Italy has a long relationship with movie-making that goes back to the start of the world’s film industry. The country is the birthplace of Art Cinema, and epic historical films like Otello, The Last Days of Pompeii were big productions with lavish costumes and sets that filmmakers around the world once put on a pedestal during the Italian film industry’s golden years. From Italian Futurism in the 1910s to glamorous comedies, Italian filmmakers have not only provided entertainment to the people but have influenced the film industry worldwide.
Today Italy remains one of the most important countries for cinema production and is home to the oldest film festival globally. The Venice Film Festival kicked off in 1932 and is one of the most prestigious among the movie set. After the USA and the UK, Italy is the country with the most Academy Awards wins. Italy has also won the most Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Films, with 14 awards, three special awards and 31 nominations in this category. So, it’s no surprise that Italian shows on Netflix are creative, cutting-edge and high quality. Here are some Italian series on Netflix you will enjoy.
- 12 Italian Shows On Netflix
- Italian Crime Drama Series
- Italian Drama Series on Netflix
- Italian Comedy Series on Netflix
- Italian Sci-Fi and Fantasy Series on Netflix
- Historic Italian Shows on Netflix
12 Italian Shows On Netflix
Italian Crime Drama Series
1- The Trial (Il Processo)
A 17-year-old girl, Angelina, is murdered, and her body washes up in a canal in the city.
Lead investigator, Elena, is embroiled in a situation where evidence linking her to the case could place her career at risk, but she takes on the case against her better judgment.
Because the lead suspect is the daughter of the city’s wealthiest businessman, the case skyrockets into the public eye.
The script keeps audiences guessing and engaged in figuring out the twists and turns.
The Trial is a riveting Italian series on Netflix to watch, and the cinematography and soundtrack create a high-budget feel.
The Trial is a storyline full of secrets, and other themes are betrayal, justice and guilt.
The music of Billie Eilish’s sinister song “Bury a Friend” sets the mood for a murder mystery to look forward to.
Crime fans will not be disappointed by this series, and it’s much better to watch it in Italian with English subtitles.
First episode: 29 November 2019 on Canale 5 and 20 April 2020 on Netflix.
Filmed in: Mantua in northern Italy’s Lombardy region. Mantua is a city with three lakes and beautiful Renaissance architecture left behind by the Gonzaga rulers. An imposing building is the Ducal Palace, with its frescoed Bridal Chamber, and the Te Palace, where the Chamber of the Giants is painted with phantasmagorical mythological scenes.
Cast: Vittoria Puccini, Francesco Scianna
2- Carlo & Malik
In this modern Italian crime series on Netflix, a veteran homicide cop partners up with a rookie born on the Ivory Coast to solve a string of murders in Rome.
Carlo Guerrieri and Malik Soprani and Carlo’s medical examiner daughter, Alba, are the core team at the Rione Monti police station.
An Italian family adopted Malik, who grew up in Italy.
He creates havoc when he joins the station, and there’s also an attraction between Malik and Alba while Carlo is protective of his daughter.
Carlo and Malik balance their personal lives with several criminal cases, from bodies in suitcases to stabbings in sex shops.
It’s easy and fun to watch but not an award-winning series; however, watching this is a great way to get into the reality of life in Rome.
First episode: 22 March 2019.
Filmed in: Rome.
Cast: Miguel Gobbo Diaz, Rosa Diletta Rossi, Claudio Amendola, Alessandro Sperduti, Fortunato Cerlino.
3- Suburra: Blood on Rome
Suburra: Blood on Rome is based on a real political scandal about a fight over land development in a coastal town near Rome.
Politicians, the church, Mafia, and real estate developers collide with blurred lines between what’s legal and what’s illegal.
Everyone is on a quest for power, but not everyone will achieve that goal.
Suburra: Blood on Rome was the first Italian language series on Netflix and is addictive, layered with complex twists and is a series that will get you thinking.
It opens with a land deal to purchase land in Ostia, a coastal town outside of Rome.
A complex web of characters become entangled in the deal, from the Vatican to Rome’s Municipal Commission to rival gangs and Mafia characters.
