For decades, Italy has been a popular location for filming movies because of its breathtaking landscapes, magnificent cities, attractive towns, and engaging culture. As a result, there are many fantastic movies set in Italy to select from.
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Movies from the golden age of Hollywood? Many of those exist.
Classic Films Set in Italy
These vintage Italian films are getting on in age, but they’re all either adaptations of previous works or stand-alone classics in their own right.
1. Roman Holiday (1953)
Roman Holiday, Audrey Hepburn’s popular comedy about a princess on a tour of Rome, is one of the best-known and most classic Italian films.
The Mouth of Truth’s enduring ubiquity can be attributed in part to the movie’s use of the famed Spanish Steps as a filming location.
2. A Room With a View (1985)
It’s the story of Lucy Honeychurch, a young Englishwoman who sets out to discover Florence in E.M. Forster’s famous novel, A Room with a View.
Room with a View Tuscany has been a popular tourist destination for a long time, and this book shows just how long that has been the case!
In addition, if you haven’t already, I strongly recommend the novel.
3. La Dolce Vita (1960)
The Italian film La Dolce Vita, which translates to “The Sweet Life,” is about a gossip writer who spends a week wandering the streets of Rome and falling in love with many of the women he meets.
La Dolce Vita, one of Italy’s most famous and beloved films, is referenced in several other Italian films on this list!
4. Enchanted April (1991)
During the month of April in the 1920s, four English women decide to get away from the dreary weather of the UK and head to Italy’s seashore.
To see Portofino’s beautiful scenery in all its glory is enough to make this Italy movie worth seeing, even if you don’t like the premise.
5. The Godfather (1972)
For ten years, The Godfather follows the Corleone crime family, focusing especially on patriarch Vito Corleone and his son, Michael Corleone, as they carry out the family’s criminal activities.
One of the greatest movies ever made, it was shot in both New York and Sicily.
6. Romantic Movies Set in Italy
Even though almost all of the movies about Italy included in this blog post include a romantic undercurrent, these three movies about Italy focus on a love tale in its entirety.
7. When in Rome (2010)
When in Rome, a fun romantic comedy that doesn’t take itself too seriously, opens with a suspicious New Yorker who makes a trip to Rome and unwittingly casts several would-be suitors under a love spell–so begins the plot of When in Rome.
It’s also possible that the fountain of love featured in the movie was modeled on the Trevi Fountain, even though it isn’t expressly acknowledged.
8. Letters to Juliet (2010)
Letters to Juliet is a lighthearted romantic comedy set in the picturesque city of Verona, home to the titular Juliet of the title.
On a trip to Verona with her fiance, Sophie discovers a “Letter to Juliet” written in the 1950s by a woman who had recently lost a loved one to suicide.
Sophie sends the letter to its rightful owner and embarks on a journey throughout Italy in an attempt to assist the woman reunite with her long-lost love.
9. Only You (1994)
Faith feels that she and a man named Damon Bradley are meant to be together, despite the fact that she hasn’t found him.
Is she ready for the prospect of love that is right in front of her, or will she be unable to let go of her belief in a predetermined outcome?
In spite of the fact that the film itself is regarded as mediocre, the sequences depicting Italy are a joy and include Venice, Rome, Tuscany, and the coast of the Amalfi Islands.
10. Self-Actualization Movies That Take Place in Italy
Even though a few of these films could be considered romantic movies set in Italy, their overall themes are more about self-discovery than romance, and they include some of the most popular travel movies for inspiration to visit Italy.
11. Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)
Under the Tuscan Sun tells the narrative of Frances Mayes, a New Yorker who buys a Tuscan villa near Cortona on a whim, and her subsequent renovation of the property and introduction to the people of the region (Italians and ex-pats alike).
While the movie does alter certain major parts from both the book and Frances Mayes’ actual life, it is still a wonderful way to get a taste of the Tuscan countryside if you can’t travel to Italy yourself.
12. Call Me By Your Name (2017)
The story of 17-year-old Jewish-American Elio, set in a 17th-century house in Italy in 1983, is adapted from the critically acclaimed 2007 novel of the same name.
However, Call Me By Your Name is ultimately as much about Elio’s maturation as it is about his blossoming romance with Oliver, a young Jewish-American guy of 24.
13. Eat, Pray, Love (2010)
Since its release in 2011, The Year of Magical Thinking by Elizabeth Gilbert has been a worldwide best-seller. The film adaptation of the book, starring Meryl Streep, has also gained worldwide attention.
Accordingly, the movie’s Italy part is all about eating.
In Eat, Pray, Love, there are numerous scenes set in Rome and Naples, which are sure to make you crave several big Italian meals!
14. Shadows in the Sun (2005)
While vacationing in Tuscany, a young writer is entrusted with finding an older, famous author who is suffering from writer’s block and persuading him to get back to work.
