Italian is generally considered as being an easy language to learn, at least from the phonetic point of view. The recurring sentence is “l’italiano si legge come si scrive” (Italian is read as it is written). However, this generalization is not utterly true. What we can say, it is that the Italian pronunciation is regular: you can apply rules and be able to pronounce every word correctly. This is a big difference in comparison to English, where practice rather than following rules is the key to learning the right pronunciation.
Nonetheless, there are sounds usually regarded as being more difficult to master. One of those is the /r/. English speakers find it difficult to roll it. You can test your /r/ with these famous tongue twisters:
Tre tigri contro tre tigri.
Trentatré trentini entrarono a Trento, tutti e trentatré trotterellando.
Sopra la panca la capra campa, sotto la panca la capra crepa.
Consonant clusters are another source of difficulties in pronunciation.
For example, the cluster spelled “gli” that you can find in words such “figlio”. Try saying this aloud:
Se il coniglio gli agli piglia, togligli gli agli e tagliagli gli artigli.
And one last tongue twister to practice your Italian pronunciation:
Apelle, figlio di Apollo, fece una palla di pelle di pollo. Tutti i pesci vennero a galla a mangiare la palla di pelle di pollo fatta da Apelle, figlio di Apollo.
What Italian sounds do you find most difficult to pronounce? Let me know in the comments below!