14 Films that will transport you to Italy

If we can’t travel to Italy, lets experience Italy via the movies. Here are our favourite films that capture the beauty, charm and stunning locations of Italy including Rome, Venice, Florence and the luscious countryside in Tuscany and Umbria.

1. A Room with a View (1985)

When Lucy Honeychurch and chaperone Charlotte Bartlett find themselves in Florence with rooms without views, fellow guests Mr. Emerson and son George step in to remedy the situation. Upon her return to England, Lucy must decide whether to follow through with her marriage to her stoic fiancé, Cecil Vyse, or follow her heart and her growing attraction to George.

  • Italy locations: Florence
  • Starring: Helena Bonham Carter, Dame Maggie Smith, Julian Sands and Daniel Day-Lewis
     

 

2. La Dolce Vita (1960)

Directed by Federico Fellini, this film features journalist and man-about-town Marcello as he struggles to find his place in the world. Torn between the allure of Rome's elite social scene and the stifling domesticity offered by his girlfriend, all the while searching for a way to become a serious writer.

  • Italy locations: Rome and Vatican City
  • Starring: Marcello Mastroianni, Anita Ekberg, Anouk Aimée 

 

3. Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)

Frances Mayes is an American writer whose perfect life has just taken an unexpected detour. Her recent divorce has left her with terminal writer's block and extreme depression. Frances decides to take a break and she buys a villa in the beautiful Tuscan countryside and decides to begin anew. Restoring her new home, she eventually finds the fulfillment she was searching for, including love.

  • Italy locations: Positano, Siena, Florence, Rome, plus other locations in Tuscany
  • Starring: Diane Lane, Raoul Bova, Sandra Oh

 

4. Roman Holiday (1953)

Overwhelmed by her suffocating schedule, touring European princess Ann takes off for a night while in Rome. When a sedative she took from her doctor kicks in, however, she falls asleep on a park bench and is found by an American reporter, Joe Bradley, who takes her back to his apartment for safety. At work the next morning, Joe finds out Ann's regal identity and bets his editor he can get exclusive interview with her, but romance soon gets in the way.

  • Italy locations: Rome
  • Starring: Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, Eddie Albert

 

5. Angels and Demons (2009)

Following the murder of a physicist, Father Silvano Bentivoglio, a symbolist, Robert Langdon, and a scientist, Vittoria Vetra, are on an adventure involving a secret brotherhood, the Illuminati. Clues lead them all around the Vatican, including the four altars of science, Earth, Air, Fire and Water. An assassin, working for the Illuminati, has captured four cardinals, and murders each, painfully. Robert and Vittoria also are searching for a new destructive weapon that could kill millions.

  • Italy locations: Rome and Vatican City
  • Starring: Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Ayelet Zurer 

 

 

6. The Talented Mr Ripley (1999)

In late 1950s New York, Tom Ripley is sent to Italy to retrieve Dickie Greenleaf, a rich and spoiled millionaire playboy. In Italy, Tom attaches himself to Dickie and to Marge, Dickie's cultured fiancée, pretending to love jazz as he soaks in luxury. When the handsome and confident Dickie tires of Tom, dismissing him as a bore, Tom goes to extreme lengths to make Greenleaf's privileges his own.

  • Italy locations: Positano, Venice, Rome, Naples, Palermo and Tuscany
  • Starring: Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law 

 

7. Life is Beautiful (1997)

In 1930s Italy, a carefree Jewish book keeper named Guido starts a fairy tale life by courting and marrying a lovely woman from a nearby city. Guido and his wife have a son and live happily together until the occupation of Italy by German forces. In an attempt to hold his family together and help his son survive the horrors of a Jewish Concentration Camp, Guido imagines that the Holocaust is a game and that the grand prize for winning is a tank.

