Cool movies with Italian locations

By Sara Wiseman


I’m a big fan of the talkies, cinematic experiences, if you will. A movie can make you laugh, can make you think or can bring back your memories. And so, while you’re abroad or after your adventures have taken a hiatus, it can be fun to mull over your travels as the film unfolds.

Here are five quality flicks set in Italy that allow travelers to get glassy-eyed and reminiscent and effectively annoy everyone else with constant exclamations like, “I’ve been there!” or “I’ve seen that!”

Under the Tuscan Sun” (2003)

The film follows Frances (Diane Lane) in her quest to change life for the better after a traumatic divorce. This is a crowd-pleaser for those more acquainted with C-Sections and books with Fabio on the cover but I find it enjoyable. When I saw it in theaters the amount of estrogen was overwhelming, yes, but that doesn’t make it any less inspiring or any less fun to watch.

Ms. Lane’s character says to audiences, “Hey, if I can do this so can you!” She also says, “Look at this hot Italian man I’m dating and making all middle-aged audiences members jealous!”

The film also carries value in its gorgeous views of the Tuscan countryside and the coastal region  of southern Italy. Anyone who’s been to Positano will yearn for its black sanded beaches once more after “Tuscan Sun” displays them beautifully.

The English Patient” (1996)

Let’s just keep the ball rolling on the middle-aged thing. Let’s also keep the ball rolling on me not caring what you think of my cinematic preferences. This movie won nine Academy Awards. Kind of a big deal. It also drags. And so, if you want to fast-forward to the gun-blazing, the sex-having and the breathtaking scenery, that’d be okay.

It features Ralph Fiennes as a World War I pilot recovering from a plane crash and its resulting terrible injuries. Whilst in recovery, the pilot reveals secrets of his fantastic love affair. Fiennes’ character’s burnt face can be hard to look at, but the rolling Tuscan hills are not.

Eat, Pray, Love” (2010)

Julia Roberts (America’s Sweetheart) plays Liz, a divorcee that finds meaning in life by eating, praying, and loving. This movie came a few years after “Under the Tuscan Sun”  and was just as wildly popular.

The main character travels to Naples and Rome to stuff her face with fantastic pizza and pasta. Once again igniting the jealousy of the older generation, the character cuts all ties to her family, and is bettered by lovely, lovely carbs while keeping a good figure.

Bitterness aside, the movie shows amazing shots of the Pantheon, the Coloseum and the Trevi Fountain. When you’ve returned from abroad, if you weren’t missing Italy’s most fantastic city, you certainly will after watching “Eat, Pray, Love.”

The Godfather” (1972)

Alright, let’s man this list up a little bit. This movie is obviously a legendary film and its locations need to visited in real life for an entirely different experience. Although the movie wasn’t actually shot in Sicily, that’s where the story-line takes place.

The movie has created some powerful stereotypes about Italians but has also redefined cinema indefinitely. Tribute must be paid.

The Italian Job” (2003)

I realize this is a remake but the newer cast is more enjoyable. So, drop it. Marky Mark Wahlberg plays a man out for a revenge covered in gold. The main heist takes place in Venice, a city defined by its unique waterway streets.

The Talented Mr. Ripley” (1999)

I’m not gonna sugar-coat this one for you, it’s messed up. Tom Ripley (Matt Damon) has a few talents. Including murdering, impersonation and pathologically lying. He uses them to take over the life of his college friend.

As disturbing as this plot sounds (because it absolutely is), the film takes viewers all over Italian locations like Naples, Rome, San Remo and Venice.

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