Posted by: debrakolkka | October 30, 2010

Italian telivision

We have just had to pay an annual fee for the privilege of watching Italian television. I don’t watch Italian TV, but we have a television set so we have to pay.

In a country of such beauty and style it is shameful that the viewing public is served cheap and nasty trash.  Toilet humour, corny shows featuring tits and bums and 30 year old American cop shows make up the usual fare.  There are endless talk shows featuring old, ugly male hosts with a bevvy of half naked girls fawning all over them.  What is even more shameful is that the public seems to like these programs.  Televisions are on with the volume turned up in many restaurants, making it diffucult to avoid the rubbish.

I once commented on the awfulness of a show where one host played the piano (badly), while another sang (badly) and a scantily clad girl danced a stuffed toy around the top of the piano.  The set was supposed to be a living room where guests sat around small tables, supposedly engrossed in the antics.  Good grief!!!!  My criticisms  were howled down, and I was told it was a wonderful show.

It has been suggested that I watch TV in Italy to help me learn the language.  I would rather stick pins in my eyes.

I believe Berlusconi has quite a lot to do with what is seen on Italian TV.  This would be a clue as to the quality of the programs.  Until the viewing public demands something better, or gets rid of Silvio,  this is what they will continue to get.  In the meantime, my DVD collection grows and grows.


  1. We do not watch Italian TV either and so far we have not received a bill… dare we hope it stays that way?!!! Thank goodness for the internet and all intelligent and free content that is out there such as TED! Buona Domenica!

  2. And this from the country that brought us Tree of Wooden Clogs and Cinema Paradiso!

    • It is such a shame. Italy has done some wonderful movies – I love Cinema Paradiso as well – but they are certainly not using their talents well in TV.

  3. I agree with you! Do they still have that show called Tutti Fruitti? Terrible unless you’re a perv..

    • I don’t know Tutti Frutti. You will have to tell me all about it.

  4. Wow., that kinda surprises me!! Kinda sad really…., thank goodness for the internet (& DVD Collections…, gotta love the DVD collections huh)

  5. Hehe so THIS is why we hear all about Italia food and cars but not their TV?

  6. We’ll bring books then Deb!
    Welcome home.

    • The apartment has full bookshelves and a huge DVD collection.

  7. I was very disappointed in Italian TV when in Rome for a week in May and able to see a TV for the first time in 4 weeks. (We found the Italian trains from Melan to Venice to Florence so crouded and well used, not knowing the planes were grounded!)

    There seemed to be endless pannel/chat shows and only three channels in English, all news: the BBC was ALL about the British ellection, CBS was only about the US news, and the Russian channel was about how they won the Second World War single handed.

  8. Can I suggest the Italian “who wants to be a millionaire” Not great T V but great for the language. The questions are all written on the screen, and endlessly repeated by the host, giving the viewer ample time to translate, and work out the answers before the right one is revealed.
    For good global news coverage, we find Al Jazeera a good option. Very professional English speaking presenters.
    Other than that I agree with everything everyone has said before

    • Hi Mike,
      Funny you should mention Who want to be a millionaire? It is always on at Marco’s when we are there for a pizza and I do follow the questions and answers. I can’t stand the programme here, but it is good for Italian practice. We now have a set top box and can get BBC world etc. It is the local channels that are completely awful.

  9. Hallelujah and amen! This is so true and it’s enormously frustrating, even though we don’t have a TV. It pukes out crap that is degrading to women while patronizing an entire nation and leaves whom ever watches it left numb and brainwashed. I feel sorry for the Italian people – if they are to move forward, TV content must be torn down and rebuilt.

    • I am constantly amazed at how absolutely terrible TV is in Italy. How can they do something that is so bad???

  10. I totally agree with you Debra!

  11. Sorry, but this is your best post ever.


    • Glad you liked it.

  12. Hi… the weeks away in Italy i got only the world cup soccer but the years before when i was alone in my 2×2 room in venice i switched on the TV and got to watch a whole show of Charmed (lucky i had seem it before) and would you believe a rerun of australia’s Blue Heelers…. hahahha and the only word that I understood was ‘BJ’….. I guess travel is about what we learn and not necesarily about what we usually watch at home… hahah and when i was in Germany my time out was listening to audio books down loaded from itunes….. good luck with the language.. love this blog story.. realme07

  13. LOl LOL Debra your post made me laugh so much! It is a good analysis of the Italian TV. For the first time I feel your anger in a blog…it is cute though:)
    I want to suggest downloading videos from Itunes, they have all kind of movies and you can rent some of them. So if you have a good computer screen you will find Itunes very helpful.
    Good luck learning Italian lol lol…

    • I think I am just disappointed that Italians are happy with such rubbish. I really don’t need TV in Italy. There are so many other wonderful things to do. My Italian is coming along – slowly. I’m so glad you are back.

      • Italian TV has ALWAYS been awful.

        Been going to our family house in the Bagni area since the early sixties.
        At that time, TV was actually fun because TVs were not common and we would go to the local bar or village center to watch together but nobody was actually watching. It was a way for the villagers to come together since the society was not as mobile and prosperous in those days. People needed each other.

        Everything has changed from those days, for the good and the bad. We don’t own a tv in Italy and never will. I am glad to be completely present for the time I am there.

        Thank you for your wonderful blog. I appreciate the connection when I can’t be there.

  14. I love that you got so many comments on this post! We get Rai Uno at home and I’m constantly amazed at the shows-I watch just to hear the language, and it never ceases to amaze me what’s on! There’s a travel show I really like-Sereno Variabile-but it’s hardly ever on. I agree with watching Chi Vuole Essere Millionario-when I was there for a month studying the language I watched this every evening-it certainly helped having the words on the screen! Can’t believe you have to pay a fee!

  15. When I was growing up tv licences were mandatory, this is where Italy is in the dark ages and as for the boobs & bums programs -they are politically incorrect as in the 50’s & 60’s.

  16. This made me smile. When we were in Ponte Sereglio last week we had dinner in Marco’s twice. I was facing away from the telly but hubby was facing towards it. I commented on the fact that it sounded like Who wants to be a Millionaire – yes it was!! There was also an awful dubbed version of a 1950’s film (cringe) which my better half just couldn’t help watching – he didn’t want to – what is it about a TV that makes you watch if it’s on?

    The food was fab though – thanks Marco, we’ll be back.

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