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Are you looking for the best movies about Italy? Youโ€™ve come to the right place!

Italy has such a stunning landscape, be it mountains, lush meadows, forests, pristine coastline, cute towns, quaint villages or bustling cities crammed with grand and historic architecture and warm friendly people. 

It is therefore not a coincidence that it has provided the backdrop to so many films since the advent of cinema. 

We have listed a few movies set in Italy, which showcase the splendour of this beautiful country. 

In this article, you will discover an incredible selection of movies set in Italy. This includes rom coms, classics, thrillers and many more! 

1. The Godfather

  • ๐Ÿ“… Release date: 1972
  • ๐ŸŒŸ Starring: Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, James Caan
  • ๐Ÿ“ Main location: New York and Sicily

The Godfather is by far the most iconic movie about Sicily out there. While most of it is actually set in the United States, the numerous connections to Italy and the scenes filmed in Sicily make it an excellent watch for Italy lovers.

The movie is based on the best selling novel of Mario Puzo. Itโ€™s about the Sicilian mafia in America and it starred some of the most famous actors of all time, Marlon Brando and Al Pacino.

In the first movie of the series, youโ€™ll see how Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) hands over his business to his son Michael (Al Pacino).

There are many fascinating things to say about the Godfather but itโ€™s important to note that most of it were filmed in the USA.

The parts in Sicily were filmed in the villages of Savoca and Forza d’Agrรฒ. If you are heading to Sicily soon, youโ€™ll be happy to know that you can visit these places.

In Savoca for example, you can find the bar and the church where Al Pacino gets married.

2. La Dolce Vita

  • ๐Ÿ“… Release date: 1960
  • ๐ŸŒŸ Starring: Marcello Mastroianni, Anouk Aimme, Anita Ekberg
  • ๐Ÿ“ Main location: Rome

La Dolce Vita is the most iconic movie set in Italy of all time! Itโ€™s a typical Fellini film featuring exactly what the Italian Dolce Vita (sweet life) is like.

The main character is called Marcello Rubini. He is a gossip columnist who gets caught up in a frenzied but confusing week in Rome amongst glamorous Hollywood stars, members of the high society and his photographer friend, Paparazzo.

This film is particularly well known for its iconic scene in the fountain of Trevi. There you can see the gorgeous Anita Ekberg swimming in the fountain.

Please note that this is actually not something you are allowed to do now! But, it is a great movie to watch before heading to Rome. 

You will recognise a lot of the places featured in the movie.

FUN FACT: Incidentally, the photographer, Paparazzo, gave birth to the term โ€œPaparazziโ€! 

La Dolce Vita is regarded as one of the best Italian vintage movies and no matter what, it must be on your watch list!

3. Roman Holiday

  • ๐Ÿ“… Release date: 1953
  • ๐ŸŒŸ Starring: Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck
  • ๐Ÿ“ Main location: Rome

The Roman Holiday is a beautiful romantic comedy-drama, based on the real-life Italian adventures of Britainโ€™s Princess Margaret.

It is known as one of the best movies that take place in Italy and starred the famous Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.

Both stars give superb performances, perhaps the best of the 1950s, earning Hepburn an Academy Award for Best Actress!

Here is what the movie is about: a princess on a state visit to Rome, frustrated by her royal schedule, falls asleep on a park bench after being prescribed a sedative by her physician. 

An American reporter finds her and without recognising her and takes her home. 

He takes her on a tour of the city and, yes, a romance develops, jeopardising her stately visit. 

After a little adventure through the streets of Rome and some classic twists and turns, it does have an unpredictable end. Really worth watching again.

4. Eat Pray Love

  • ๐Ÿ“… Release date: 2010
  • ๐ŸŒŸ Starring: Julia Roberts, Javier Bardem, James Franco, Billy Crudup
  • ๐Ÿ“ Main location in Italy: Rome

This is one of the best travel movies of all time and a lot of it is set in Italy. Eat Pray Love is based on the Elizabeth Gilbert’s book of the same name.

It stars Julia Roberts who leaves her husband go travel the world.

During her journey, she goes to Rome and lives there for a while. She learns the language and explore. It’s a great romantic movie about travel so make sure to watch it if you haven’t yet.

5. Avanti!

  • ๐Ÿ“… Release date: 1972
  • ๐ŸŒŸ Starring: Jack Lemmon, Juliet Mills
  • ๐Ÿ“ Main location: Sorrento and the Italian island of Ischia

Avanti! is a rip-roaring comedy that certainly makes the list of best movies set in Italy. 

Two fun characters portrayed by Jack Lemmon and Juliet Mills in a hilarious storyline is a sure winner. 