A great deal of horse-trading goes on that will give you a good look into how things work in Italy.
First episode: 6 October 2017.
Filmed in: Rome. Ostia is a district of Rome by the Tyrrhenian Sea and a popular seaside holiday destination. In addition, it has an important archaeological site known as Ostia Antica.
Cast: Alessandro Borghi, Giacomo Ferrara, Eduardo Valdarnini, Francesco Acquaroli, Filippo Nigro, Claudia Gerini, Adamo Dionisi, Barbara Chichiarelli, Elisabetta De Palo, Carlotta Antonelli, Renato Marchetti, and Jacopo Venturiero.
4- Ordinary Heroes (Liberi Sognatori)
Ordinary Heroes is divided into episodes about courageous citizens whose sense of civic duty and sacrifice plays an essential role in shaping Italian society.
A Palermo businessman is a victim of the Mafia but refuses to bend, so the clan decides to kill for revenge.
A reporter who exposed the hand of the Mafia in Sicilian public service is murdered, but the crime is unpunished.
A young mother becomes a councillor in Salento and is forced to handle property developers in a stressful situation.
First episode: 2018.
Cast: Giorgio Tirabassi, Diane Fleri, Michela Cescon, Carlo Calderone, Valentina D’Agostino.
Baby is a Netflix show in Italian inspired by the 2014 scandal of Baby Squillo.
The story follows a student, Chiara, at an elite private high school in Rome who has a double life.
The rich girl is disillusioned with her privileged life and gets involved with another girl, a troublemaker who needs money.
Chiara is drawn into underage prostitution while pursuing a relationship with another student and the son of an ambassador.
Hiding her secret life becomes highly stressful.
First episode: 15 January 2015.
Filmed in: Rome.
Cast: Anna Falchi, Valeria Solarino, Marco Leonardi, Lucrezia Lante della Rovere, Paolo Calabrese, Gianfranco Gallizio, Andrea Di Luzio, Federico Amadori, Fabrizio Moroni, Giuliano Montaldo, and Enrico Brignano.
Italian Drama Series on Netflix
Summertime is inspired by Federico Moccia’s books and is about an introverted young woman, Summer, who meets motorcyclist, Ale.
Set in the town of Cesenatico, Summer works at Grand Hotel Cesenatico to support her mother when her father, who is a jazz musician, goes abroad.
Her best friends, Sofia and Edo, and a younger sister add to the relationship mix.
Ale is a famous motorcyclist from Rome who is taking a break from racing after a near-death accident.
He is under pressure from his father to return to racing but has lost his nerve and interest.
What happens when Ale falls in love with Summer? This lovely Italian Netflix series is about a good old-fashioned love affair in a modern setting.
First episode: 29 April 2020
Filmed in: Marina di Ravenna, Cesenatico and Rome. Marina di Ravenna is a popular seaside town with fabulous beaches. It’s popular with younger travellers because it’s not far from the city. One of its famous attractions is the Pagura platform, a former drilling platform sunk into the sea for diving and marine research.
Cast: Rebecca Coco Edogamhe, Ludovico Tersigni, Amanda Campana, Andrea Lattanzi.
Italian Comedy Series on Netflix
7- Generation 56k
The curiously named series on Netflix is about a chance encounter that leads two 30-somethings to reminisce about the year they met as teenagers in 1998.
It was the year the internet changed their lives.
Skip back to the present, and Daniel meets his date, arranged via a dating app, and they have a great time.
He discovers his date was a girl who had a crush on him at school, but she wasn’t the woman whom he was supposed to meet for the date.
Generation 56k is a light-hearted romantic comedy that is easy to watch.
First episode: 1 July 2021
Filmed in: Rome and Procida in Naples. Located off the Naples coast in the south of Italy, Procida is a Flegrean Island between Cape Miseno and Ischia. Its colourful buildings, blue skies, and sparkling water make it an enticing place for an Italian romance.
Cast: Angelo Spagnoletti, Cristina Cappelli, Fabio Balsamo, Gianluca Colucci.
Italian Sci-Fi and Fantasy Series on Netflix
Curon is an Italian Netflix series about a woman who vanishes after she and her teenage twins arrive at her hometown.
