Between two vowels, or between a vowel and an approximant or a liquid (/l, r, j, w/), consonants can be both singleton or geminated. Geminated consonants shorten the preceding vowel (or block phonetic lengthening) and the first geminated element is unreleased. For example, compare /fato/[ˈfaːto] ('fate') with /fatto/[ˈfatto] ('fact'). However, /ɲɲ/, /ʃʃ/, /ʎʎ/, are always geminated word-internally. Similarly, nasals, liquids, and sibilants are pronounced slightly longer in medial consonant clusters.
/j/, /w/, and /z/ are the only consonants that cannot be geminated.
Dentalized laminal alveolar[t̪͡s̪, d̪͡z̪, s̪, z̪] (commonly called "dental" for simplicity), pronounced with the blade of the tongue very close to the upper front teeth, with the tip of the tongue resting behind lower front teeth.
Non-retracted apical alveolar [t͡s̺, d͡z̺, s̺, z̺]. The stop components of the "apical" affricates is actually laminal denti-alveolar.
/m/ and /n/ do not contrast before /p, b/ and /f, v/, where they are pronounced [m] and [ɱ], respectively.
In a large number of accents, /ʎ/ is a fricative [ʎ̝].
Some accents from central Italy[which?] do not have the /ʎ/ sound; instead, it is pronounced as [j], or, sometimes, [ʝ].
/r/ can be realised as a tap[ɾ] intervocalically.[ɾ] can also occur elsewhere, particularly in unstressed syllables.
The distinction between [s] and [z] is neutralized before consonants and at the beginning of words: the former is used before voiceless consonants and before vowels at the beginning of words; the latter is used before voiced consonants (meaning [z] is an allophone of /s/ before voiced consonants). It can only contrast between two vowels within a word. According to Canepari, though, the traditional standard has been replaced by a modern neutral pronunciation which always prefers /z/ when intervocalic, except when the intervocalic s is the initial sound of a word, if the compound is still felt as such: for example, presento/preˈsɛnto/ ('I foresee', with pre meaning 'before' and sento meaning 'I see') vs presento/preˈzɛnto/ ('I present'). There are many words in which dictionaries now indicate that both pronunciations with /z/ and with /s/ are acceptable. The two phonemes have merged in many regional varieties of Italian, either into /z/ (Northern-Central) or /s/ (Southern-Central).