The Best Italian Series and TV Shows to Learn Italian

It's easy to fall in love with Italian. Together with French, the Italian language is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful languages in the world.

There is no need to innumerate all the reasons why you should learn Italian. After all, this would create a never-ending list. From gelato to Firenze, from la vera pizza to the Sistine Chapel, the appeal of Italy and all things Italian is truly endless. Today, our purpose isn't to state the obvious, but to assist you in reaching your goal in the most creative way possible!

If you're here, you're probably looking to become fluent in Italian, and one of the best ways to do so is by watching Italian TV shows. If hopping on a plane and hanging out in Italy for a few months isn't an option, then diving into Italian TV shows and series is the next best thing.

Before we dive into the best Italian TV shows at your disposal on Lingopie and other streaming services, let's first look at how you can enhance the experience of learning through Italian media.

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Tips to Learn Italian with TV Shows

Watching Italian television and media will offer you the opportunity to become familiar with the sounds, intonation, and rhythm of the Italian language.

By watching TV shows and movies, you are essentially training your ear to identify different words, as well as identify them when used in context by native speakers.

Absorbing real-life expressions in your target language will take you a long way on your path to fluency. It will enable you to become fluent and comfortable when writing in Italian and enhance your Italian conversational proficiency. Let's face it, this is every learner's ultimate goal, right?

The following tips will be useful when watching Italian videos, all types of Italian shows, and even Italian movies.

If you're into cinema, you'll know how iconic the Italian film industry is, with directors such as Federico Fellini, Sergio Leone, or the more contemporary Paolo Sorrentino, who directed the Young Pope, starring Jude Law and Diane Keaton.

You can check out some of the best Italian movies on Netflix, Lingopie, or Amazon Prime.

Watch with the language in mind, not just the story

Make notes as you go and don't be afraid to stop and start when you learn new words that may be useful in real life. After all, you're not just watching the Italian show for the story - you're also studying Italian!

In addition to this, consider checking out the Italian dubbed version of your favorite TV show in your native language. Through this technique, you can focus solely on learning the Italian language, (especially if you're a big fan and already know the plot well).

Whilst watching TV shows and movies from your native country won't teach you about Italian culture when you watch dubbed series or movies, you'll still benefit from learning Italian in an (almost) natural way.

Photo by Melanie Stander / Unsplash

Use Italian subtitles to your advantage

If you are able to watch your chosen Italian TV shows and movies with subtitles, this will undoubtedly be the most beneficial way to watch them, even if it is a bit overwhelming.

Italian learners who are uncomfortable watching TV shows and movies with Italian subtitles can, of course, just substitute these for English subtitles. 

By watching Italian TV shows with English subtitles, you'll still absorb the phonetics and the rhythm of the language, and doing so is hugely beneficial for your language progress in the longer term.

Once you've watched the whole show and you know what happens, watch it again. And again. And again. This will help you to become more familiar with the language, its grammatical structures, vocabulary, and colloquialisms.

Pay attention to Italian culture and cultural cues

As you watch an Italian TV show, be mindful of the fact that you're also being exposed to Italian culture. This is a very important component of learning any language.

Don't focus solely on the language. Instead, try to recognize how it's employed, and in which contexts certain expressions are used. For example, how do people treat each other in formal and informal situations? What are their habits? 

Although it's never too wise to generalize, you will be able to pick up on some traits that will be common to most Italian people.

The Best Italian TV Shows to Watch

In this section, you'll find out about the range of Italian TV shows and movies available on Lingopie. These will help you to optimize your learning journey.

As you pick which ones to watch, focus on what seems more interesting and engaging to you, but don't forget to bear in mind the level for which each show is most suitable.

Now, let's get into it.

The Boss Hunt

Inspired by a true story that took place in Italy in 2011, "The Boss Hunt" is a crime drama series that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

WHAT IT'S ABOUT

Political corruption at its finest. Michele Romano is the head of the Naples Mobile Brigade. He's been trying to catch Antonio Iovine, the leader of the Camorra - an Italian mafia-like criminal organization - for almost 15 years now.

At the time when the events in this characteristically Italian show take place, Iovine was one of the most wanted suspects in Italy. Understandably, the stakes involved in catching such a high-profile fugitive were painstakingly high.

It comes as no surprise that capturing Iovine became an obsession for Romano. Don't miss out on such a thrilling TV show that offers a secret doorway to the dark side of Italian culture.

Find out how these real events unraveled.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

Nothing hones the mind like an investigation that seems to have gone on too long to be successful!

Discover a lot of new Italian vocabulary related to a criminal investigation. Become acquainted with the Camorra, criminal society, and Italian mafia from a safe distance.

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By watching this TV show inspired by true events, you'll be in for a lot of Italian slang, mafia vocabulary, and crime and legal terminology. You'll even be exposed to the Neapolitan dialect.

The Lady with the Black Veil

This series is a romance drama that combines the power struggles among wealthy families in Italy with the intrigue and mystery of a criminal investigation.

Watch this TV show if you would like to dive into mysterious deaths and a complicated plot in a typical southern European style.

WHAT IT'S ABOUT

Set in Trento, Northern Italy, this TV show follows the story of Clara.

Clara's father is Vittorio Grandi, a wealthy estate owner who expected a son, i.e. an heir to his fortune. Instead, he was presented with a daughter, Clara. Clara's mother died in childbirth, causing Vittorio to reject his own daughter and blame her for his beloved wife's death.

Having been rejected by her own father, who never shows up to visit her, little Clara was given away to be raised by farmers on her father's estate.

She grows up with Matteo and they fall in love. However, an arranged marriage and a deadly plot to steal her inheritance end up separating the two. Will they ever fall into each other's arms again?

