This paper is a condensed presentation of the phonetics and phonology of Standard Italian, compared to the most prestigious local accents, viz. those of Florence, Milan and Rome. Historically based on the Florentine pronunciation, and traditionally identified with it, Standard Italian is nowadays used by trained speakers such as stage actors and (but less and less so) radio and TV speakers. The present paper aims at depicting the most salient features of Standard Italian, still a matter of primary reference in language courses, comparing them with the characteristic features of the three most prominent local varieties, with which the foreign learner is most likely to be confronted. All traditional (and sometimes widely debated) issues of Italian phonetics/phonology are addressed in the most ecumenical setting possible.