But when you throw in the beautiful scenery of Sorrento and Ischia as a backdrop as well, rest assured you have a classic! 

The movie is about two people who get killed in a car crash whilst cheating on their spouses.

When their respective children go to claim the bodies, they realised that they went missing.

At this point, they both suspect each other of body snatching. 

Both have their own agendas but there is a complicated twist nobody will see coming. Itโ€™s hilarious! 

The look on Jack Lemmonโ€™s face when the waiter rattles off Italian names of pasta dishes, will have you in stitches. 

Just watch this movie! 

6. Summertime

  • ๐Ÿ“… Release date: 1955
  • ๐ŸŒŸ Starring: Katherine Hepburn, Rossano Brazzi 
  • ๐Ÿ“ Main location: Venice

Another one of the many classic movies set in Italy, this is a timeless love story set in the romantic city of Venice. 

Directed by the legendary David Lean, Katherine Hepburn, in the prime of her career, gives a stunning performance not easily forgotten.

The story is about a middle-aged and lonely American spinster, Jane Hudson, who uses her life savings to fund a trip to Italy and soak up some culture and perhapsโ€ฆ 

As you would expect, she meets, what she sees as the man of her dreams in Venice and is swept off her feet by this distinguished-looking and very handsome antique shop owner. 

The relationship takes a turn when she realises that he is leading a double life and she has to choose between her own happiness and the effect that will have on others. 

One of the most unforgettable moments is when she falls into a Venetian Canal.

7. The tourist

  • ๐Ÿ“… Release date: 2010
  • ๐ŸŒŸ Starring: Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie
  • ๐Ÿ“ Main location: Venice Italy, Paris France

The Tourist is one of the most famous romantic thrillers set in Italy.

It takes place in several places including Paris, France but most of the movie is set in Venice and thatโ€™s why it made the list.

As far as the cast goes, this is a great movie since there are Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp.

Here is what it is about. 

An unassuming American tourist is lured by a beautiful criminal who uses him as a decoy to throw off the metropolitan police, Scotland Yard and a powerful gangster who are all after her. 

After a night of passion, the touristโ€™s holiday turns into a nightmare, as he struggles to escape from people he does not even know, resulting in his memorable quote โ€œWhy is everybody trying to kill me?โ€ 

You will see some great views of Venice in this one!

8. When in Rome

  • ๐Ÿ“… Release date: 2002
  • ๐ŸŒŸ Starring: Mary-Kate Olsen, Ashley Olsen, Leslie Danon and Julian Stone
  • ๐Ÿ“ Main location: Rome

The Olsen twins are without the shadow of a doubt, the most famous twins of the 90s and 00s!

They are known for their romantic teen movies. Each one of them takes place in a different country and watching them is a great way to discover places such as Sydney, New York City or even Peru!

In When in Rome, the two twins go to Rome to take part in a summer internship. 

Quickly after getting there, they get fired which will lead them to meet more people, and of course boys.

We will let you watch it to discover who ends up with whom but all in all, itโ€™s a good feel-good movie for teenagers.

You get to see the most famous landmarks such as the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Spanish Steps.

If you are planning a trip to Italy with a teenager, it could be a great movie to watch with them since it will definitely make them want to go!

9. The Lizzie McGuire Movie

  • ๐Ÿ“… Release date: 2003
  • ๐ŸŒŸ Starring: Hilary Duff, Adam Lamberg, Jake Thomas, Robert Carradine
  • ๐Ÿ“ Main location: Rome

Lizzie McGuire is one of the most popular Disney teen shows from the 00s. It made Hilary Duff incredibly famous and itโ€™s only normal that a movie would be produced after the end of the show.

While Lizzie lives in the US, in the movie she travels to Rome where she is mistaken for a pop star, Isabella.

She decides to start living the life of her doppelganger and becomes a star, right here in Italy.

Some of the iconic scenes include Hilary Duff on a red Vespa scooter, at the Colosseum and in front of the beautiful Trevi Fountain.

10. Luca

  • ๐Ÿ“… Release date: 2021
  • ๐ŸŒŸ Voices: Giacomo Gianniotti, Jack Dylan Grazer, Jacob Tremblay, Emma Berman
  • ๐Ÿ“ Main location: Italian Riviera, Cinque Terre, Liguria

If youโ€™ve always wanted to visit the Cinque Terre, this new Disney Movie will be ideal for you. Released in 2021, Luca is a Pixar movie that takes place in Liguria.

Although they donโ€™t mention the Cinque Terre, it is clear that it was the source of inspiration as you can see many elements that you would find in the 5 villages.

This includes the train, the port of Monterosso and the Via dell’Amore.

