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10 movies to watch before visiting Italy

Are you a fan of the seventh art? Do you want to “take a look” at Italy before traveling? We have put together a short list of films that will literally make you travel without leaving your seat!

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10 movies to watch before visiting Italy

Backdrop for excellent films, Italy is a much sought-after place by filmmakers and screenwriters. Today we are going to ‘travel’ through Italy through the seventh art: which films should I watch before going to Italy? So, let’s go to our post: 10 movies to watch before visiting Italy! Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”

Our Introduction

Cinema has been constantly evolving since its creation. Special effects, computer graphics, and so many other technologies are out there, in the hands of the biggest and best professionals in the industry who work for large and renowned studios. Despite all this, many directors and writers prefer the ‘old school’ way to film their stories and refuse to recreate scenarios and cities using the famous chroma key technique, where you replace a green image (for example) with another image. They want to BE in the place, they want to LIVE the place and tell the story in the most authentic way possible, so they leave for the location and live there for a few months or until filming is finished, and one of the most coveted countries, especially for its diversity of scenarios, is Italy.

THOUSANDS of films take place in the boot-shaped country. Just a quick search on the internet and it won’t be long before you find them, but there are the classics, those films that, as soon as we talked about the ‘cinema and Italy’ combo, appear in our mind as if it were a good memory!

Important to Know

The list DOES NOT follow the order “from best to not so good”, OK? In this case, changing the order of factors does not change the product! Nor will we mention which films were winners and / or received award nominations so that the post does not get that long, O.K.? Oh, unfortunately, we will leave some films out of the list, not because they do not “deserve” to be here, but precisely no to extend our list too much. This list is merely a reference.

1) 10 movies to watch before visiting Italy – THE GODFATHER

The Godfather (1972)Sicily. It is impossible not to start the list with a classic! Francis Ford Coppola, one of the most acclaimed directors of all time, chose Sicily to tell this fantastic story! In the first film in the saga, Michael (played by the impeccable Al Pacino) is sent to his family’s hometown, Corleone (the city is actually south of Palermo – but the film was shot in Taormina, 160 km east ‘original’ city). Once there, he survives an assassination attempt outside Schiavi Castle, near Fiumefreddo and the story really begins! Parts two and three of the homonymous films are also set in Italy and include scenes in the Vatican and in the provinces of Lazio. TIPS ON SICILY!

2) 10 movies to watch before visiting Italy – THE ENGLISH PATIENT

The English Patient (1996) – Tuscany. In this epic novel, we can see the beautiful Sant’Anna in Camprena, Tuscany: the place is a 15th century complex that is close to Pienza, in the Val d’Orcia. The chapel visited by Hana (Juliette Binoche) and Kip (Naveen Andrews), however, is the St Francis’ Basilica, a 13th century chapel located in Arezzo. TIPS ON TUSCANY!

3) 10 movies to watch before visiting Italy – WONDER WOMAN

Wonder Woman (2017) – Umbria and Campania, Basilicata. How so? Yeah! The opening shows us a sequence set on the island of Themyscira, the fictional home of the Amazon tribe from which Diana / Wonder Woman came (played by the great Gal Gadot). In fact, the island created is a combination of different locations, ALL of them in Italy, especially in Matera. The city is in the region that forms the “heel” of the boot of the Italian map and the cave-shaped dwellings are part of the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

Carved out of the local volcanic rock, it was the perfect location to recreate the home of a powerful and interesting tribe. Themyscira also uses some ‘borrowed’ images from the Amalfi Coast, more precisely from the Terrazza dell’Infinito (“Terrace of Infinity”), at Villa Cimbrone, in Ravello; and for Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) arriving at the beach, the view is of Palinuro, in Campania. TIPS ABOUT CAMPANIA!


  • Matera was also local and was also the backdrop for the controversial “The Passion of the Christ” (2004), by director Mel Gibson.

