RAI does have advertising on its 3 TV channels in Italy.
True, however it is not similar to what we see on our national networks here.
Also, When I stated that RAI had no advertisements, I was referring to their channels here. The programming over WNYC and more recently, WNYE had no interruptions. For any type of sponsor message I recall seeing, it was always after the conclusion of the show.
I am not familiar with their cable network which is still available here and other countries outside of Italy, but from what I gather, their support is still subject to further cutbacks and thus most likely not from advertising, or at least not advertising alone. I have never watched their programming, so I am not totally certain about that.
Since the broadcast programming went off the air, I have seen letters to the editor of various Italian language newspapers regarding how RAI has treated expatriots who were loyally paying the "canone" or the TV tax while they lived in Italy and how they feel abandoned by RAI Corp at this time.