This Disney movie about Italy is of course an excellent watch for kids but even as an adult, you will love it.

Luca is a little sea monster who discovers there is a world at the surface.

He becomes human and discovers a fascination for Vespas.

With his friend, Alberto, he will do everything to get a real Vespa and that includes taking part in a local competition in the small town of Portorosso.

11. Il Postino

  • ๐Ÿ“… Release date: 1994
  • ๐ŸŒŸ Starring: Massimo Troisi, Maria Graiza Cuccinota, Philippe Noiret.
  • ๐Ÿ“ Main location: The Italian islands of Procida and Salina

Il Postino is a really beautiful story based on true events, of a simple postman wanting a little more to life than delivering post on his tiny island off the Italian coast. 

His life is transformed when he strikes a friendship with Pablo Neruda, a famous Chilean poet and exiled Communist activist.

In this movie, you can see postman Mario who learns about poetry from Pablo and uses his newly acquired skill to woo the local lasses. 

Mario plagiarises one of Pabloโ€™s romantic poems and recites it to a beautiful barmaid, winning her heart, much to the anger of her battle-axe aunt. 

Pablo, on the other hand, supports Mario at his wedding to the barmaid, after Mario told him that poetry does not belong to those that write it but to those who need it! 

Pablo gets to return to his homeland but when he returns to the island he learns that Mario, the postman has died. 

A beautiful true to life story that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. 

To add more drama to this film, the postman actor, Massimo Troisi, passed away the day after the film was completed. 

At the funeral, his film double walked behind the coffin in honour of Massimo, making everyone think it was his ghost.  

Pablo Neruda died in Santiago, Chile in 1973 having been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971.

12. Benvenuti al Sud

  • ๐Ÿ“… Release date: 2010
  • ๐ŸŒŸ Starring: Valentina Lodovini, Alessandro Siani, Claudio Bisio and Angela Finocchiaro
  • ๐Ÿ“ Main location: Castellabate near Naples

Benvenuti al Sud is one of the funniest Italian movies out there.

Itโ€™s also a great thing to watch from a cultural point of view since it pinpoints all the differences between Northern Italy and the South.

It is a remake of the French movie Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis (Welcome to the Sticks) which is, still to this day, one of the highest-grossing French movies of all time.

Here, you follow the adventures of Alberto, a northern man who works for the post office and is being transferred to the small village Castellabate near Naples.

As he arrives, he discovers that people live in a completely different way here. People are late, they donโ€™t kid with coffee and plenty more things.

Adapting reveals itself to be more a challenging thing than expected.

There are so many hilarious parts in this movie and it will truly make you laugh out loud.

Especially since you love Italian culture and already know quite a bit about it.

13. Benvenuti al Nord

  • ๐Ÿ“… Release date: 2012
  • ๐ŸŒŸ Starring: Valentina Lodovini, Alessandro Siani, Claudio Bisio and Angela Finocchiaro
  • ๐Ÿ“ Main location: Milan

Benvenuti al Nord (meaning Welcome to the North) is the sequel of Benvenuti al Sud.

Since the first movie was such a huge success, it was decided to keep going and do another movie.

In this one though, itโ€™s the northern culture that is highlighted.

Alberto leaves Naples to go back to Milan and his friend, Mattia, comes with him.

Once Mattia gets to Milan, he definitely has a bit of a hard time adapting. He tends to be late like they do in the south, doesnโ€™t understand why people would eat sushis and so goes on.

It is not quite as funny as the first one but still a great movie to watch. Itโ€™s cute and definitely hilarious either way.

14. Tea with Mussolini

  • ๐Ÿ“… Release date: 1999
  • ๐ŸŒŸ Starring: Joan Plowright, Maggie Smith, Judy Dench, Cher. Lily Tomlin
  • ๐Ÿ“ Main location: Italy

Tea with Mussolini is a drama that begins in pre-WW2 Italy and traces the lives of a group of eccentric English and American women and how the war affected them while trying to raise and protect a young illegitimate Italian boy. 

It is based on the experiences of the famous film director, Zeffirelli as a boy during WW2.

The movie is about the lives of 2 American and 3 high-society British tea-drinking ladies that are disrupted by Mussoliniโ€™s fascists and the threat of war that is gripping Europe. 

One, who is the widow of a former British Ambassador to Italy, seeks to have tea with Mussolini, who assures her of their safety under his dictatorship. 

Unfortunately, things do not quite turn out that way as their lives are turned upside down when Britain declares war on Italy.