It follows the teenagers’ discovery of the town’s secrets.
The show is set in an atmospheric northern Italian village with a mysterious lake and sunken bell tower.
It’s a must-watch for fans of the supernatural/horror genre, and it will keep you at the edge of your seat.
First episode: 10 June 2020.
Filmed in: Curon Venosta in Northern Italy and around the Trentino-South Tyrol region. One of Curon’s main landmarks is the half-submerged bell tower, which is a reminder that the old town of Curon Venosta and part Resia lie 22m below Lake Resia. Residents were moved to the new Curon Venosta, however, the bell tower of the 14th-century Church of Santa Caterina d’Alessandria is an eerie reminder of the past.
Cast: Valeria Bilello, Luca Lionello, and Federico Russo.
Zero is a supernatural series about a shy teenager in Milan who discovers the power to become invisible.
Follow the story of comic-book artist and pizza delivery boy, Omar, who struggles to control his power.
When Omar meets architectural student Anna, she inspires him to put out the fire on one of the scooters set alight on his delivery rounds.
Even though he was trying to do good, a young man named Shariff chases Omar with a gun, believing Omar is the firebug.
Stressed out and cornered in an abandoned warehouse, Omar suddenly discovers a superpower to disappear.
The two become friends and go on a quest to use Omar’s power to save their neighbourhood.
Zero has two strong metaphors – the power of being invisible (because no one notices you) and it also is about the under-represented migrant population of the city.
This fantasy series is a good watch and is loosely based on the novel Non ho mai avuto la mia età by Antonio Dikele Distefano.
First episode: 21 April 2021
Filmed in: Milan’s migrant suburbs. Milan is packed with history and culture. It is also a place where people from all over the world come to visit, so it’s unusual to get a look at the non-touristy parts of Milan.
Cast: Giuseppe Dave Seke, Haroun Fall and Beatrice Grannò.
10- Luna Nera
Luna Nera is set in 17th-century Italy and is about a teenage midwife accused of witchcraft during an era when witches are burned at the stake with little evidence.
Ade and her brother escape, but their grandmother is executed for being a witch after a baby her grandmother was trying to deliver for an upper-crust family is stillborn.
This is the point when Ade learns that there’s a group of women who can help protect her.
The storyline moves at an exciting pace, and the series is visually appealing while making a statement about women’s rights.
Another distinctive feature of Luna Nera is it was largely produced and written by women, which is unusual in Italy.
First episode: 31 January 2020
Filmed in: Cinecitta Studios in Rome, a vast production facility and the largest in Europe, Canale Monterano and Tuscany.
Cast: Nina Fotaras, Giorgio Belli, Gloria Carovana and Giandomenico Cupaiuolo.
If you have kids, tune into this Italian animated show on Netflix, an animated version of the Lord of the Rings.
Toby, Nick, Lucas and Jessica hide in the kitchen and discover a secret passage from their home to the “Temple of the Elements” and are magically transported to Gorm.
Nick and Toby learn they have the power to become powerful creatures known as Gormitis.
Their newly discovered powers and adventures lead them to a mission to save their world.
The series is called Gormitis after the warriors found on the island of Gorm, which are split into two armies – Good and Evil.
First episode: 27 October 27 2008
Historic Italian Shows on Netflix
12- Roman Empire
Roman Empire is part documentary and part historical enactment that tells the story of Rome’s great leaders.
The Italian historical series is based on actual historical events and is narrated in an anthology format, with a different story for each season.
The first season is called “Reign of Blood” and is about Commodus, the emperor whose rule started at the beginning of the fall of the Roman Empire.
The second season is called “Master of Rome” and is about the rise of Julius Caesar and provides interesting insights into the fall of the Roman Republic.
It’s followed by “The Mad Emperor” about the antics of Emperor Caligula, the crazy Roman emperor who ruled from 37 to 41 AD known for his cruelty, insanity, and debauchery. He had a large harem of concubines and had sex orgies often. He was also known for being very paranoid and suspicious of people around him and would often have people killed for trivial things. What a charming fellow!
First episode: 11 November 2016.
Filmed in: Rome.
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