4) 10 movies to watch before visiting Italy – PARADISE CINEMA

Cinema Paradiso – (1988) – Lazio and Sicily. Another classic of the classics! The story takes place in the years after the Second World War. Projectionist Alfredo (Philippe Noiret) shares his passion and knowledge of cinema with young Salvatore “Toto” (Jacques Perrin). Shot in northwest Sicily and based on the director’s hometown, Bagheria, the film was shot on location in different parts of Italy and includes images in the famous Umberto I Square, in Adriano Palace in Palermo, and also in Rome, and in Cefalù, on the Tyrrhenian Sea. Splendid! TIPS ON ROME!

5) 10 movies to watch before visiting Italy – THE TWO POPES

The Two Popes (2019) – Lazio. A masterpiece! The film shows the relationship and differences between Pope Benedict XVI (Anthony Hopkins) and his successor, Pope Francis (Jonathan Pryce) – Read also: how to see the Pope in Rome? By far the best performances of both! The film was shot in several Roman locations, however, for the scenes inside the papal premises, environments were recreated, through computer graphics, that, for security reasons, cannot be accessed. The team was so surprising that they made a full-size replica of the interior of the Sistine Chapel in the Roman studios of Cinecittà. TIPS ON ROME!

6) 10 movies to watch before visiting Italy –  ONLY YOU

Only You (1994) – Lazio, Veneto, Campania and Tuscany. Marisa Tomei embodies the excellent Faith, who, as a teenager, playing with the OUIJA divination board, receives a name as the name of her likely future husband: Damon Bradley. Years later and engaged to another man, Faith gets the call from that Damon! She simply cancels the wedding and goes after her likely soul mate. A delightful movie! TIPS ON VENETO!

7) 10 movies to watch before visiting Italy – LETTERS TO JULIET

Letters to Juliet (2010) – Veneto and Tuscany. Do you have a thing for cute and charming romantic comedies? So this is your movie! On a trip before her honeymoon to Verona, American Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) gets involved in a 50-year-old love story and begins traveling around Tuscany searching Tuscany in search of widow Claire’s former Italian love (Vanessa Redgrave). The images are beautiful, without a doubt! TIPS ON VERONA!

8) 10 movies to watch before visiting Italy –  LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL

Life is Beautiful – La Vitta È Bella (1997) – Tuscany. It takes place in 1938 in the Tuscan countryside. Waiter Guido (played by IMPECCABLE Roberto Benigni) falls in love at first sight with Dora (Nicoletta Braschi), an elementary school teacher from a wealthy family. As World War II progressed, the two got married and had a son, Giosuè (Giorgio Cantarini). When all seems well, the three are taken to a concentration camp, and Guido tries in every way to make his son experience the terror of the moment of this inhuman experience as if it were a game, light and fun. The film is a masterpiece of Italian cinema!

9) 10 movies to watch before visiting Italy – UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN

Under the Tuscan Sun (2003) – Tuscany. One of the first films that comes to mind when we talk about films shot in Italy. When Frances Mayes (Diane Lane) finds out that her husband is cheating on her, her life turns upside down. In an attempt to get her out of a deep depression, her best friend, Patti (Sandra Oh), encourages Frances to take a trip through Italy. During the trip, the new divorcee decides to buy a rural villa in Tuscany and struggles to restart her life amidst beautiful scenery characters that also includes the beautiful Marcello (Raoul Bova). Also read our post: Wine Routes in Tuscany!

10) 10 movies to watch before visiting Italy – CALL ME BY YOUR NAME

Call Me By Your Name (2017) – Lombardia. In Italy in the early 1980s, an unpretentious romance flourishes between a seventeen-year-old student and the older man, hired as his father’s research assistant. Critically acclaimed, it offers scenes full of beauty. TIPS ON MILAN!

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10 movies to watch before visiting Italy? We could include more than 100 films in this list and, rest assured, titles would still be missing, but if you want to get a taste of Italy before packing, grab the popcorn, settle on the couch and have a nice movie! And if you feel insecure or have no time, and need help to organize your trip, do not hesitate to look for me! I will love to help you make your dream trip to Italy. And how can I do that? Continue reading this post until the end and you will understand how can we make your life and journey easier ????

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