Oh, the sweet life. Italy encapsulates the mind and always leaves you longing for more. Luckily, we can just turn on our TV and imagine ourselves there! I’ve tried 10 of the best movies that take place in Italy.
These films provide a unique insight into Italian culture and history and transport viewers to some of the most beautiful places in the country. Whether you are looking for an entertaining getaway or a more informative look at Italy, these movies will definitely please. I have written the best books in Italy here!!
It is no wonder that Italy is one of the most popular places to film a movie. The background alone is fascinating. Whether you want to escape to the Amalfi Coast, enjoy the Tuscan countryside or go on adventures in Rome, there is something for everyone. Here is a look at the list:
Eat Pray Love
Eat, Pray, Love is a romantic drama based on the best-selling memoirs of Elizabeth Gilbert. The film tells the story of Gilbert’s journey to Italy, India and Bali in search of self-discovery.
Gilbert’s time in Italy is spent enjoying the food, culture and wine of Rome and Florence. She also becomes friends with an Italian gentleman who helps her find love and acceptance.
Under the Tuscan sun.
Based on the best-selling book by Frances Mayes, Under the Tuscan Sun follows the American author Mayes, while she impulsively buys a villa in Tuscany. Mayes moves to Italy with the intention of restoring his home to its former glory. Along the way, she falls in love with the country and its people and learns to live a simpler and more fulfilling life.
Life is Beautiful
Life is Beautiful is a heartwarming Italian film that tells the story of a Jewish man and his family during the Holocaust. While interned in a concentration camp, the husband does everything he can to keep his wife and son safe and happy. He uses his wit and humor to protect them from the harsh reality of their situation and instill hope in them.
The Godfather is an American film based on the best-selling novel by Mario Puzo. The film follows the Corleone crime family in New York City in the 1940s and 1950s. Although the film does not take place exclusively in Italy, there are several scenes that take place in the country, including the opening sequence, which takes place on the fictional island of Corleone.
Roman Holiday is a classic American romantic comedy starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. The film follows a young princess who, tired of her royal duties, runs away from her merchants and spends a day exploring Rome incognito. During her adventure, she meets an American reporter who also seeks to escape her life. The two quickly fall in love and have to find a way to be together despite their different worlds.
The Italian job
The Italian Job is a crime thriller set in Venice that follows the exploits of Mark Wahlberg’s characters as he plots an extensive theft with his accomplices. It goes through St. St. Mark’s Square, the Grand Canal and the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute – one of the city’s most iconic landmarks.
The talented Mr. Ripley
The talented Mr Ripley is a psychological thriller starring Matt Damon as Tom Ripley, a man sent to Italy to bring back a wealthy friend’s son. Ripley becomes enchanted by the lifestyle of his friend (Jude Law) and begins to emulate him. He quickly finds himself over his head, leading to a dangerous game of cat and mouse.
Gladiator is a historical drama starring Russell Crowe as Maximus Decimus Meridius, a Roman general who is betrayed and sold into slavery. Maximus becomes a gladiator in the hope of one day being able to return to his family. He quickly becomes one of the most successful fighters in the arena, leading to a battle with the emperor’s corrupt son.
La Dolce Vita
La Dolce Vita is a classic Italian film that follows a week in the life of journalist Marcello Rubini (Marcello Mastroianni). Rubini wanders around Rome, meeting different characters and indulging in the city’s nightlife. The film provides an insight into the decadent lifestyle of the rich and famous in 1960s Italy.
When in Rome
When in Rome is a romantic comedy starring Kristen Bell as a woman who, while on a business trip to Rome, steals coins from a fountain that is said to fulfill the desires of those who throw them in. When she returns home, she discovers that the coins have worked and she is now being chased by five men who all want to marry her. She has to choose between the life she knows and the life she could have with one of these men. I would be forgiving if I did not mention that there is a movie from 2002 also called “When in Rome” with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson. So choose for yourself!
Letters to Julie
Letters to Juliet is a romantic drama starring Amanda Seyfried as an American woman traveling to Verona, Italy on vacation. While there, she encounters a group of women answering letters written to Shakespeare’s Juliet Capulet. She begins to help them with their quest to find lost lovers, all the while searching for her own.
Rome, Lake Como
Ocean’s 12 is a robbery comedy that follows Ocean’s 11 crew as they attempt to commit a series of daring thefts in Europe. While the majority of the film takes place in Amsterdam, there are also scenes in Rome and Lake Como. The film has an all-star cast including George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon.
Wonder Woman is a superhero movie based on the DC Comics character of the same name. The film follows Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) as she leaves her idyllic island home to enter the human world during World War I. While much of the film takes place in London, there is also a significant part that takes place in Italy, where Diana goes to find and stop the villain Ares.
Men in Black: International
Men in Black: International is a science fiction action movie that follows Men in Black as they try to stop an alien threat. The film has several locations around Italy, including Rome, Florence and Pisa. It also plays Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson as the new members of Men in Black.
Call me by your name
Call Me by Your Name is a growing drama that follows Elio Perlman (Timothee Chalamet), a 17-year-old boy who falls in love with his father’s graduate student, Oliver (Armie Hammer). The film takes place in the 1980s and takes place in the Italian landscape.
A room with a view
A Room with a View is a period drama that follows Lucy Honeychurch (Helena Bonham Carter), a young woman who travels to Florence, Italy with her chaperone. There she meets and falls in love with a man named George Emerson (Julian Sands). But their relationship is complicated by the fact that George is of a lower social class than Lucy.
The two popes
The Two Popes is a historical drama that follows the story of Pope Benedict XVI (Anthony Hopkins) and Pope Francis (Jonathan Pryce). In the film, the two men meet in the Vatican to discuss their different views on the Catholic Church. But their meeting ends up having far greater consequences than any of them could have expected.
The Tourist is a thriller that follows an American woman named Elise Clifton-Ward (Angelina Jolie), who is being chased by the police. She ends up seeking refuge with a man named Frank Tupelo (Johnny Depp), who is also being pursued by police. The two end up fleeing together and end up in Venice, Italy. The best part of the film is definitely the beautiful scenery of Venice.
To Rome with love
To Rome with Love is a comedy-drama directed by Woody Allen that follows the lives of several characters in Rome. The film contains stories of a man who is confused with a movie star, an architect who reconnects with an old flame, and a young couple who flee to Rome. The film provides a unique and humorous look at the city of Rome and its inhabitants.
Tea with Mussolini
Tea With Mussolini is a historical drama that follows the story of a group of English women living in Italy during World War II. The film follows their lives as they try to maintain their lifestyle despite the growing threat of war. Starring Cher, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith.
The best films set in Italy provide an insight into the country’s rich culture and history. From classics like Roman Holiday to modern thrillers like The Talented Mr. Ripley, there is something for everyone on this list. Do you have a favorite movie set in Italy ?!