a Milan apartment where a robbery appears to have taken place. They are then taken to the police station and there they tell Commissioner Irene Bestetti the various vicissitudes that led them to that night.


Ogni maledetto Natale (2014)

best movies to learn italian

Giulia and Massimo have been dating for a short time, but Christmas is near and the two still decide to spend it together with their respective families.

Massimo hates Christmas, but out of nostalgia he joins Giulia for Christmas Eve at her family’s house in Viterbo. Thus they discover that they have two different backgrounds far from the idea they had made of each other.

The comedy is pleasant for the dialogues, surreal and crackling, and certain absurd and repetitive gags. Better in the second part.


10 giorni con Babbo Natale (2020)

10 giorni con babbo natale

Since his wife Camilla has an interview in Stockholm and the children are gradually alienating, Carlo decides to embark on a family trip by camper to reach the Swedish destination. The appointment date is December 24th and therefore the family will spend the Christmas holidays traveling.
Along the way, the Rovelli family invests and welcomes a strange guy who claims to be Santa Claus.

7 donne e un mistero (2021)

7 donne e un mistero

7 women and a mystery, is the remake of the French 8 women and a mystery, also set at Christmas.

7 women are gathered in the family villa to celebrate Christmas Eve. The only man is found dead and the women find themselves stuck in the villa…

Trying to understand who the killer is, secrets come to the surface and are forced to face situations that until then they had ignored or kept hidden.

Best movies to learn Italian

Christmas Eve in Milan