It is possible to find on the Internet a great deal of short stories written in Italian by Italians. The advantage of a story compared with a book, is brevity and therefore an immediate satisfaction for your understanding.
This is the best system to decide whether a story is suitable for you:
If you think you've got less, no problem. It is not time for you to read that text yet. In a while, when you gain more reading experience, it will be different. Try again after a few weeks and perhaps you will find that that story that made you suffer so much is not really that difficult.
Our advice is to read the same page 3 or 4 times quickly and look up no more than 7 words you do not understand in the dictionary. This is an effective and inexpensive (in time) technique that we have developed at Dilit, with appropriate modifications, taken from journalism.
To read a page, 10 minutes or so should do and then you move on to the next page. Thus the ratio between the time spent reading and the general understanding, is high. If satisfaction grows, confidence in your skills grows as well.
Caution: Do not expect to understand all the words. It leads to stress and frustration. Your goal is general understanding.
And now ... just read! Try it to believe it.