  • Italy locations: Tuscany and Lazio
  • Starring: Robert Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi
     

 

8. The Trip to Italy (2014)

Years after their successful restaurant review tour of Northern Britain, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are commissioned for a new tour in Italy. Once again, the two comedy buddies/rivals take the landscape as well as the cuisine of that country in a trip filled with witty repartee and personal insecurities. Along the way they indulge in meals in six different places around Italy including Liguria, Tuscany, Rome, Amalfi and ending in Capri. 

  • Italy locations: Ravello, Amalfi Coast
  • Starring: Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon, Rosie Fellner 
     

 

9. Cinema Paradiso (1988)

A boy who grew up in a native Sicilian Village returns home as a famous director after receiving news about the death of an old friend. Told in a flashback, Salvatore reminiscences about his childhood and his relationship with Alfredo, a projectionist at Cinema Paradiso. Under the fatherly influence of Alfredo, Salvatore fell in love with film making, with the duo spending many hours discussing about films and Alfredo painstakingly teaching Salvatore the skills that became a stepping stone for the young boy into the world of film making. 

  • Italy locations: Sicily and Rome
  • Starring: Philippe Noiret, Enzo Cannavale, Antonella Attili 

 

10. Much Ado About Nothing (1993)

Young lovers Hero and Claudio are to be married in one week. To pass the time, they conspire with Don Pedro to set a "lover's trap" for Benedick, an arrogant confirmed bachelor, and Beatrice, his favorite sparring partner. Meanwhile, the evil Don Jon conspires to break up the wedding by accusing Hero of infidelity. In the end, though, it all turns out to be "much ado about nothing".

  • Italy locations:  Villa Vignamaggio, Greve in Chianti, Florence and Tuscany
  • Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Keanu Reeves

 

11. Stealing Beauty (1996)

After her mother commits suicide, Lucy travels to Italy to visit her mother's friends and to reunite with Nicolo Donati, a Italian boy she once fell in love with four years ago, when she last visited Italy. But reuniting with Nicolo isn't the only reason why Lucy decided to return to Italy, Lucy is on a personal journey, as she sets out to solve a mystery in her Mother's diary and discover who her father is. 

  • Italy locations: Tuscany
  • Starring: Jeremy Irons, Liv Tyler, Carlo Cecchi


12. To Rome With Love (2012)

In Woody Allen's ensemble comedy To Rome With Love, various lives intersect in the Italian city. The characters include architect John, a young man in love with his girlfriend's best friend, an opera director who finds an undiscovered talent in an unexpected place, and Leopoldo, who inadvertently becomes one of the most famous people in Rome.

  • Italy locations: Rome
  • Starring:Woody Allen, Penélope Cruz, Jesse Eisenberg

 

13. Malena (2000)

On the day in 1940 that Italy enters the war, two things happen to the 12-year-old Renato: he gets his first bike, and he gets his first look at Malèna. She is a beautiful, silent outsider who's moved to this Sicilian town to be with her husband, Nino. He promptly goes off to war, leaving her to the lustful eyes of the men and the sharp tongues of the women. During the next few years, as Renato grows toward manhood, he watches Malèna suffer and prove her mettle. 

  • Italy locations: Sicily
  • Starring: Monica Bellucci, Giuseppe Sulfaro, Luciano Federico 
     

 

14. Only You (1994)

Schoolteacher Faith Corvatch believes she is destined to spend her life with a man named "Damon Bradley." Just days before she is to marry a podiatrist she may not love, she receives a phone call from a friend of her fiance's named, you guessed it, Damon Bradley. Bradley is on his way to Venice, and Faith decides to spend her Labor Day weekend pursuing her dream man. Accompanying her on the trip is her sister-in-law, Kate, who has just left her husband.

  • Italy locations: Positano, San Gimignano, Venice and Rome
  • Starring: Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr., Bonnie Hunt 

 


 

Visit our blog for more film recommendations, including 17 Films that will transport you to France.

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Michele Zavaglia

Michele Zavaglia is the Marketing Manager at Albatross Tours.