He’s distracted by the Tuscan landscape, a few disagreements with the older writer in question, and a smattering of romance.
15. My Brilliant Friend (2018 – ?)
My Brilliant Friend is a TV show rather than a movie about Italy, but Elena Ferrante’s series is so beautiful that I couldn’t leave it out of this section.
In the 1950s Naples area, there is a lot of crime and poverty.
They form a close friendship, defy expectations of their academic abilities, and have lofty goals for the future.
After primary school, a person’s education can continue. One isn’t What’s going to happen now?
I highly recommend watching the movie “My Brilliant Friend” to anyone who like stories like these.
I’d be negligent if I didn’t recommend reading Elena Ferrante’s great series, which the show is based on, before seeing the show.
Even if you’re not fluent in Italian, the show’s Italian-language filming makes it easier to understand what’s going on.
16. Political + Action Movies About Italy
For a good old-fashioned chase scene through lovely Italian cities, look no further than Italy.
If that’s the case, then check out these films set in Italy!
17. Angels & Demons (2009)
The Angels & Demons movie brings back the figure of Robert Langdon, a symbologist who is tasked with uncovering a mystery surrounding a plan to assassinate four Catholic cardinals, which is actually a prequel to The DaVinci Code.
Angels & Demons, which was shot in Rome, is full of scenes that will make you miss the city, as well as give you ideas for new locations to explore when you return!
18. Quantum of Solace (2008)
No collection of movies about Italy would be complete without at least one James Bond film!
The James Bond franchise is possibly the best action film genre for evoking a sense of travel.
As a prequel to Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace opens on Lake Garda, the Tuscan countryside and Siena in Italy.
It’s also worth noting that the majority of Casino Royale takes place in Monaco; if you’re a James Bond fan, you might want to add it to your collection.
19. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
Despite the fact that The Talented Mr. Ripley features an all-star cast, including Matt Damon, Jude Law, and Gwyneth Paltrow, I’m hesitant to include any plot details in this blog post about movies set in Italy because I watched it without any idea what the plot was and ended up enthralled by the twists and turns.
The Talented Mr. Ripley is a must-see film if you’re a fan of psychological thrillers, outstanding acting, and breathtaking cinematography showing Italy’s beauty.
20. The Tourist (2010)
However, The Tourist is a well-made but unexceptional spy thriller and heist film.
The movie’s greatest asset, though, is that part of it was shot on location in Venice, Italy, and includes chases around the lagoon and over rooftops.
Those of us who love Venice will find it a visual treat, even if the film’s grasp of the city’s geography is a bit shaky.
21. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
There is a massive battle in Venice in this latest Spider-Man film that has all the hallmarks of an MCU movie.
While the fight scene was filmed on a set (the actual Rialto Bridge would not have been suitable for filming), several parts in Italy were shot on site. The film is set in Venice and various other European locations.
22. The Italian Job (2003, 1969)
With Mini Coopers and lots of Venice (including a thrilling chase scene through the canals of Venice), The Italian Job is a classic heist film about a crew formed to exact revenge on a former associate who betrayed them after they pulled off a spectacular theft.
You may not know it, but the 2003 version of this film set in Italy was actually a remake of an earlier 1969 British film!
23. Tea With Mussolini (1999)
By following a group of rich British ex-pats in Italy during World War II, Tea With Mussolini depicts the story of fascism and war through the eyes of its protagonists and their interactions with each other.
24. When in Rome (2002)
As a millennial, I’m sure I’m not alone in my fondness for a series of Olsen twin movies that took a different pair of fictional twins to a different exotic destination (in addition to Rome, Paris, Australia, New York, London, and the Bahamas were all featured in a film).
During their summer internship in Rome, the twins find themselves surrounded by attractive men, the Colosseum, and their undermining coworkers.
25. New Moon (2009)
It’s time to put the (in)famous Twilight saga to rest as Bella Swan races through Tuscany to save her suicidal, semi-immortal love Edward Cullen from the Volturi. Edward is determined to upset the ancient vampire council known as the Volturi in order to exact revenge on Edward (insert teenager reasons).
There is little doubt that the entire plot is ridiculous, yet the conclusion actually took place on Italian soil and included the use of a fountain to sprint through.
Volterra, a real Tuscan village, serves as the backdrop for both the New Moon book and the film, whereas Montepulciano serves as the filming location.
26. The Lizzie McGuire Movie (2003)
The Lizzie McGuire Movie, which serves as the finale to the Lizzie McGuire Disney Channel sitcom, is a delightful early-2000s teen film set in Italy.
Lizzie McGuire’s moments in Rome include singing and cartwheeling on the Spanish Steps, as well as meeting a gorgeous lad on a Vespa near the Trevi Fountain and quitting her school group to hang out with him. Lizzie McGuire is 14 years old in the film.