Learn Italian watching Italian TV Shows
If you are learning Italian and you want to get familiar with the Italian language, start watching Italian TV shows!
Who doesn’t enjoy relaxing in front of the TV and watching something entertaining? It may seem like a lazy thing to do, but what if you switch to an Italian TV Show? Now you are adding an exercise for your brain! In fact, one of the easiest ways to be immersed in the Italian language and culture is by watching an Italian TV Shows!
By trying to understand the dialogues, recalling what specific words mean, learning words by the context, and hearing new and everyday expressions you can build up your vocabulary and acquire a sense of the language.
But where can you watch Italian TV Shows? In this article, I am going to tell you exactly where and what to watch.
Where can I watch Italian TV shows?
Even though you won’t get access to all of the Italian TV Shows, Netflix or Amazon Prime Video still offer a lot of Italian series and movies here in the US. In addition you can use subtitles in both English and Italian, which can help if you are learning Italian.
If you are looking for TV Shows Italians watch nationwide, the main tv broadcasting companies in Italy are Rai and Mediaset, who offer live or on demand content for free on RaiPlay and on MediasetPlay.
You’d also be surprised to know how many Italian TV Shows are available in full or partially on Youtube.
If you really are into Italian television and TV Shows you may be interested in getting a trusted vpn to get access to every content Italians watch.
What Italian TV Shows can I watch?
Here below I made a list of 30 Italian TV Shows you can watch right now. I included TV series, documentaries, talk shows, cooking shows, reality shows, game shows, sitcoms and even a soap opera!
Let’s discover them together.
Italian TV series
Thanks to the fact that there are many episodes and a story to follow, Italian TV series are a good way to encourage a person to learn Italian. Here below I’ve listed some for you.
1. La Fuoriclasse
La Fuoriclasse is an Italian TV Shows about the life of a teacher of Literature and Latin in an Italian High School in Turin. The Show links together teachers’ and students’ lives.
Watch it here on Rai Play.
2. Detective De Luca
Il Commissario De Luca takes place in Bologna in between 1938 and 1948 and it’s one of the best Italian TV Shows of the period. It is an exciting detective story that sees a faithful historical reconstruction of Italy of that time.
You can watch it on Amazon Prime here.
The Italian TV Show Curon is a supernatural drama that sees two teenage twins, Daria and Mauro, discovering some mysterious family secrets. It takes place in the beautiful landscape of Curon, a town in the Italian region Trentino Alto Adige, known for its submerged bell tower.
Watch it on Netflix.
4. Romanzo criminale
Another Italian TV Show worth to see is Criminal Novel, based on real crimes of the banda della Magliana, a criminal organization active in Rome in the Seventies.
Watch it on Prime video
5. Genitori vs figli
Parents versus children is an IItalian TV Show about the relationship between parents and their children.
You can watch it on Rai Play.
6. Ordinary Heroes
The original title in Italian is “Liberi Sognatori” which means “Free Dreamers”, but it was translated into “Ordinary Heroes”.
This Italian TV Show is a documentary on the true stories of three Italian citizens who stand up for their rights:
Libero Grassi, an Italian businessman passed into Italian history, because he announced publicly in newspapers and tv that he wasn’t willing to pay the pizzo (protection money) to the mafia.
Renata Fonte, the first Italian woman to become a culture assessor, whose murder was probably ordered by Antonio Spagnolo who took her place afterwards.
You can watch the three 90 minutes episodes of this fantastic Italian TV Show on Netflix.
7. Suburra: Blood on Rome
Suburra is an Italian TV Show based on the Mafia Capitale investigation. The series takes place in Rome and it shows the rotten part of Italian society, the corruption and the relationship between organized crime, the church and politicians. It is a prequel of the homonym Italian movie Suburra. The name comes from the ancient lower class area of Rome that was notorious as a pleasure district.
As you can get from the title it can get wild and violent.
You can watch the 2 seasons and 18 episodes on Netflix.
8. The Trial
The trial or Il processo is an Italian TV Show in which a public prosecutor and a criminal lawyer clash in court to shed light on a homicide.
The language is slightly more formal since the series takes place mostly in a courthouse.
You can enjoy the 8 episodes of the first season on Netflix.
Baby is an Italian TV Show loosely based on the baby squillo scandal, that is an underage prostitution ring in Rome. A “squillo” is infact a prostitute.
The main characters are Chiara and Ludovica, two students of a private school for rich people in the wealthy Parioli district of Rome. The two girls start to work as escorts for money and to escape the boredness of their lives.
You can watch the 2 seasons of the Italian Show Baby on Netflix.
The Italian tv serie Summertime takes place in Cesenatico during the Summer, as you may have foresaw from the title. Summer is also the main character’s name. She actually hates Summer and, instead of having fun like all her friends do, decides to work in a hotel where she meets Ale. That’s the beginning of a modern love story.
11. Luna nera
Luna Nera, Black Moon in English, is an historical and fantasy Italian TV show that takes place in 17th century Italy when witches used to be hunted and persecuted. The Italian show rotates around a group of women accused of witchery.
12. My brilliant friend
L’amica geniale is a very successful Italian TV show based on the novels of the Italian writer Elena Ferrante: the story focuses on the special friendship between two young girls in 1950s Naples. At that time the regional Italian languages were still much more used than Italian, therefore you will hear some Neapolitan.
13. Un medico in famiglia
Un medico in famiglia (A doctor in the family) is an Italian TV series started in 1998 and still ongoing! It rotates on the everyday life of the Martini family, composed by Lele, a widow doctor, his three children, nonno Libero and Cettina, the nanny.