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

Set in the late 1800s, this romantic Spanish-Italian series is centered around family and all that's related to it.

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In this TV show, melodrama intertwines with the elements of a crime story, meaning you'll find great material, words, and set phrases, to learn about both. You'll also become familiar with the origin of marriage and family culture in Italy.

The Extraordinary Adventures of Jules Vernes

This exciting Italian cartoon series is loosely inspired by the famous author's universe. Find out more about it below.

WHAT IT'S ABOUT

"The Extraordinary Adventures of Jules Vernes" is the Italian version of what it would be like to enter the imaginary world of Jules Vernes' bestselling novels.

The young author loves writing, but now he actually gets the chance to live the adventures of his novels first-hand. Joined by a close-knit group of fellow explorers, he travels to the four corners of the globe.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

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In this fun and educational cartoon series, you will learn all the basics of Italian, besides traveling the world and learning about other cultures.

Giants in Milan

This historical documentary series is informative and educational.

WHAT IT'S ABOUT

"Giants in Milan" is about four giants that changed and shaped our world as we know it. This documentary series offers an amazing opportunity to follow the accomplishments and some of the most impressive feats of these four very influential men.

Enjoy the privilege of learning about Da Vinci, Napoleon, Stendahl, and Hemingway - all in Italian! And in a city that marked each of them in its own way.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

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By watching this series, you'll be able to pick up all the vocabulary involved in these men's respective fields while being introduced to the beauty of Milan.

You'll learn about Italian and world history as well as specific vocabulary related to identity, dates, places, and names.

The 30s are the new 60s

Check out this upbeat sitcom that's as funny as it is didactic.

WHAT IT'S ABOUT

This comedy series will have you laughing out loud. It follows the lives of Miki and his brilliant friend Mauri.

These two hilarious characters are navigating their thirties, that time in life where everything starts aching and it’s suddenly concerning...

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

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This Italian sitcom looks at the topic of age and the issues that come up for people in their thirties.

These include voting, routine, sharing a living space, and making plans with others, as well as a-little-too-deep conversations, life-changing decisions, and people who still talk to their high school friends…

Learn about Italian humor and culture in quick but sweet episodes that work like little Italian vocabulary pills!

The Last House on the Left

This is a spooky documentary series that will be perfect for you if you're a fan of taking a trip to the dark side...

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WHAT IT'S ABOUT

"The Last House on the Left" takes us on a journey to the most spine-chilling and mysterious places in Italy. Holding the same name as its original owner, Adolf Angst, the first house is named Angst House.

Embark on a trip to visit abandoned hotels, eerie villas, ghostly castles, and even haunted psychiatric hospitals. A must-watch for any fan of ghoulish legends and creepy stories that will make you hold your breath.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

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Learn how to name all types of buildings and locations, while also coming across mystery-related vocabulary in Italian.

Talking Tom and Friends

This is a cartoon comedy series that touches upon contemporary global themes!

WHAT IT'S ABOUT

This comedy series follows the story of a group of cats that set out to make their dreams a reality. Tom, the leader of the group, dreams of becoming internet famous.

His friends Ben, Angela, Hank, and Ginger are there to help him concretize his vision! By turning his garage into an app studio, this group of clever cats embarks on a magnificent mission.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

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This Italian TV show is about global app sensations but uses animation and animals to discuss very human themes. Learn to talk about technology, apps, the internet and brilliant ideas in Italian.

Add a pinch of humor and you'll be sure to improve your Italian speaking skills in a range of different topics.

On Mars there's no Sea

This Italian TV show is a comedy miniseries composed of short episodes that depict contemporary life for young adults.

WHAT IT'S ABOUT

Despite being set in Italy, this show addresses a reality that is common to many. Marco, the main character, is a thirty-year-old who is confronted with provincial life in a small town after coming back from New York City.

He lives among his shattered artistic dreams and a job that doesn't fulfill him.

One day, a close friend of his, who works as a realtor, suggests that he rent out his late grandfather's apartment to a client with an unusual request: he wants the house only on Friday nights but he's willing to pay a lot of money for it.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

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Learn to express yourself about goals, dreams, careers and opportunities in Italian. You'll also find some words around the topic of real estate.

Milano Underground

This is an interesting comedy miniseries to become acquainted with life in Milan.

WHAT IT'S ABOUT

"Milano Underground" is a web series that depicts the underground world of the lively metropolis that is Milan, which lives and vibrates even beneath the surface.

The entire miniseries is shot on the four lines of Milan's subway and aims to report some of the daily-life stories which take place inside its subway’s cars and stations, where thousands of people pass through every day, all living their own personal lives.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

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In this show, you'll learn about everyday life in Milan, Italy, as well as how Italians in the north of the country speak!

The Walking Dad

Find out more about this sci-fi comedy miniseries below.

WHAT IT'S ABOUT

This show is set in the year 2021 and the audience is taken into a dystopian present.

A solitary zombie hunter wanders around unparalleled Italian wastelands, when he comes across Leo, a child whose past is mostly unknown, his life is completed altered. Leo is going to change the course of the current pandemic.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

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Learn about contemporary themes with twists and be able to discuss current world issues in Italian.

Keep your finger on the pulse by learning all the Italian words related to pandemics and survival.
Watch. Binge. Learn. Start your free trial of Lingopie today.

What are you waiting for? Learn Italian by Watching TV Shows

Watching an Italian TV show makes learning Italian fun, engaging and informative, and a TV series provides a fantastic way to boost your Italian skills.

With Lingopie, you'll find a range of Italian TV shows and movies from which to choose. So, don't let yourself get lost in translation. Procrastination is never a language learner's best friend, so make a start today!

Sign up for a free trial with Lingopie and get access to features that will support you on your language journey.

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