41 Best Movies about Italy To Watch Before Your Trip

Are you looking for the best movies about Italy? You’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! 

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no extra cost for you!

Best Movies set in Italy

Best Romantic movies set in Italy

Italy is the perfect destination for couples. It’s such a romantic place to visit so if that’s the kind of mood you are into, check out these romantic movies about Italy.

Letters to Juliet

  • Release date: 2010
  • Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Christopher Egan, Gael García Bernal, Vanessa Redgrave and Franco Nero
  • Main location: Verona, Siena, Montalcino and Castelnuovo Berardenga

Letters to Juliet is one of the most famous rom com set in Italy. It’s also quite an interesting movie to watch if you like Shakespeare and would like to visit Verona.

Unlike what you may think, Letters to Juliet is not exactly about Romeo and Juliet.

Basically, there is an office in Verona where people send letters to Juliet. There, you can find other people who reply to these letters. You can kind of think of it as the romantic version of Santa!

In Letters from Juliet, you’ll follow the adventures of Sophie, an American girl who follows her fiancé to Italy.

He is a chef and is looking for products for his next restaurant.

Once she gets there, she discovers pretty quickly the letters to Juliet and decides to respond to one of them.

The thing she wasn’t expecting is that the person who sent the letter in the first place would get so inspired by her reply. So much so that she would show up to the office with her grandson, to find the love of her life.

From there, the 3 of them start their quest.

Eat Pray Love

  • Release date: 2010
  • Starring: Julia Roberts, Javier Bardem, James Franco, Billy Crudup
  • Main location in Italy: Rome

Eat Pray Love is the ultimate travel movie about Italy. It’s incredibly famous and if you haven’t watched it yet, just do it!

It is based on the autobiography of Elizabeth Gilbert. Her book was published in 2006 and the movie was released in 2010.

It was a massive success and is still the reference when it comes to self-discovery and travel movies.

Now, let’s talk about what it is about.

Elizabeth Gilbert is an American woman who basically realised that her settled life with her husband is not making her happy.

She decides to get a divorce and travel the world to discover her true self.

Her first stop is Rome, Italy. Here she learns how to speak Italian, discover the pleasures of eating delicious Italian food and just really tries to understand the local culture.

After that, she goes on and travels to other places such as India and Bali so it’s important to note that the entire movie is not set in Italy however, you’ll get to see loads of Rome.

Under the Tuscan Sun

  • Release date: 2003
  • Starring: Diane Lane, Raoul Bova, Lindsay Duncan, Sandra Oh
  • Main location: Cortona, Tuscany

Under the Tuscan Sun is another famous movie and book about Italy.

It’s quite similar to Eat Pray Love but we can’t really say they are the same. Even if you saw Eat Pray Love, you should watch this one.

The movie is based on the book of the same name. It was written by Frances Mayes and published in 1996.

Here you will follow Frances Mayes, portrayed by Diane Lane, from San Francisco to Tuscany where she ends up buying a house and renovating it.

Unlike Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat Pray Love, Frances Mayes didn’t come to the realisation that her life wasn’t what she wanted.

The succession of events was a bit forced on her since her husband cheated on her and they got a divorce.

But she manages to turn things around and create a beautiful home in the small town of Cortona in Tuscany.

When in Rome

  • Release date: 2010
  • Starring: Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel, Dax Shepard and Will Arnett
  • Main location in Italy: Rome

If you are looking for a funny romantic comedy set in Italy, When in Rome will be perfect for you!

Heads up! There are two movies called ‘When in Rome’. Here we are talking about the one with Kristen Bell and not with Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. This one will be mentioned further down.

The main character is called Beth (Kristen Bell). She is a talented art curator at the Guggenheim who travels to Rome for her sister’s wedding.

While in Rome, she goes to the ‘fountain of love’ and pick up some of the coins. 

As it turns out, picking up coins from that particular fountain makes the men who threw them fall in love with you.

Before she knows it, she has several men incredibly in love with her who follows her everywhere.

While most of the movie is actually set in New York City, you get to see loads of places in Rome including the Piazza Borghese, Piazza Della Maddalena, the Trevi Fountain, the Roman Forum, the Spanish Steps, the Colosseum and the Pantheon.

