Cuddle up on the couch with your partner or pet, and watch one of the critics top 15 movies filmed in Italy.
- Don’t Look Now (1973), Venice - A married couple grieving the recent death of their young daughter are in Venice when they encounter two elderly sisters, one of whom is psychic and brings a warning from beyond.
- Il Postino (1994), Sicily and Prodica - Travel between the two islands as a simple Italian postman learns to love poetry while delivering mail to a famous poet, and then uses this to woo a local beauty.
- The Godfather (1972), Sicily - The Godfather follows Vito Corleone, Don of the Corleone family, as he passes the mantle to his unwilling son, Michael.
- Cinema Paradiso (1988), Sicily - This heart-rending paean to the life-changing power of film is another set in Godfather country, in the north-west of Sicily.
- A Room With A View (1985), Florence - In this enduring tale of Brits abroad, James Ivory gives Florence the treatment it deserves. You can still stay in the room of the ‘Pensione Bertolini’ appropriated by Lucy Honeychurch (Helena Bonham Carter) – it’s Room 414 of the Hotel degli Orafi, since modernized but retaining that spectacular view of the bridge.
- L’Avventura (1960), Sicily - Antonioni’s travel-heavy drama begins in Rome but, in keeping with Italian cinema’s long-running fascination with its deep south, soon heads for Sicily.
- The Pink Panther (1963), Dolomites - This first installment of the slapstick-heavy series began with the emphasis on David Niven’s elegant jewel thief, Sir Charles Lytton, rather than Peter Sellers’ hapless inspector, so the locations are rather more jet-set than might be imagined.
- A Bigger Splash (2015), Pantelleria - Luca Guadagnino’s vivid remake of 1969 French existential thriller, La Piscine, makes spectacular use of the volcanic island of Pantelleria, close to Sicily – and close to the director’s heart, it seems, since he’s claimed he wouldn’t have made the film anywhere else.
- Call Me By Your Name (2017), Lombardy - After A Bigger Splash, Luca Guadagnino headed to the mainland for this heady love story. Timothée Chalamet (Elio) and Armie Hammer (Oliver) are, we’re told, ‘somewhere in Northern Italy’: mostly, this is Lombardy, about an hour from Milan, and the director’s home turf.
- The Italian Job (1969), Turin - There’s a lot of London before we get there, but this classic Sixties caper does justice to its title, with a memorable trip to Turin.
- The English Patient (1996), Tuscany - While this Oscar-eating epic used Italy for most of its locations – including Death in Venice’s Grand Hotel des Bains for Shepheard’s Hotel in Cairo – a significant sequence is also actually set in the country.
- Wonder Woman (2017), Matera - This superior superhero flick opens strongly with a prequel sequence set on the island of Themyscira, fictional home of the Amazonian tribe from which Gal Gadot’s Diana/Wonder Woman hails.
- Cyrano (2022), Sicily - In the film adaptation of this off-Broadway musical, director Joe Wright (Darkest Hour, Anna Karenina) transposes the action from late-19th-century France to 18th-century Sicily, where brooding Mount Etna, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed towns of Noto, Scicli and Syracuse, as well as the extravagant baroque architecture, combine to form atmospheric backdrops to the narrative.
- House of Gucci (2021), across Italy- The film spans three decades leading up to the 1995 murder of Maurizio Gucci – the last member of the family dynasty to run the luxury brand.
- The Hand Of God (2021), Naples - If Paolo Sorrentino’s Oscar-winning The Great Beauty was a love letter to Rome, the director returns to his roots in this semi-autobiographical film set in Naples, which artfully captures his home city’s rawness and crumbling majesty.
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Photo: Istituto Italiano di Cultura, The Postman