Best Italian Shows on Netflix

how to watch Italian Netflix shows in the US

Watch Italian TV shows on Netflix from outside Italy using a VPN service.

A VPN is a cost-effective and easy solution that allows you to access Netflix’s Italian library from anywhere in the world. All you need to do is subscribe to a VPN service and log in to your Netflix account to start streaming your favorite Italian TV shows. Personally, I use CyberGhost to watch French, Spanish, and German shows on both my TV and Netflix.

Non mentire

Non mentire is a TV series that originally aired in Italy and is now available on Netflix. The story revolves around a school teacher who is asked out by a charming and respected surgeon. After their first date, they have conflicting stories about what happened. The teacher claims to have been raped, while the surgeon insists it’s not true.

The series is a dramatic thriller, with each episode lasting 50 minutes. It’s excellent for intermediate and advanced Italian language learners because the language used is standard Italian without strong regional influences or dialects. 

Un medico in famiglia

Un medico in famiglia is an Italian TV show from the 90s and one of the longest-running Italian television series. The series follows the Martini family, initially composed of a widowed doctor with three children and his father, as they move to Poggio Fiorito where the doctor works in an experimental healthcare facility. The series received enormous audience and critical acclaim until its sixth season and has become a cult phenomenon and one of the most popular series in Italy.

Viola come il mare

Viola come il mare is an Italian TV show from 2022 set in Sicily, which follows the life of Viola, who after several years of working in the fashion industry in Paris, moves back to Palermo, her hometown, to search for the father she never knew. She starts working as a crime journalist for a web editorial and there she meets the chief inspector of police, Francesco Demir, a man with great investigative talent but with little trust in human nature. The two collaborate together on homicide cases, with Viola as the journalist and Francesco as the police officer. The show is a mix of drama and romance. 

Mare Fuori 

Mare Fuori s possibly the most popular Italian TV show on Netflix in 2023. However, it’s worth noting that the show is mostly shot in Neapolitan dialect and many Italians watch it with Italian subtitles (yes, it’s common in Italy). While it may not be the best option for practicing Italian listening skills, I still highly recommend it because it’s one of the greatest Italian productions of recent years. If you’re advanced in Italian, you could watch it with Italian subtitles. Otherwise, English subtitles are available and you could use the show’s storyline as content for your Italian speaking class.

The series follows the story of a group of teenagers who find themselves in the Minor Offenders Institute in Naples. In this hostile and freedomless environment, the young inmates strive to find their place in the world. While some have unintentionally made mistakes, others have acted with premeditation, but all share the common experience of having been deprived of their freedom. Perched on the sea, the institute is a symbol of hope and freedom that seems out of reach for these young inmates. Through their stories, the series explores the boundaries between good and evil, the challenges of growing up in a hostile environment, and the search for one’s true identity.

Cuori 

Cuori is an Italian tv series from 2022 set in the 1960s, which follows the story of three heart surgeons working at a hospital in Turin, Northern Italy. The plot revolves around the arrival of Delia, a brilliant heart surgeon who joins the team and finds herself working with Alberto, her old flame and best friend of her husband Cesare, the head of the cardiology department. The show develops through a mix of drama, emotions, and comedic moments. The series was broadcasted on television in Italy and is now available on Netflix.

Guida Astrologia per Cuori Infranti 

Based on the best-selling books by Silvia Zucca  (which I recommend for advanced students), Guida astrologica per cuori infranti, explores friendship, passion, work, weird meetings, and tragicomic occurrences through Alice Bassi’s eyes. Alice, who is in her early thirties and single (by choice), works as a production assistant for a tiny television network. With few professional prospects, she is looking for genuine love and work fulfillment.

Fedeltà 

Fedeltà (Fidelity) is a Netflix Italian miniseries loosely based on Marco Missiroli’s best-selling novel of the same name, which is also available in English translation.  The drama tackles the themes of desire and betrayal, as well as the consequences of both, via the story of a couple who live and work in Milan.

Incastrati

Incastrati /Framed! A Sicilian Murder Mystery is a 2022 Italian television series starring the popular Italian comedians Ficarra e Picone. 

The show follows the adventures of Valentino and Salvatore, two unlucky TV technicians who happen to be at the scene of a crime by chance. To avoid being suspected, they clean up the scene and leave it undisturbed, using their knowledge of crime TV shows. Naturally, this will result in a series of (hilarious) misadventures in their lives.

As a Sicilian, I loved this series because it sends important messages of criticism to the Italian / Sicilian society behind the lightheartedness of the comedy.

Blanca

Blanca was a popular TV show on the Italian Rai in 2021 and is now available on Netflix.

Blanca is a young police consultant who specializes in audio file decoding and is hired as an intern at a police station in Genoa, Northern Italy. The woman became blind at the age of twelve as a result of a tragic fire in which her older sister Beatrice perished. Her tragedy instilled in her a strong sense of justice, prompting her to join the police force. The characters in the show don’t use a special dialect or accent, making it a great source for honing your Italian listening skills. 

Generazione 56K

Generazione 56K is a new and exciting Italian television series from 2021 about Matilda and Daniele, who met when they were teenagers and the Internet was still only available at work or via slow modems (from which the title of the show comes).

They started dating again in their early thirties after a chance encounter, thanks to the internet, which has changed everything, especially the way people date and work.