Romeo + Juliet

  • Release date: 1996
  • Starring: Leonardo Di Caprio, Claire Danes
  • Main location: Verona Beach (fictional)

Romeo + Juliet is a 20th Century remake of arguably the greatest love story ever told. 

If you are a traditionalist, this version of William Shakespeare’s classic will infuriate you no end but if you have an open mind, it will thrill you.

It’s a great take on a classic and definitely a must-see before a trip to Italy.

The traditional storyline remains the same. But this time, the two feuding Italian families take their conflict to the streets of Verona Beach, when their two respective children fall in love and secretly marry, with catastrophic results. 

Bread and Tulips

  • Release date: 2000
  • Starring: Licia Maglietta, Bruno Ganz, Giuseppe Battiston.
  • Main location: Venice

Bread and Tulips is a beautiful Italian film available with English subtitles. Comedy-drama at its best. Basically, the Italian version of “Shirley Valentine”.  

Whilst on a bus trip, a middle-aged unappreciated housewife gets left behind at a bus stop. 

She seizes this opportunity to search for something more adventurous in her boring life, and goes off to the romantic city of Venice, where she takes on a job, and yes, you guessed it, finds “true love”. 

Meeting with various colourful characters, her life starts to become meaningful, but her husband hires a detective, who is actually a plumber, to find her. 

A good Italian film with a strong message to all of us who feel trapped in our lives. It’s never too late!

Love Is All You Need

  • Release date: 2012
  • Starring: Trine Dyrholm, Pierce Brosnan, Molly Egelind and Sebastian Jessen
  • Main location: Sorrento

If you are looking for a funny romantic comedy set in Italy, Love is all you need you will be the perfect watch. This is a rare example of a Danish movie about Italy.

In this film, you discover James Bond actor Pierce Brosman in a new light.

The movie starts in Denmark. Ida discovers that her husband is cheating on her shortly before flying to Italy for her daughter’s destination wedding.

Along the way, she bumps into Philip, the father of the groom otherwise known as Pierce Brosman.

From there, they head to Italy and that’s where the love story begins.

As well as being romantic and funny. Love is all you need also touches upon more serious topics such as cancer and chemotherapy.

Only You

  • Release date: 1994
  • Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei.
  • Main location: Rome, Venice, Positano Amalfi Coast.

Only You is a light-hearted romantic movie set in Italy, with a storyline more common in the 1950s. 

It may be a little old-fashioned, but still a real feel-good movie. The stunning scenery of the Amalfi Coast will blow you away!

Here is what it is about. 

Believing a childhood prophecy of one day marrying someone called “Damon Bradley”, Faith, eventually loses hope and decides to marry a podiatrist instead. 

On the eve of her wedding, she hears about a friend of the groom named Damon Bradley, who is on his way to Italy. 

Convinced her prophecy can still come true, she abandons her wedding and jets off after him, and eventually they fall in love. 

After a few bumps and bruises to their relationship, you will be left to fathom out whether he was really Damon Bradley after all. 

Stealing Beauty

  • Release date: 1994
  • Starring: Liv Tyler, Jeremy Irons, Joseph Fiennes.
  • Main location: Tuscany

Stealing Beauty is a pukka European-type movie set entirely in the lush countryside of Tuscany. 

Although the film has a strong cast, Tyler makes it her own with a stunning performance. Not a love story in its true sense; but a story of life.

Stealing Beauty is about a young beautiful American girl who returns to a village in Tuscany, to find out more about her dead mother’s past, the identity of her father and perhaps meet up with a boy she first kissed. 

There are so many twists and turns to this fascinating story, brought to life by the intriguing characters she meets along the way. 

It has pain and hurt, death and tragedy, lust and desire and all the other traits and emotions that only love can bring out. 

Dangerous Beauty

  • Release date: 1998
  • Starring: Catherine McCormack, Rufus Sewell, Jacqueline Bisset.
  • Main location: Venice

Dangerous Beauty is a powerful historical romantic drama set in Medieval Venice, exposing the influence the rich had over the poor and weak and one woman’s quest to stand up against them. 

It also reminds us of the lengths the Catholic Church went to combat religious dissent through its infamous Inquisition, which lasted for centuries.

Admittedly, this is a bit more powerful than you usually expect from a romantic movie. Nonetheless, it’s a great watch!