Watch it here on RaiPlay.
14. Come diventare popolari a scuola
How to become popular at school it’s an Italian TV series in 10 episodes about a teenager, Umberto Mieli, who wants to be noticed in school using all kinds of strategies, rarely successful.
You can watch it on RayPlay here.
Soap operas in Italian
Soap operas appear to be one of the best Italian TV Shows to learn a language, since they present more or less the same people, situations and talk with more emphasis. The best Italian Soap opera that you cannot miss is:
15. Un posto al sole
It’s one of the most popular Italian style soap operas broadcasting almost everyday since 1996.
You can find more than 5600 episodes of it! Impossible to catch up, but you can start watching some episodes on RayPlay.
Sitcoms in Italian
Unlike series, sitcoms are shorter and make humor about everyday situations. For this reason, it is necessary to have a good understanding of the Italian language to get some jokes. But, you can always test yourself and see how much you can get with the following sitcoms.
16. Love Bugs
Love Bugs is an Italian sitcom made of short funny sketches about the everyday life of an Italian couple. There are three seasons on Youtube; the episodes are non sequential so you can always look for more by typing Love Bugs 1, 2 or 3 on Youtube.
17. Camera Cafè
Camera Cafè is an Italian sitcom that takes place in front of a coffee machine in the relaxation room of an office. The humor of the Show is mainly based on misunderstandings between the main characters Luca Bizzarri and Paolo Bitta and the other colleagues.
Documentaries in Italian
In general, documentaries are known as an educational tool, so even better if you watch them in Italian! Here, I listed some documentaries on different topics.
18. Storia delle nostre città
Story of our cities is the Italian TV Show you want to watch to start traveling with your mind to some of the most beautiful Italian cities. The episodes are about the history of some of the most beautiful Italian cities such as Genoa, Asti, Cosenza, Arezzo, Perugia and Agrigento. It was broadcasted by Rai Storia, you can watch it here on RayPlay to start dreaming about your Italian holiday. You may also find some episodes on Youtube.
19. First team: Juventus
If you like calcio (Italian football) then you will enjoy watching this Italian Show about the football team Juventus, most commonly called Juve by Italians.
You can watch this docu-series of 6 episodes on Netflix.
20. Caro marziano
If you are up to watching something short and interesting in Italian, Caro Marziano (Dear Martian) is the Italian TV Show for you. It’s a sort of documentary of 38 episodes of 15 minutes each presented by Pif and broadcasted in 2017. Pif meets common people in Italy and abroad to Show their lifestyles and life on earth to Martians.
You can watch it here on Raiplay.
Reality Shows in Italian
Reality Shows can be easier to follow for a learner since they use an everyday language and are mostly mindless. So if you like this genre, here below are some Italian reality shows you can watch.
21. Temptation Island
If you are a reality Show fan then you already watched all the episodes of the American version. And you also know that it puts together singles and couples to supposedly test the strength of their relationship. You can watch the Italian Temptation Island and more “trash” in Italian here on witty tv.
Amici (Friends) is an Italian TV show that puts together a school of young singers and dancers. I’d say it’s a hybrid between a reality show and a talent show. You can watch some episodes here on witty tv.
Talk shows in Italian
Following, I listed some talk shows in Italian. In fact, talk shows can be very helpful to get to know the Italian culture from different perspectives.
23. Che tempo che fa
The Italian TV show Che tempo che fa (What’s the weather like) is conducted by Fabio Fazio who always invites interesting guests from different fields, such as tv personalities, doctors, actors, comedians, singers, politicians, international guests and more.
To be fair, it has also been the most watched tv show during the Covid 19 pandemic since it offered updates on the virus and virologists expertise in simple and understandable words for people at home.
You can find the latest episodes here on RaiPlay and you can also watch it live on Sundays around 9 pm Italian time.
24. C’è posta per te
Watch C’è posta per te (There is mail for you) here on witty tv . The idea is to reconnect lovers, relatives or friends after a long time by sending an invitation to the program through a postino (postman). Prepare your kleenex, it could be very emotional.
25. Le Iene
The Hyenas is a comedy satirical show presenting different entertaining sketches and journalistic reports.
Watch le Iene here on MediasetPlay .
Cooking shows in Italian
Without a doubt, everyone loves Italian food, so if you want to cook Italian recipes and learn Italian culinary traditions, here are the best choices for you.
26. La prova del cuoco
The Italian cooking talent show The cook’s test is something you will enjoy watching if you like cooking and want to receive cooking tips from Italian cooks and amateurs. And as a plus you will learn common vocabulary about food and you will get familiar with Italian measurements (litri, grammi, chili…) . You can watch the last seasons here on RaiPlay.
27. Cotto e mangiato
Cooked and eaten gives you quick and delicious Italian recipes to make with a few ingredients. You can watch this Italian TV show here on MediasetPlay.
28. È sempre mezzogiorno
Watch it here on RaiPlay.
Game shows in Italian
Finally, if you are a game show lover and you want to test yourself with quizzes, here are a couple of Italian shows for you.
The inheritance is a very followed Italian game show broadcasted by Rai. Basically, competitors must correctly answer different types of questions in order not to be eliminated and move on to the next round. Only one competitor will make it to the final round, la ghigliottina (the guillotine), and have the chance to win a prize pool.
You can watch some episodes here on DailyMotion .
30. I soliti ignoti
And the game of The usual unknowns is loved by young and old folks. A player has to guess the identity and the profession of eight people following some clues and mostly the instinct.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab some popcorn and start watching an Italian TV show!