Italy, the colorful towns and cities, breathtaking lands, vineyards, architecture, history, food, and culture inspired many movies over the decades. Here are my 10 movies to see before visiting Italy. Some of them actually inspired me to visit specific towns and cities there! A perfect movie composition for the preparation period, before visiting the country of the dolce vita. Enjoy!
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#1 Under the Tuscan Sun
As a lady, this is one of the best movies to see before visiting Italy! I watched this one at least a thousand times. Especially when I was going crazy after returning home from Italy. Or any time I was missing Italy. Or when I just saw a picture or anything on social media that reminded me of Italy and I had some spare time for a movie.
About the movie: The famous writer, Frances Mayes after going through an ugly divorce, decides to go on a trip to Tuscany, where she ends up buying a villa called Bramasole in Cortona. The story presents how this single woman builds a new life in Italy. A beautiful story about self-development, romance, and friendship with spectacular sceneries from Tuscany. You can actually visit Bramasole in Cortona by the way!
#2 Eat Pray Love
Pretty sure most of you have already seen this at least once, if not 10 times! Story: Liz thought she had everything she wanted in life: a home, a husband and a successful career. Now newly divorced and facing a turning point, she finds that she is confused about what is important to her. Another story about a single woman walking on the path of self-development while traveling and living in Rome, then India and Bali. This movie inspired numerous solo female travelers around the world, and it’s basically one of the reasons why many fellow ladies started to travel alone.
#3 Letters to Juliet
Story: While visiting Verona, with her busy fiance, a young woman named Sophie visits the house of Juliet where the heartbroken leave notes to Shakespeare’s tragic heroine, Juliet Capulet. Finding one such letter from 1957, Sophie decides to write to its now elderly author, Claire. Inspired by Sophie’s actions, Claire sets out to find her long-lost lover, accompanied by her disapproving grandson and Sophie. Another beautiful love story with inspiring scenes from all over Verona, Siena, and Tuscany.
#4 Angels and Demons
After my first time in Rome, I was literally going crazy to go back as soon as possible. I did actually get tickets to go back in 3 weeks after my first visit. In this period, I was watching all kinds of movies that are Rome related, and the Angels and Demons were one of my favorites. When I went back, I went one by one to all the scenes that have a specific meaning in the movie.
Story: When Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon discovers the resurgence of an ancient brotherhood known as the Illuminati, he flies to Rome to warn the Vatican, the Illuminati’s most hated enemy. Joining forces with beautiful Italian scientist Vittoria Vetra (Ayelet Zurer), Langdon follows a centuries-old trail of ancient symbols in the hope of preventing the Illuminati’s deadly plot against the Roman Catholic Church from coming to fruition.
As I was already obsessed with the previous two parts, the Da Vinci Code and the Angels and Demons, I was super excited for the Inferno movie. This movie inspired me the most to visit as soon as possible Florence, and inside that, in the Palazzo Vecchio, I was specifically looking for the symbol that’s playing a big role in the movie.
Story: Famous symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) follows a trail of clues tied to Dante, the great medieval poet. When Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), a doctor he hopes will help him recover his memories. Together, they race across Europe and against the clock to stop a madman (Ben Foster) from unleashing a virus that could wipe out half of the world’s population.
#6 Tuscan Wedding
A great romantic comedy. Tuscany, Italian villas, weddings, a love story with ups and downs and funny moments. The Tuscan Wedding is a great intro for those who are visiting Tuscany.
Story: the owners of a luxurious Tuscan villa welcome crowds of betrothed couples and their guests attending beautiful and sometimes bewildering weddings. The owner’s daughter is organizing the whole ceremony, and on one of these weddings, he meets a charming guy, who’s very celebrated between ladies. The real drama starts from here.
#7 Roman Holiday
When it comes to Rome, Audrey Hepburn and the Roman Holiday are the first movies we think of. A never-dying classic. A beautiful story from the 50s, a princess, a journalist, and Rome. This should be on top of everyone’s top list as one of the best movies of the past decades. I have myself an interesting story while me and my friend were looking for the house Joe Bradley was living in. Read our story here!
Story: Overwhelmed by her suffocating schedule, touring European princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn) 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 (Gregory Peck), 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 an exclusive interview with her, but romance soon gets in the way.
#8 When in Rome
Well, as you can guess this is another romantic comedy. The busy hardworking new yorker woman meeting this clumsy guy at her sister’s wedding in Rome, then triggering a curse by taking off coins of Rome’s love fountain. The relationship is getting serious while the curse makes it all the way too complicated. Those men who threw those coins in the fountain that she took out, instantly fall in love with her, without ever seeing her before. One of those coins seems to be his new boyfriend’s, so she needs to return to Rome to try to reverse the damage.
#9 The Lizzie McGuire Movie
This movie was my favorite as a teenager, and I still love to watch it because it always makes me feel like a teenager again, who was wishing back then, that one day she’ll go to Rome and have an unforgettable experience too. I am so grateful that it did happen! The Lizzie McGuire movie is about a young girl going on a school trip to Rome and she meets a famous singer at the Trevi Fountain. Lizzie looks a lot like the singer’s partner, and he convinces her to replace his partner for a concert… watch the movie for more details!
#10 When in Rome (2002)
Not a favorite but still needs to be mentioned! Sisters Leila and Charli arrive in Rome to begin their internships at a famous fashion house, and romance and adventure soon follow when they meet a pair of charming Italians, but a silly mishap sees them lose their jobs. Can they sort out the mistake?
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