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.


German tourists among 13 dead in Italy cable car accident

Thirteen people, including German tourists, have been killed after a cable car disconnected and fell near the summit of the Mottarone mountain near Lake Maggiore in northern Italy.

German tourists among 13 dead in Italy cable car accident
The local emergency services published this photograph of the wreckage. Photo: Vigili del Fuoco

The accident was announced by Italy’s national fire and rescue service, Vigili del Fuoco, at 13.50 on Sunday, with the agency saying over Twitter that a helicopter from the nearby town of Varese was on the scene. 

Italy’s National Alpine and Speleological Rescue Corps confirmed that there were 13 victims and two seriously injured people.

Italian daily Corriere della Sera reported that German tourists were among the 13 victims.

According to their report, there were 15 passengers inside the car — which can hold 35 people — at the time a cable snapped, sending it tumbling into the forest below. Two seriously injured children, aged nine and five, were airlifted to hospital in Turin. 

The cable car takes tourists and locals from Stresa, a resort town on Lake Maggiore up to a panoramic peak on the Mottarone mountain, reaching some 1,500m above sea level. 

According to the newspaper, the car had been on its way from the lake to the mountain when the accident happened, with rescue operations complicated by the remote forest location where the car landed. 

The cable car had reopened on April 24th after the end of the second lockdown, and had undergone extensive renovations and refurbishments in 2016, which involved the cable undergoing magnetic particle inspection (MPI) to search for any defects. 

Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Twitter that he expressed his “condolences to the families of the victims, with special thoughts for the seriously injured children and their families”.

Infrastructure Minister Enrico Giovannini told Italy’s Tg1 a commission of inquiry would be established, according to Corriere della Sera: “Our thoughts go out to those involved. The Ministry has initiated procedures to set up a commission and initiate checks on the controls carried out on the infrastructure.”

“Tomorrow morning I will be in Stresa on Lake Maggiore to meet the prefect and other authorities to decide what to do,” he said.