The Best TV Series to Learn Italian

TV series are a fun and useful way to learn and improve your level of Italian.

You can test yourself on comprehension and listening, and you can learn new words or common sayings. Subtly, you will make progress, paying particular attention to the use of accents, the different situations, and the variety of vocabulary.

Here at Europass, we’ve managed to find the best TV series to help improve your Italian!

For Beginners

Un Medico in Famiglia

This is probably the Italian TV series most famous and long-lived, based on the well-known Spanish format, Médico de Familia. This comedy has been a surprisingly huge success in Italy and it was first broadcast on channel Rai in 1998.

It tells the story of the Martini family, whose householder and father, the protagonist Lele (Gabriele), is a widowed doctor played by Giulio Scarpati.

Another relevant character is the grandfather Libero, played by the actor Lino Banfi.

The series is about the familiar, working, and sentimental events of the many members of the family.

Over almost 20 years of production, still on, the characters have all changed slightly.

You can watch it on Raiplay.

Tutti Pazzi per Amore

This is an Italian series broadcast from 2008 to 2012. It belongs to the romantic comedy genre: it tells the love story of Laura and Paolo, two separate parents with completely different personalities who become neighbors.

They have to overcome a mountain of obstacles in their daily lives to continue their relationship.

It is a very funny series that can be a good starting point for learning daily Italian vocabulary simply and easily. Its main peculiarity is the presence of musical moments, played by the various characters.

La locandina di Tutti pazzi per amore: 99200 -

You can watch it on Netflix or Raiplay.

Distretto di Polizia

It’s a series broadcast from 2000 to 2012, of the detective/police genre. It’s the most famous among the many Italian ones of this kind. It tells the story of the police station “X Tuscolano” in Rome.

Each episode is focused on investigations related to different cases, with a broader thread that acts as a supporting plot in every season (11 in total). The characters vary with the succession of the seasons and their events.

Set in Rome, it is interesting to hear the dialect of the Italian language in this city.

The series had great success with the Italian public and it’s also been broadcast abroad. It won 2 Telegatti awards, which are given every year to the best national television programs.

Distretto di Polizia - stagione 1 episodio 1 | Sky

You can watch it on Mediaset On Demand.


With easy-to-follow and clear language, great if you’re starting out learning Italian. This lighthearted series is set in the seaside town of Cesenatico in northern Italy. This follows the story of a friendship group of adolescents as they finish school for the summer and embark on new adventures together.

The 2 protagonists Ale and Summer are two people with opposite lifestyles, despite all odds and hating each other they are forced to work together where the story begins.

Watch on Netflix.

Intermediate Level

I Medici

This is an anglo-italian 8-episode miniseries, broadcast on channel Rai, about the rise of the Medici family in Florence, about Renaissance Italy and its cultural, economic, and social consequences.

The first season focuses on the ascent of Cosimo de’ Medici. It is set in Florence in 1429.

It’s particularly relevant from an artistic point of view, because of the places that have been filmed in, mostly Florence and Rome, including the Palazzo Vecchio, the Basilica of San Lorenzo, and the Duomo.

It’s a useful series as you will not only improve your level of Italian but will also broaden your existing knowledge of Renaissance Italy.

You can watch it on Raiplay.

The Young Pope

This is an Italian series directed by Paolo Sorrentino, featuring Jude Law as an ultra-conservative Pope of the Catholic Church (he plays a fictitious Pius XIII). It takes place nowadays in a recreated Vatican.

It was presented in 2016 at the 73rd Venice Film Festival, being the first TV series to have ever been showcased there. It was also the first TV series to be nominated for the Emmy Awards.

It has received great international success and has been sold in over 110 countries.

The new season, ‘The New Pope”, directed by Sorrentino as well, has been released in 2019.

You can watch it on Amazon Prime.


It is a 2015 Italian TV series directed by Alessandro Fabbri, Ludovica Rampoldi, and Stefano Sardo.

Set during the 90s in Italy, it tells the story of 6 people and their roles regarding Italian politics, focussing on one of Italy’s major cases of corruption: Tangentopoli and the investigation of Mani Pulite.

It is part of a trilogy, which includes two other series, 1993 and 1994. This series, which received some great reviews abroad, allows you to delve into a recent page of Italian history, that stands as a watershed in Italian politics.

You can buy it here: Amazon.


Baby is a coming-of-age drama series, set in Rome with the first season being released in 2018. The story follows the double lives of 2 secondary school girls in high school, on the surface very different but soon discover what they have in common and gradually become friends.

The girls find themselves entangled in troubles as they also try to balance the many other struggles in their lives among friendships, love, school, and family.

With 81% of Google users liking the show, it is a popular hit not only in Italy but all over the globe.

You can watch it on Netflix with subtitles too in a range of languages.

Advanced Level

Il Commissario Montalbano

This is a TV series produced by Palomar since 1999, broadcast on Rai, taken from the detective novels by the Italian famous writer Andrea Camilleri.

It tells the life and the investigations of the police chief Salvo Montalbano, in the fictitious Sicilian town of Vigata. The protagonist is played by the actor Luca Zingaretti.

The cases that the police chief and his collaborators are called to solve often have links with the local mafia.

Broadcast in more than twenty countries, Il Commissario Montalbano has a huge popularity in Italy and excellent critics from experts.

The peculiarity of this series is the wide use of the Sicilian dialect, which is why we recommend viewing it to advanced students.

You can watch it on Raiplay.

Romanzo Criminale

It’s a series directed by Stefano Sollima, produced by Cattleya and Sky Italia, taken from the novel by the Italian judge and writer Giancarlo De Cataldo.

It tells the story of the Banda della Magliana, a criminal organization that rose in the mid-70s in the suburbs of Rome and passed to the limelight of Italian news for the Bologna massacre to the kidnapping of Aldo Moro.

The series received very positive criticism for the historical reconstruction and had much luck abroad.

The use of the Roman dialect is very marked, so we recommend viewing this series to advanced students.

You can buy it on Amazon.


It’s an Italian TV series directed by Stefano Sollima, created by the famous journalist and writer Roberto Saviano and inspired by his novel, Gomorra, based on true events.

It shows the problem of violence and the mafia in the north of Naples, particularly within the criminal organization known as Camorra.

It focuses on internal fights for power.

With this series, you’ll be able to learn more about the complicated issues surrounding these criminal organizations.

Given that the dialogue is mainly Neapolitan, it is recommended that you watch this series with subtitles.

You can watch it on Now TV.

Suburra: Blood on Rome

Perfect for Italian language students who enjoy crime thrillers. Suburra: Blood on Rome follows storylines of rival gang members, politicians, and members of the clergy as they all fight over land in Ostia, a commune outside of Rome.

Based on real political scandals it will give you an insight into both the history and details of the real Italian mafia as well as learn specific juicy vocabulary related to politics and crime.

You can watch it on Netflix with subtitles too in a range of languages.

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