15. Angels & Demons

  • ๐Ÿ“… Release date: 2009
  • ๐ŸŒŸ Starring: Tom Hanks, Ayelet Zurer, Ewan McGregor
  • ๐Ÿ“ Main location: Rome and the Vatican

Angel & Demons is the first of the Dan Brown mystery-thriller series on prophecies, conspiracies, ancient codes, hidden symbols and secret societies.

The other super famous movie of that same series is the Da Vinci code but unlike the name may suggest, itโ€™s not set in Italy but in Paris, France.

Angel & Demons is about an expert on symbolism who takes us on an adventure through the intriguing and secret world and the lair of the โ€œIlluminatiโ€, Free Masons and the Vatican. 

His quest is to decipher clues, which will lead him to a canister of โ€œantimatterโ€ buried somewhere in the Vatican and is due to explode at midnight and destroy the Vatican.

In and out of some of the most stunning churches in Rome and the Vatican itself, revealing secrets buried within the texts and famous arts, sculptures and artefacts, are the highlights of this powerful, complicated story, rich with so much historical background. 

Set almost entirely in Rome and the Vatican, this is one of the movies about Italy you do not want to miss.

READ MORE: 14 Essential Rome Travel Tips to know before visiting the Eternal City

16. The Talented Mr. Ripley

  • ๐Ÿ“… Release date: 1999
  • ๐ŸŒŸ Starring: Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Philip Seymour Hoffman
  • ๐Ÿ“ Main location: Venice, San Remo, Positano, Ischia and Procida

The Talented Mr. Ripley is one of the most popular Matt Damon movies out there.

Itโ€™s a dark murder thriller about a penniless young man being thrown into the world of affluence and luxury, and will do anything to stay thereโ€ฆeven murder.

A young man, Tom, is mistaken by a wealthy American industrialist for a friend of his son, and sends him to Italy to convince him to return. 

Tom plays along and becomes accustomed to the sweet life and commits the most atrocious crimes to continue this life of deceit, eliminating anyone that stumbles upon his secret.

Although the film shows graphic violent acts, donโ€™t be surprised if you find yourself sympathising with the murderer.

Such is the acting performance of clean-living, boy next door type, Matt Damon.

17. Cinema Paradiso

  • ๐Ÿ“… Release date: 1988
  • ๐ŸŒŸ Starring: Salvatore Cascio, Philippe Noiret, Marco Leonardi.
  • ๐Ÿ“ Main location: Sicily

Inspired by a real-life cinema projectionist, this nostalgic and moving drama reflects the power of cinema, as seen by a young boy and his mentor, an elderly projectionist in wartime Sicily. 

Cinema Paradiso is about an acclaimed film director who returns to the little Sicilian village to attend the funeral of his mentor who had ignited his love and passion for film as a boy. 

He meets up with his elderly parents, old friends and an old flame where they reminisce the past and receives an unexpected gift from his deceased projectionist friend had left for him.

The haunting music provided by Ennio Moricone adds magic and soul to warm your heart. A real beautiful and sentimental movie. 

18. In Search of Fellini

  • ๐Ÿ“… Release date: 2017
  • ๐ŸŒŸ Starring: Ksenia Solo, Maria Bello, Mary Lynn Rajskub.
  • ๐Ÿ“ Main location: Italy

In Search of Fellini is a nostalgic drama which enters the mind and works of the renowned Italian film maker, Federico Fellini. 

Itโ€™s written and based on the true story of Nancy Cartwright, better known for her 30 years run as the voice of Bart Simpson โ€“ who would have thought?

The movie is about a young naรฏve American woman, enchanted by the films of the legendary film director, sets off to Italy to find him, but ends up finding herself in the process. 

If youโ€™re not familiar with Felliniโ€™s works or youโ€™re not a fan, you may battle through this, or you may also find yourself seeking him or his films out. One of the few Italian films on Netflix.

19. Enchanted April

  • ๐Ÿ“… Release date: 1991
  • ๐ŸŒŸ Starring: Joan Plowright, Miranda Richardson, Josie Lawrence
  • ๐Ÿ“ Main location: Portofino 

A rich nostalgic film set in the 1920s in a castle in Portofino, where the author of the book, Elizabeth Arnim, stayed in the same period.

Enchanted April takes place after World War 1, where four unhappily married English women take a vacation and a break from their husbands in a small medieval castle in Italy. 

After several twists and turns, they become completely transformed by their new stress-free lifestyle and peaceful surroundings, finding hope and love in their lives. 

The stunning performances of Miranda Richardson and Joan Plowright earned them both Golden Globe Awards for best actress and best-supporting actress respectively. 