Boris

Boris is an Italian show released between 2007 and 2010 on Italian TV. The plot revolves around the making of an Italian series behind the scenes. When a new intern arrives, he finds out that the TV world is very different from what he thought it would be. This Italian series shows how often the race for money and success impacts the quality of what we see on TV. The show was top-rated in Italy, and it’s now available, having recently been released on Netflix too.

Suburra 

This is an extremely addictive and entertaining thriller from Rome with a brilliant Italian cast. Last year, I watched the entire two seasons in three days because I was sick with the flu.The series follows the stories of some mafia gangs whose interests are entwined with corrupt politicians and the Vatican clergy. The plot is likely to be inspired by real events. Suburra will catch your attention, especially if you want to know more about the dark side of Italy. 

Disclaimer: the main characters of Suburra are dodgy criminals and peculiar characters from the Roman suburbs. That’s why they use the Rome dialect and slang, which might be very challenging to catch for a non-native Italian speaker.

Still, the series is indeed worth watching. Make sure you pull up the Italian or English subtitles.

Disclaimer: the main characters of Suburra are dodgy criminals and peculiar characters from the Roman suburbs, that’s why they use the Rome dialect and slang, which might be very challenging to catch for a non-native Italian speaker.

Still, the series is indeed worth watching. Make sure you pull up the Italian or English subtitles.

The Medici: Masters of Florence

The Medici is, in my view, the best Italian TV show of the last few years. It’s an Italian and British production, and so the series has been shot mostly in English. However, the Italian-dubbed version is great and has been a big hit in Italy for the whole three seasons.

This is a highly addictive and intriguing historical drama series. It centers on the rise and fall of the Medici family, the most potent Italian family during the Italian Renaissance period. The series will show you a bit of how life used to be at those times, the wars, the political intrigues with the Vatican state, and, of course, the strong ties of the Medici Family with the most prominent creators of those times, like Michelangelo, Raffaello, and Leonardo, who used to work in the palace. 

Baby

Baby is a Netflix Italian teen drama set in the neighborhood of Parioli, one of the most exclusive and trendy areas of contemporary Rome. The series follows the stories of a group of students at an elite high school that get involved in prostitution. The story has been inspired by real events that happened in Rome some years ago.

La Luna Nera (The Black Moon)

Luna Nera (Black Moon) is a 2020 Italian show on Netflix and the first Italian fantasy TV show on the platform.

It takes place in the 17th century and centers on a 17-year-old teen who finds out that the members of her family are witches. On the flip side, her boyfriend’s father is a witch hunter—no wonder who he is hunting for.

Carlo e Malik 

This is a 2018 Italian TV show created in collaboration between the RAI (Italian public television) and Netflix, which became a success in It’s a crime drama show that follows the story of a veteran detective from Rome who holds plenty of prejudices against the vast immigrant community in Rome. He is teamed up with an Ivory-coast born officer, and together, they have to resolve a string of murder cases very much connected with the subculture of immigrants in the capital. The show centers on the very vast and controversial contemporary Italian topic of immigration.

The Name of The Rose

It’s the TV adaptation of one of the most relevant masterpieces of Italian literature, The Name of the Rose (Umberto Eco). It follows the stories of a friar and his young apprentices who investigate a string of mysterious deaths, risking the wrath of a powerful inquisitor. The story takes place at an abbey in the Middle Ages.

How to Make the Most of Watching Italian Shows: 3 Simple Tips

How can watching an Italian show become a proactive learning experience?

Getting hooked on an Italian TV show or movie is a fantastic way to not only improve your Italian listening skills and expand your vocabulary like never before, but also to gain real-world exposure to Italian culture, dialects, slang, and even architecture! However, how can watching an Italian show become a proactive learning experience?My two cents is to concentrate on the dialogues that are taking place in the shows. Take notes on what is said and how it is said; don’t fall into the trap of only noting new words in isolation.  Instead, scribble down entire sentences or questions that you can use as patterns when writing your own sentences.

Don’t stick only to Italian original TV shows

In this post, I’ve gathered a list of the best Italian shows available on Netflix.

Nonetheless, I would encourage everyone to look for their favorite TV shows in Italian (or any language).Every American show, for example, has an Italian dubbed version; look for it. I’m a big fan of FRIENDS, and I thought watching the German/French (my target languages) dub would be entertaining and educational, so it’s been. 

Do the same thing with your favorite shows. The Italian dubbing is usually excellent. Finding fun ways to spend time with your target language is the best (and smartest) way to learn Italian.

Is it better to watch a show in Italian with or without subtitles?

If you aren’t having fun, you aren’t learning.Would the show you are watching be entertaining if you didn’t understand most of what you were hearing? If your Italian is advanced, or at least upper-intermediate, I recommend watching it with Italian subtitles. On the other hand, if you’re a beginner or intermediate learner, use subtitles in your native language.

Do you enjoy watching videos to learn Italian?

Lingopie is a Netflix-like platform that allows you to improve your Italian by watching TV shows, documentaries, and vlogs (separate by genre and level). They offer a beginner-friendly option too.

About the Author

Serena Capilli

I’m the creative force behind both this blog and my collection of short stories in simple Italian for language learners, available on Amazon.

Learn Italian
the smart way!

Sign up and receive the best exercises that have already helped my private clients to finally speak italiano + weekly doses of Italian!

Ciao, I'm Serena!

I’m the creative force behind both this blog and my collection of short stories in simple Italian for language learners, available on Amazon.

7 Romance Short Stories for Italian Language Learners