It is about Veronica, a courageous and beautiful woman who cannot marry the aristocrat she loves, because she comes from a poor family. 

Using her wits and her charm, she takes on the system controlled by powerful men and finds herself facing the Inquisition.  

It sends a strong message of the power of just one person standing up against evil and the injustices of medieval society and still applies to all of today’s women too. 

One of the most powerful movies set in Italy you will ever see.

Love & Gelato

Release date: 2022
Starring: Susanna Skaggs, Valentina Lodovini, Saul Nanni, Tobia De Angelis
Main location in Italy: Rome, Florence

If you are looking for a fun movie about Italy to watch on Netflix, this one will be perfect for you. Released in 2022, it was inspired by the book of the same name.

In this movie, you will follow the adventures of Lina, a teenager who goes to Italy after her mum passes away to discover more about her past and biological father.

When she gets to Italy, she is welcomed by her godmother who gives her her mum’s journal with everything she did in Italy back in the days.

Of course, Lina will also meet a couple of boys along the way and end up travelling further than Rome.

This movie is good fun and features amazing scenes of Rome and Florence.

To Rome with Love

  • Release date: 2012
  • Starring: Woody Allen, Penélope Cruz, Alec Baldwin, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig
  • Main location in Italy: Rome

To Rome with Love is a bit of a polemical movie since it received a lot of criticism when it was released.

A lot of people were disappointed in this Woody Allen movie but before you scroll down, hear me out.

We can say whatever we want about the movie in terms of technicity and storyline but the fact is that it shows off Rome in a beautiful way.

If you are looking for a romantic movie with loads of scenes of Rome and really want to get that Italian vibe, that’s what you will get.

Is it a cinematographic masterpiece? Probably not but as far as relaxing and feel-good movies go, we are pretty good here! More importantly, you will get to see some of the most famous landmarks in Rome including the Colosseum, Piazza Venezia and many more!

Also, the cast is pretty amazing!

The movie was created in a bit of an unusual way since all the protagonists don’t belong to the same story. Here you follow four people, Hayley, Antonio, Leopoldo and John and their adventures in Rome.

Some live there, others are on holiday. Either way, they all have a pretty eventful life.

It truly is a great movie to watch before visiting Rome since you’ll get to see so much of the city!

Call Me By Your Name

  • Release date: 2017
  • Starring: Timothee Chalamet, Armie Hammer
  • Main location: Northern Italy

A highly emotional film set in Italy, Call Me By Your Name is based on the novel by Andre Aciman, is about the story of two boys who fall in love, Elio and Oliver but are having a hard time coming to terms with what it is.

It is set in the 80s and at the time, same-sex relationships were much more complicated.

This is not your classic romantic movie. It’s much stronger than that and it touches upon a lot of important subjects. 

It’s a brilliant movie and it has amazing cinematic reviews you can check.

A Room With a View

  • Release date: 1985
  • Starring: Helena Bonham Carter, Julian Sands, Daniel Day-Lewis, Maggie Smith, Denholm Elliot, Judy Dench. 
  • Main location in Italy: Florence

A Room with a view is an English romance film set in the early 1900s, with arguably one of the strongest cast of English actors ever and winning 3 Academy Awards, 5 British Academy Awards and a Golden Globe. 

The characters are eccentric and the actors are all superb beyond words!

Now that the expectations are set, here is the plot!

While on a tour to Italy, Lucy, a young cultured English woman meets and develops a love for a more exciting man than the drab intellectual man she is about to marry back in England.

This is a charming movie, typical of the Edwardian English culture, with much tea and scones served and consumed. 

The highlight may just be the pond bathing scene, in which a naked George will have all the ladies blushing.

Shadows in the Sun

  • Release date: 2005
  • Starring: Joshua Jackson, Claire Forlani, Harvey Keitel.
  • Main location: Italy

Shadows in the Sun is an enchanting and uplifting romantic story that will make you laugh and cry at the same time. 

It draws one into the fascinating world of writing and publishing and is saturated with so many of life’s lessons and hidden wisdom, that you may need more than one viewing to take it all in.

Set in the 1960s, a young aspiring writer (Jeremy) is sent to Tuscany to find a renowned reclusive writer (Weldon) and inspire him to start writing again. 

In the process, Jeremy is exposed to Weldon’s views of life, which has a profound effect on his. 

