If you are looking for something to brush up your Italian with, Netflix might be one of the best places to start. With a growing range of series and films that are Italian-made or portrayed entirely in Italian, there is bound to be something that will draw you in. Here are five great suggestions for you to start with.
First team: Juventus FC
This is a docu-series that follows one of the most famous football clubs in the world both on and off the pitch. It is in both English and Italian and currently consists of just three episodes, though there are talks about doing a fourth. This is a really simple way to pick up some Italian, especially if you have an interest in football. It’s true that a lot of the vocabulary you will hear has a football focus but that is no bad thing if this is your favourite sport! The range of Italian in First team: Juventus FC is also good because you have a mixture of general conversation amongst the team as they are training, as well as Italian commentary during matches.
Rimetti A Noi I Nostri Debiti
Rimetti A Noi I Nostri Debiti, or forgive us our debts, looks like it will be a great hit for Netflix. The film follows the story of a recently unemployed man who is threatened by creditors, and ends up as a debt collector himself. Watching him reluctantly finding his footing in this world is intriguing, particularly as he begins to learn about the darker sides of the industry, and what it will cost him to keep this job. The language is a little fast paced so perhaps would be better suited to those who are at least intermediate level. It is also the kind of thing you will watch and forget you are supposed to be studying because it draws you in, so keep that in mind!
Suburra is set in a small seaside town near Rome, so you have a beautiful backdrop to look at before you even start! A fight breaks out over land which spirals into a violent battle between an organised criminal gang, corrupt politicians, and the Vatican itself. The series takes you on quite the journey through various corrupt channels, though there is enough of a human story behind it to give you a great mix of vocabulary both specific and general. This is definitely a series that will benefit those of at least an intermediate level because the pace of dialogue is fairly fast, but you can follow it with subtitles and even switch the audio between English and Italian if you get particularly stuck!
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Ordinary Heroes is a very good example of the expression not all heroes wear capes. The series looks at four citizens instilled with a great sense of civic duty and courage, who paid the ultimate sacrifice for helping to change Italian society for the better. There are only three episodes but each is an hour and a half long, and as well as giving you the chance to practice your Italian, it gives you a glimpse into the modern history of Italy that might not be internationally known. Ordinary Heroes gives you a really personal view of these events which means you will pick up some great Italian expressions, and language aside, is a really fascinating watch. There is no trailer for this one so you’ll just have to trust us!
A Five Star Life
Our final choice for this list is kind of perfect for us, a blend of various travel locations and Italian combined! A Five Star Life is the story of Irene, a hotel inspector on the quest for perfectionism in some of the best hotels in the world. She is focused, determined, and doesn’t need anything else in life — until she does. When her sister’s marriage begins to face difficulty and her best friend and former lover has an unexpected life change to deal with, Irene’s quest turns to one of companionship. A Five Star Life is probably the easiest on this list to begin your Italian-watching with, a really enjoyable watch that is simple to follow, with or without subtitles.
The Italian content on Netflix might only be small at present, but there are plans in place for much more. Keep an eye out for Baby, a teenage drama set in Rome based on a true story, and Luna Nera, a story of witchcraft in 17th century Italy. Happy watching!
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