The joys of Italian TV

This is fun. We’ve just got a small satellite dish installed and can now watch Italian TV (for free) while at home in Cambridge. The hope is that we pick up a little more of the language in a fairly painless way. “Italian TV? But that’s just girls in bikinis in every programme isn’t it?” Well, actually no. It’s nowhere near as bad as its reputation. In fact, it can be a bit old-fashioned in a rather charming way. For example, there’s a couple of quiz gameshows we’ve watched before in Italy (good for learners, because there are lots of pauses!) which seem much more gentle and warm-hearted occasions than the English equivalents. And the pride in la bella paese, the extolling of local food and wine and so on, that repeatedly comes across in the morning magazine programmes makes a nice change from our world-weary cynicism.

And I just love the sound of the language. Must be all those hours and hours spent once upon a time in Cambridge cinemas, at a very impressionable age, watching the likes of Monica Vitti (pictured!).

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