If all that is not enough for young Jeremy, he complicates matters by becoming besotted with Weldon’s young beautiful daughter. 

After many emotional twists and turns, the end result is a happy one for both writers.

A beautiful story, brought to life by incredible performances by the entire cast, among the stunning backdrop of the lush Tuscany countryside. 

You may find yourself wanting to visit or even move there after seeing this movie.

Lost in Florence

  • Release date: 2017
  • Starring: Brett Dalton, Stana Katic, Emily Atack and Alessandra Mastronardi
  • Main location: Florence

This 2017 movie is perfect for people who love sports and to learn more about the local culture.

The main character is called Eric Lombard. He dreams of being a professional football player and ends up going to Florence to visit his cousin after a painful breakup.

There he discovers the Calcio Storico (which means historical football in Italian) and starts playing with the local team.

From there, everything changes…

Oh and… we did put it in the romantic movie category so I’ll let you discover what happens but yes… there is a girl!

All in all, it’s a great feel-good movie. It’s not a masterpiece but it’s still a cool film to watch especially if you were looking for a movie set in Florence.

All roads lead to Rome

  • Release date: 2015
  • Starring: Sarah Jessica Parker, Raoul Bova, Rosie Day, Paz Vega, and Claudia Cardinale
  • Main location: Tuscany to Rome

Are you a ‘Sex and the City’ fan? Then we don’t need to convince you to watch this one since Sarah Jessica Parker is the main actress.

This is a funny romantic comedy which means that you can be sure to laugh and get a great love story!

The interesting thing about this specific movie is that it’s not only set in Italy but there are also a lot of Italian actors.

Very often all the actors are actually Americans but here you get a bit of both. There are 4 main actors, two of them are American, two of them are Italian.

Here is the plot. Maggie (SJP) is heading to Tuscany with her daughter. She chose this location because she went there when she was younger.

Once they get there, she bumps into Luca, who was her boyfriend when she first came to Italy.

Luca’s mother wants to go to Rome to elope and escapes with Maggie’s daughter, who wasn’t exactly enthusiastic about spending a holiday in Italy.

It is very funny and you get to see many landscapes and traditional elements here.

Also, you get to hear genuine Italian accents and let’s be honest, we all love that!

Made in Italy

  • Release date: 2020
  • Starring: Micheál Richardson, Valeria Bilello, Liam Neeson, Lindsay Duncan
  • Main location: Tuscany (Monticchiello and La Fontanella)

This is one of the most recent movies about Italy on this list. It was released in 2020 and is set in Tuscany.

While most rom coms focus on women, this one is more about the men.

You follow the story of Jack and Robert, a son and dad on their trip to Tuscany to renovate an old family house.

Once they get there, a lot of things happen. Firstly, it brings back a lot of memories. This house was mainly the mum’s house and she passed away.

But there are also a lot of good things happening. Jack meets Natalia, an Italian woman with incredible cooking skills. He becomes very fond of her daughter and they build a beautiful relationship.

The best thing about this movie is that it features beautiful images of Tuscany. The hills, the vineyards… everything Tuscany is known for is here.

If you are wondering whether you should add Tuscany to your bucket list or not, watch this movie. It will give you a very good idea of what it looks like.

Best Classic Movies set in Italy

Some of the most famous and iconic movies in the world were set in Italy. Here they are!

The Godfather

  • Release date: 1972
  • Starring: Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, James Caan
  • 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. It’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, you’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 it’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’Agrò. If you are heading to Sicily soon, you’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.

La Dolce Vita

  • Release date: 1960
  • Starring: Marcello Mastroianni, Anouk Aimme, Anita Ekberg
  • Main location: Rome

La Dolce Vita is the most iconic movie set in Italy of all time! It’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 “Paparazzi”! 

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

Roman Holiday

  • Release date: 1953
  • Starring: Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck
  • Main location: Rome

The Roman Holiday is a beautiful romantic comedy-drama, based on the real-life Italian adventures of Britain’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.

Avanti!

  • Release date: 1972
  • Starring: Jack Lemmon, Juliet Mills
  • 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. It’s hilarious! 

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

Just watch this movie! 

Summertime

  • Release date: 1955
  • Starring: Katherine Hepburn, Rossano Brazzi 
  • 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 perhaps… 

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.