20. And While We Were Here

  • ๐Ÿ“… Release date: 2012
  • ๐ŸŒŸ Starring: Kate Bosworth, Jamie Blackley, Iddo Goldberg, Claire Bloom. 
  • ๐Ÿ“ Main location: The Italian Island of Ischia

This drama film set in Italy is about an unhappily married woman faced with a life changing choice, while on a visit to Italy.

Caught in a loveless marriage to a boring viola player, Jane meets a young a free-spirited American, who awakens her desires and she is forced to choose whether to return to the mundane life and try to patch up her marriage or change the course of her life. 

She eventually makes her choice, which is toโ€ฆ You just gotta see this film!

21. 6 Underground

  • ๐Ÿ“… Release date: 2019
  • ๐ŸŒŸ Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Melanie Laurent Manuel Garcia-Rulfo.
  • ๐Ÿ“ Main location: Florence, Rome, Siena, Taranto, and Frascati

If you are looking for a movie with Ryan Reynolds and featuring scenes in Italy, 6 Underground will be perfect for you.

It is about a billionaire philanthropist who fakes his own death and forms a vigilante team of people who have also faked their deaths, to seek and destroy powerful criminals and terrorists.

Scenes were filmed in various parts of Italy including Siena and Rome but the most impressive one is the car chase through the streets of Florence.

22. Quantum of Solace

  • ๐Ÿ“… Release date: 2008
  • ๐ŸŒŸ Starring: Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric, Judy Dench.
  • ๐Ÿ“ Main location: Tuscany

Quantum of Solace is the direct sequel to Casino Royale and Daniel Craigโ€™s second film as the famous secret agent 007. 

As usual, loads of globe-trotting, shooting, fighting, killing, crazy car chases, special effects, love affairs and gorgeous girls!

With nothing but revenge on his mind for the killing of his lover, (thatโ€™s the second girlfriend heโ€™s lost) Bond sets off on a personal trail of mayhem and destruction. 

This leads him to a billionaire who is staging a coup in Bolivia to seize control of the water supply, which is being secretly held beneath a barren desert.

Fun fact: the producers say all the cars supplied by Aston Martin, survived the film.

23. No time to Die

  • ๐Ÿ“… Release date: 2021
  • ๐ŸŒŸ Starring: Daniel Craig, Lรฉa Seydoux and Rami Malek
  • ๐Ÿ“ Main location: Matera

Looking for another James Bond movie set in Italy? You are in luck!

The 2021 Bond movie also shows loads of scenes in Italy.

At the beginning of the movie, James Bond (Daniel Craig) is going on a romantic holiday with his girlfriend, Madeleine (Lรฉa Seydoux).

You can see many aerial views of this gorgeous town with an aqueduct and beautiful Italian houses. 

This town? Itโ€™s Matera, in Southern Italy.

You can also see a thrilling car chase through the streets of Matera that ends up at the train station where Bond puts Madeleine in a train.

These scenes are brilliant and one thing is sure, youโ€™ll want to visit Matera after that!

24. The Italian Job

  • ๐Ÿ“… Release date: 1969
  • ๐ŸŒŸ Starring: Michael Caine, Benny Hill, Noel Coward.
  • ๐Ÿ“ Main location: Turin 

This classic British gangster film has to be one of the most iconic movies ever set in Italy. 

An ex-con, just released from prison sets out to carry out a heist in Italy that his friends had failed. 

His biggest problem is that he has the Mafia on his tail. It begins in the stunning Italian Alps, then later moves to the city of Turin in Northern Italy. 

Itโ€™s packed with thrilling car chases, now-classic cars, a literal cliff-hanging ending, and some of the most famous lines ever uttered on-screen (“You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!”), you can’t miss adding this to your list of films set in Italy to watch.

25. Red Notice

  • ๐Ÿ“… Release date: 2021
  • ๐ŸŒŸ Starring: Ryan Renolds, Dwayne Johnson and Gal Gadot
  • ๐Ÿ“ Main location in Italy: Rome 

This is one of the most recent movies on this list since it was released on Netflix in November 2021.

Although it is not entirely set in Italy, it’s still a great movie to watch if you want something fun, packed with action and with loads of travelling involved.

Also, the cast is pretty amazing!

In this story, you will follow an Interpol agent trying to arrest the world’s most wanted art thieves.

The thieves (I’m not saying who they are on purpose, I wouldn’t want to give any spoilers) are trying to steal the three eggs of Cleopatra.

The first one is located in Rome, Italy and that’s where the first scenes of the movie are filmed.

You can see the car with the Rock arriving right in the Castel Sant’Angelo which is one of the most famous landmarks in Rome!

Now that you know all the best movies to watch before going to Italy, it’s time to set up the TV and have fun.

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