Netflix streams into Italy

Good news for film and TV buffs across Italy: the on-demand service Netflix is now available across the country, with subscribers getting the first month for free.

Netflix streams into Italy
Netflix is now avaliable in Italy. Photo: Matthew Keys / Flickr Creative Commons

The online service was made available from midnight on Wednesday and offers three price plans for Italian subscribers.

The basic package costs €7.99 and will allow users to stream content on one device in normal quality. Other packages, costing €9.99 and €11.99, allow members to stream in HD on more than one device simultaneously.

Netflix can be accessed by anyone with a PC, Mac, tablet, console, internet connected top box, smart phone or smart TV and the company are offering new Italian users one month free in a bid to tempt new customers.

The service is threatening to shake-up global TV habits and will provide stiff competition to well-established and more expensive Italian competitors such as Mediaset and Sky Italia, both of which have recently launched their own on-demand streaming services.

Netflix will allow users to choose from a range of language and subtitle options, meaning foreigners in Italy can veg-out while watching shows in their native language, or use subtitles for language learning effect.

The first Italian TV show produced for Netflix will be Suburra – a ten-part series set in Rome from the makers of the hit mafia series, Gomorra, which was based on a book by journalist Roberto Saviano.

However, the hugely popular shows House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, which were made for Netflix in the US, will not be available to users in Italy as their rights have already been sold to Sky Italia.

But can Italy's inconsistent broadband service cope with all this streaming?

Netflix thinks so. The company recommends speeds of 3MB/s per second for standard viewing and 5MB/s for HD.

The service also launched in Spain earlier this week and is already available in many other European countries including Germany, Switzerland and the UK.


Italy’s Renzi wants ex-ECB boss Draghi to become prime minister: report

Ex-PM Matteo Renzi would like to see former European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi become prime minister of Italy, a party source told Reuters on Sunday.

Italy's Renzi wants ex-ECB boss Draghi to become prime minister: report
Matteo Renzi. Image: Andreas Solaro/ POOL / AFP

“I would say that is one of our proposals,” confirmed the source, who declined to be named.

The Italian government collapsed last week when PM Giuseppe Conte resigned. The former coalition allies are currently trying to come to an agreement and sort out their differences.

The centre-left government had been in turmoil ever since former premier Matteo Renzi withdrew his Italia Viva party earlier this month, a move that forced Conte to step down this week.

During the past year, Renzi frequently criticised Conte’s management of the pandemic and economic crisis.

Italy’s La Stampa newspaper also reported on Sunday that President Sergio Mattarella was considering Draghi for the prime ministerial role. However, Mattarella’s office promptly denied this, saying there had been no contact between them.

So far, there has been no comment from Draghi, who hasn't been seen much in the public eye since 2019.

Italy's president, Sergio Mattarella, gave ruling parties more time on Friday to form a new government, after the resignation of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. 

Coalition parties Italia Viva, the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) and anti-establishment 5-Star Movement must come to an agreement to allow the government to heal. 

Renzi, a former prime minister himself, has pubilcly stated that he does not want to talk about who should lead the next government at this stage, reasoning that the parties need to agree on a way forward first.

“Any effort today to fuel a discussion about Draghi is offensive to Draghi and above all to the president of the republic,” Renzi said in an interview published on Sunday with Corriere della Sera.

A senior Italia Viva lawmaker also told Reuters that “If the president gives a mandate to Draghi, we would certainly support this”. 

Renzi, whose party is not even registering three percent support in opinion polls, quit the coalition over Conte’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and his plans for spending more than 200 billion euros from a European Union fund to help Italy’s damaged economy.

READ ALSO: Why do Italy's governments collapse so often?