Movies to Watch Before You Go To Italy

by Edward Mack

Jun 15, 2015

Piazza Duomo, Syracuse, Sicily © Ivan Vander Biesen | Dreamstime


Italy is not messing around when it comes to being beautiful. And with a historically healthy film industry, you can catch a glimpse of the romance before ever traveling there. There’s a film (or five) for every city in Italy, and though we can’t list them all, here are the five films that will make you long for grapevine and aqueducts.


Roman Holiday

Audrey Hepburn tools around Rome on a Vespa. Did we mention she’s a princess? One of the greatest films in history showcases one of Italy’s finest cities.


The Great Beauty

A recent entry into Italy’s proud film tradition, The Great Beauty won an Oscar in 2013 for Best Foreign Film. It tells the almost quixotic story of Jeb’s quest for beauty in Rome.


A Room with a View

Why go to Florence if your room doesn’t come with a view? That’s the question Lucy Honeychurch has to deal with (among others like who to marry, but really, we’re more concerned about the view). Florence plays a starring role along with a young Helena Bonham-Carter.


The Red Violin

The Red Violin traces the history of a perfect violin from the town of Cremona over three centuries. The film features flashbacks to different eras of Italy. Bonus: Samuel L. Jackson.



When Malena moves to town on the day Italy enters the war in 1940, she causes a stir among the locals (as Monica Belluci is wont to do). Featuring 1940s Sicily — which is pretty much the same as it is today.


Also check out Bread and Tulips, Under the Tuscan Sun, Life is Beautiful, La Strada, The Bicycle Thief, The English Patient, My House in Umbria, The Talented Mr. Ripley … phew. There are just too many.



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