Best Italian movies set in Italy

Il Postino

  • Release date: 1994
  • Starring: Massimo Troisi, Maria Graiza Cuccinota, Philippe Noiret.
  • 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 Pablo’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.

Benvenuti al Sud

  • Release date: 2010
  • Starring: Valentina Lodovini, Alessandro Siani, Claudio Bisio and Angela Finocchiaro
  • Main location: Castellabate near Naples

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

Benvenuti al Nord

  • Release date: 2012
  • Starring: Valentina Lodovini, Alessandro Siani, Claudio Bisio and Angela Finocchiaro
  • 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, it’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, doesn’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. It’s cute and definitely hilarious either way.

Best war movies set in Italy

Tea with Mussolini

  • Release date: 1999
  • Starring: Joan Plowright, Maggie Smith, Judy Dench, Cher. Lily Tomlin
  • 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 Mussolini’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.

Best thrillers set in Italy

The tourist

  • Release date: 2010
  • Starring: Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie
  • 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 that’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 tourist’s holiday turns into a nightmare, as he struggles to escape from people he does not even know, resulting in his memorable quote “Why is everybody trying to kill me?” 

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

Angels & Demons

  • Release date: 2009
  • Starring: Tom Hanks, Ayelet Zurer, Ewan McGregor
  • 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, it’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 “Illuminati”, Free Masons and the Vatican. 

His quest is to decipher clues, which will lead him to a canister of “antimatter” 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

The Talented Mr. Ripley

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

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

It’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 there…even 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, don’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.

Best drama films set in Italy

Cinema Paradiso

  • Release date: 1988
  • Starring: Salvatore Cascio, Philippe Noiret, Marco Leonardi.
  • 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. 

In Search of Fellini

  • Release date: 2017
  • Starring: Ksenia Solo, Maria Bello, Mary Lynn Rajskub.
  • 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. 

It’s written and based on the true story of Nancy Cartwright, better known for her 30 years run as the voice of Bart Simpson – who would have thought?

The movie is about a young naïve 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 you’re not familiar with Fellini’s works or you’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.

Enchanted April

  • Release date: 1991
  • Starring: Joan Plowright, Miranda Richardson, Josie Lawrence
  • 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. 

And While We Were Here

  • Release date: 2012
  • Starring: Kate Bosworth, Jamie Blackley, Iddo Goldberg, Claire Bloom. 
  • 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 to… You just gotta see this film!

Best action movies set in Italy

6 Underground

  • Release date: 2019
  • Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Melanie Laurent Manuel Garcia-Rulfo.
  • 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.

Quantum of Solace

  • Release date: 2008
  • Starring: Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric, Judy Dench.
  • Main location: Tuscany

Quantum of Solace is the direct sequel to Casino Royale and Daniel Craig’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, (that’s the second girlfriend he’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.

No time to Die

  • Release date: 2021
  • Starring: Daniel Craig, Léa Seydoux and Rami Malek
  • 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 (Léa Seydoux).

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

This town? It’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, you’ll want to visit Matera after that!

The Italian Job

  • Release date: 1969
  • Starring: Michael Caine, Benny Hill, Noel Coward.
  • 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. 

It’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.

Red Notice

  • Release date: 2021
  • Starring: Ryan Renolds, Dwayne Johnson and Gal Gadot
  • 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!

Best teen movies set in Italy

Looking for a teen movie that takes place in Italy? Here are some ideas!

When in Rome

  • Release date: 2002
  • Starring: Mary-Kate Olsen, Ashley Olsen, Leslie Danon and Julian Stone
  • 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, it’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!

The Lizzie McGuire Movie

  • Release date: 2003
  • Starring: Hilary Duff, Adam Lamberg, Jake Thomas, Robert Carradine
  • Main location: Rome

Lizzie McGuire is one of the most popular Disney teen shows from the 00s. It made Hilary Duff incredibly famous and it’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.

Best kids movies set in Italy

Looking for an animated movie about Italy? These are for you!

Luca

  • Release date: 2021
  • Voices: Giacomo Gianniotti, Jack Dylan Grazer, Jacob Tremblay, Emma Berman
  • Main location: Italian Riviera, Cinque Terre, Liguria

If you’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 don’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.

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