18 Best Romantic Movies Set in Italy You Need To Watch

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Italy is the perfect destination for couples. It’s such a romantic place to visit and if you love romance movies and books as much I do, then you’ll love the ones to come!

As someone who is obsessed with Italy and anything that has to do with romance, putting together this list of romantic movies set in Italy was a a lot of fun.

I’ve included a lot of rom coms but also classic films. Some are very recent and others a bit older but they are all great to watch.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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. 

6. 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!

7. 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.

8. 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. 

9. 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. 

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. 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!

13. 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.

14. 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.

15. 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.

16. 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.

17. 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!

18. 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.

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