The Ultimate Guide to Watching Italian TV Online
Italians love TV, and they watch more than just about everybody else in the world.
This means that watching television can be a great way to connect with native Italian speakers and form a bond over a mutual interest.
So head to one of these sites or streaming services and indulge in one of Italy’s favorite pastimes while zapping your language skills to the next level.
- Why Watching Italian TV Online Will Be Your Favorite Habit
- Where to Watch Italian TV Online
Why Watching Italian TV Online Will Be Your Favorite Habit
Watching Italian TV online isn’t just a great way to encounter thrilling dramas, premier-level sports and up-to-the-minute international news. It’s also an excellent way to improve your language skills on a bunch of levels.
The vast array of content, from documentaries to talk shows, will expose you to vocabulary from all over the board, not just the words you’re used to hearing. As you’ll be introduced to Italy’s wide range of accents and dialects, it won’t take long to pump up your listening and pronunciation muscles, which can be some of the toughest to strengthen!
But most of all, you’ll be able to engage in Italian culture first hand by keeping up to date with current events and cultural affairs. This immersive experience into Italy’s diverse and musical way of life will keep you coming back for more and have your brain ticking in Italian before you know it!
Where to Watch Italian TV Online
So you’ve decided to flip on the Italian tube. Now, the only thing left to do is ask the eternal question, “What’s on?”
Luckily, the answer is, “What isn’t?”
Italy is a country of 60+ million TV enthusiasts, and as a result, there’s something on to satisfy every type of TV lover. Below are a few of the best portals available for tapping into the rich and engrossing world of Italian TV online.
And if you love learning with TV shows, you’re gonna love FluentU!
FluentU helps you get comfortable with everyday Italian by combining all the benefits of complete immersion and native-level conversations with interactive subtitles.
Tap on any word to instantly see an image, in-context definition, example sentences and other videos in which the word is used.
Access a complete interactive transcript of every video under the Dialogue tab, and review words and phrases with convenient audio clips under Vocab.
Once you've watched a video, you can use FluentU's quizzes to actively practice all the vocabulary in that video. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on.
FluentU will even keep track of all the Italian words you’ve learned to recommend videos and ask you questions based on what you already know.
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Start using FluentU on the website, or better yet, download the app from iTunes or the Google Play store.
Can’t wait for the new season of “Game of Thrones?” Why not try a little Italian TV to satisfy your need for riveting action, intense drama and spicy romance? There’s no better way to motivate yourself to keep watching and studying than to find a series that hooks you and doesn’t let go!
Italy has its share of award-winning series that have been acclaimed worldwide. Dig into the dark Roman underground in “Romanzo Criminale,” or investigate baffling, Sherlock-esque crimes with Italy’s favorite detective in “Il Commissario Montalbano.” If you’re looking for something a bit lighter, try the raucous, Brady Bunch-style family comedy, “I Cesaroni.” All of these and more can be accessed instantly on RaiPlay.
Whether you’re a news junkie or just want to keep up with current events in the Italian sphere, watching Italian news online will satisfy your hunger for juicy gossip, hard-hitting investigations and the latest trends.
Italian TV news, or telegiornale, gets the first scoop on some of the world’s most interesting stories, like those relating to Vatican City and the Mafia. Although it has a reputation for being biased and more than a bit sensational, it always makes for an entertaining romp through all the hot topics in Italy today.
If you’re ready to get your fill of the best Italian news instantly, head to the site of Italy’s 24-hour news network, TG24, where you can stream the best in breaking news, sports updates and international perspectives for free.
Documentaries and Talk Shows
Italians love documentaries and talk shows so much that most evenings they’re just about all you can find on Italy’s popular Rai stations.
People here love modern scandals, historical analyses, criminal investigations and delving into subjects of all kinds, even if a given topic isn’t one of their normal interests. The inquisitiveness that occupies their free time has created a lot of demand for high-quality documentary content and talk shows which introduce and discuss important issues. The material covered isn’t just Italian-centric, either, but covers a wide range of topics that span the globe.
A great place to start is with the extremely popular one-on-one talk show “Che Tempo Che Fa,” which translates roughly to “Today’s Weather” (meaning that it covers what’s going on at the moment). This show has been on for over a decade and features informal, provocative and funny conversation on a broad range of topics, from music to science to politics.
If you like what you see, you can move on to shows like “Matrix” and “Porta a Porta” (Door to Door), which host deeper, more intellectual discussion.
Watching Italian documentaries and talk shows online is a perfect way to exercise your language chops while becoming more informed and traveling the world from the comfort of your couch. Start by checking out the library at ArcoirisTV, a free site dedicated to providing entertaining and educational TV to the masses.
Never again will you miss a single goal, basket, punt or spike, and you might even find yourself a fan of a sport you’ve never followed before!
Italians live and breathe calcio (soccer), but the world of Italian sports goes far beyond the fancy footwork on the football pitch. Italians are sports fanatics. They watch and play a diverse range of sports, and especially love basketball, volleyball and rugby.
Watching Italian sports online won’t just keep you on the edge of your seat with your Juventus (Italy’s most successful soccer club) scarf draped proudly over your shoulders, but it will also help your language skills like you never thought possible.
Fast-talking commentators follow the exact moves of the players and repeat keywords often. This makes it much easier to follow along and distinguish new vocabulary. It’s also great for colloquial speech. No scripts here! Just real life Italian.
Sky Italia’s online service offers unparalleled access to hundreds of matches plus sports analysis and commentary programs. Tune in on Sundays for all the Serie A (major league) soccer matches, or to catch up on what you missed with popular shows like “Monday Night.” To find your new favorite team, subscribe to Sky Go and enjoy every match in diretta (live).
Italian cinema is one of the most highly acclaimed in the world, and there’s no better time to delve into all the action, laughs and tears that it has to offer.
Italians spend a great deal of their precious TV time watching movies. This is partly because they love the art form, but also because networks don’t censor or cut the movies that end up on TV. This means that whether you’re watching a gory, Dario Argento classic like “Deep Red,” or a steamy romance like the new classic, “Malena,” you’re getting the same product that you would have seen in the cinema.
There’s only one problem. The ads! Italians hate ads just as much as the rest of the world, but fortunately, now there’s a way to escape them. Netflix launched in Italy last year, and Italians have been hurriedly subscribing to avoid ads and get access to their favorite films at their fingertips. That means that you too can access a massive library of Italian films (or add Italian subtitles or dubbing to the best films in your own language) with a subscription to Netflix.
If you want to go a step further, you can sign up for Mediaset Italia’s online service. This online streaming service was created for Italians living abroad who still want access to the hottest films and more, exclusively in Italian.
A New World of Entertainment
Now that you have the know-how to start digging into all that Italian TV online has to offer, why not start building a library of your new favorites? If you want to use Italian TV to sharpen your language abilities, you’ll need a little discipline!
Keep track of the shows and genres you follow and make sure you keep up with new episodes and updates. The relationships you build with characters and the connections you form with teams and TV personalities will provide the incentive to continue watching and increase your understanding.
It only takes a couple of shows, a few favorite actors and a newfound interest in seedy Italian politics to make the switch from passive channel surfing to becoming fully immersed in Italian culture. Short of up and moving to the Mediterranean, there’s no better way to host the sights, sounds and passions of the Italian people in your own home than to watch Italian TV online.