How to Watch Italian TV—From Anywhere—With a VPN
Update: Since writing this article, a new service has emerged. Stream Locator promises geo-unblocking from any device for any service. “Access international catalogs from Hulu, HBO Max, Peacock, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, and multiple Netflix countries.” I have yet to use Stream Locator, but it could be exactly what we are all looking for!
If you still want to learn more about other ways to access Italian TV with a VPN, read on:
One of the weird skills I have picked up from living all over the world is the ability to watch nearly anything with the help of a VPN.
I use my VPN to watch shows and events in Italy when I am outside of the country. Mostly Serie A matches. But I also like to be able to tap into Italian Netflix and shows on RAI from time to time.
I also use my VPN to watch American TV when I am in Italy or elsewhere. I love to be able to watch all the offerings on American Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, etc. no matter where I am.
Get a VPN
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a tool that lets it look like your computer or device is in a different location than where it really is.
There are many companies that offer free VPN services. However, I highly recommend a paid VPN service instead of a free one. A free VPN can be loaded with malware or privacy issues. Plus, I’ve found that the free ones don’t work very well.
I apologize that this sounds like an ad. But I have used a lot of VPNs over the years and none have worked as well as Express VPN.
Express VPN has an app in the Apple App Store that you can use for watching TV and films on your phone or iPad. They also have an app on Amazon’s Firestick. The app makes it easy to turn on a location on your TV for wherever it is you want to get content.
I have also heard good things about Nord VPN and Strong VPN, but have never used them myself.
How I Watch TV Shows and Films With a VPN
I mentioned above that I use Amazon’s Firestick for watching programs. I use this for most of my TV and film viewing. (Though occasionally I will watch something on my iPad.)
Firestick seems to work better for watching shows with a VPN (compared to Apple TV, Smart TV apps, et al). Plus it’s easier. Just download the Express VPN app on Firestick, set your location, and then choose the streaming service you want to watch. If it doesn’t work right away, you may need to clear your cache or restart your Firestick.
Make sure that the VPN location should be compatible with the service or show you want to watch. So, if you want to watch a show in Italy, set the VPN to Milan or another Italian location.
This post is not about how to watch things for free. Rather it is to help you use the services for which you or your friends or family members subscribe to.
I pay for my accounts to Netflix, Hulu, etc. And I feel like I should be able to use them wherever I want, even when I am outside of their viewable region.
Netflix has branches all over the world. So if you want to see what they are showing on Netflix Italia, all you need is your own Netflix account and a VPN. First, set the VPN to an Italian location. Then click on the app. Netflix will think you are in Italy and will give you the Netflix Italia menu. As mentioned above, if it doesn’t work right away, you may need to clear your cache and/or restart your Firestick.
How to Watch RAI
You can watch RAI, Italian public television, without an account. But you will need a VPN if you are not in Italy.
Turn on the VPN and set it to an Italian location. Then go to RaiPlay.it. You should be able to see and watch whatever is available on the RaiPlay site. If you want to save your favorites, then you will need to create an account. I did this and it was a simple, free registration. Though, you will need to know some Italian to be able to get through the registration process.
How to Watch Serie A Soccer
If you want to watch Serie A matches outside of Italy, there are many more ways to do so. A lot of ways do not require a VPN at all, since numerous sports networks (e.g. BT Sport in the UK, Sony Sports in India) broadcast Serie A games.
If you are in the U.S., the best way to get access to all Serie A games is by signing up for Paramount+. In 2021, Paramount+ became the U.S. broadcaster of Serie A games and will broadcast live Serie A games through the 2023/24 season. Per World Soccer Talk, “fans of the Italian top-flight can watch every Serie A league match on Paramount+, as well as 25 Coppa Italia games per year, and the Supercoppa Italiana match.”
Elsewhere, another way to watch Serie A soccer is with DAZN. DAZN replaced Sky as the premier broadcaster of Serie A in Italy. DAZN is available in a few other countries (e.g., the U.S., Canada), but only has rights to broadcast Serie A in Italy.
For even more Italian football and other sports, there’s the SportItalia website and the individual team channels on YouTube.
Why take this advice from me? When I’m not writing about Italy, I am an IT help desk professional, my family’s personal technician, and an all-around nerd. 🙂
If you’re trying to figure out how to watch a certain Italian program or network that is not listed above, let me know. I can probably give you pointers. And it will be something else I can add to the list to help others.