From La Dolce Vita to Under the Tuscan Sun, Musement shares ten of the best films set in Italy.
Italy’s reopening its borders makes the thought of traveling even more appealing. Yet, the current uncertainty of the times might be reason enough to hesitate to book a trip. So, let the cinema take you there in the meantime. Whether you’re looking to wax nostalgic or seeking future travel inspiration, here are ten of the best films set in Italy. This was tricky to narrow down therfore it’s by no means exhaustive let us know in the comments if we’ve missed one of your faves.
1. Roman Holiday, 1953
Audrey Hepburn stars as Princess Ann who sneaks out of her country’s embassy in Rome during a state visit. While she’s exploring the city, she meets American journalist Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) and they spend an have an adventure-filled day in the Eternal City complete with some romance.
2. The Great Beauty, 2013
Paolo Sorrentino’s Oscar-winning film features Tony Servillo as Jep Gambardella, a sixty-five-year-old writer/playboy enthralled wit the “high life.” With the swoon-worthy scenery, Rome plays just as much of a starring role as Servillo in this Felliniesque film.
3. La Dolce Vita, 1960
There’s no place like Rome. And there’s no way character more appropriate to vicariously experience Rome than through Marcello Rubini. Portrayed by the inimitable Marcello Mastroianni, this celebrity journalist galavants about Rome living the sweet life, and Fellini’s iconic film portrays seven episodes, or days, in his life.
4. The Talented Mr. Ripley, 1999
Anthony Minghella’s psychological thriller, based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1955 novel, takes place in the 1950s. Tom Ripley (Matt Damon), a New York-based pianist, finds himself on the Amalfi Coast rolling with a jet-setting crowd and starts to creepily plant himself in their lives.
5. Call Me By Your Name, 2017
Luca Guadagnino’s unforgettable coming of age tale was filmed in Crema, a gorgeous town in Lombardy about one-hour from Milan. It might not have been on our radar before, but once you’ve seen the film, you’ll be adding Crema to your Italy bucket list.
6. I Am Love, 2009
Another gem from Luca Guadagnino, and one that shows Milan in its best light. Tilda Swinton stars as Emma, a Russian woman who married into a bourgeois Milanese family who embarks on a love affair with her adult son’s friend.
7. Enchanted April , 1991
Based on Elizabeth Van Armin’s 1922 novel, Mike Newell’s film tells the story of four women who leave rainy England for a vacation in Italy. Portrayed by Miranda Richardson, Josie Lawrence, Polly Walker, and Joan Plowright, these four women don’t really know each other previously and all let a Mediterranean castle for the month of April.
8. A Room with a View , 1985
An adaptation of E.M. Forester’s 1908 novel, James Ivory’s film stars Helena Bonham-Carter as Lucy Honeychurch. When traveling in Florence with her cousin (Maggie Smith), she grows quite taken with a free-spirited George Emerson (Denholm Elliot) only to return to England and contemplate her life and impending marriage to Cecil Vyse (Daniel Day-Lewis).
9. Bread and Tulips , 2000
Silvio Soldini’s endearing romantic comedy introduces us to Rosalba Barletta (Licia Maglietta), who finds herself stranded at a rest stop during a family vacation. Instead of waiting for them to come back for her, she carries on, winds up in Venice, and gets caught up in romance.
10. Under the Tuscan Sun, 2003
While Audrey Wells’ film adaptation takes some liberties with Frances Mayes’ memoir, there’s no denying that the scenery is exquisite. Diane Lane stars as a recently divorced woman who, on a whim, buys a house in Tuscany and starts a life there.