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By- Claudia Quesito

Together with the unavoidable new year resolutions (i propositi per l’anno nuovo), at the end of each year come the best of (il meglio di) nearly everything. Let’s see what Italians enjoyed during 2019. 

According to box office sales, The Lion King (Il re leone) was the most successful film at the movies, followed by Avengers: End Game and Joker. Movie theaters are still a landmark in bigger cities, where there are cinema storici that offer independent movies in addition to the blockbuster ones. Movies are always dubbed, although in the largest cities, or where there are major universities with a lot of foreign students, you can find also movies in their original language.

As for home-based entertainment, Italians, like Americans, have truly been into TV series over the last few years. The most popular one in 2019 was the Spanish Money Heist (La casa di carta), followed by Stranger Things and The Witcher. TV (the so- called tv generalista, meaning channels broadcast to everyone at no cost) was for a long time the medium par excellence for watching movies, series, and shows, as well as for watching news—and it still is for older people. Younger people tend to have subscriptions to streaming services or cable channels instead and, like virtually everywhere else in the world, they rarely get their daily news or updates via TV anymore.

As for books, 2019 was a good year for them, with an increase in the sales of printed books, e-books, and audiobooks alike, even those from small and independent publishers. One of the best-selling titles was La vita bugiarda degli adulti from Elena Ferrante, the author of the world-renowned four-book series Neapolitan Novels. (Fun fact: Despite the many rumors, no one knows for sure who Elena Ferrante is—even whether she is really a woman or not.)

Other best sellers were I leoni di Sicilia: La saga dei Florio, an historical novel from Stefania Auci, and Il cuoco dell’Alcylon, the final novel by Andrea Camilleri, one of the most influential intellectuals of the last decades. He passed away over the summer after a rich life as writer, director, and teacher.

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