Italy on the Big Screen
One suggestion I always make for those getting ready to travel to sunny Italy is to watch a movie or two that takes place in this marvelous land. It will really get you even more excited about your upcoming journey, and when you return will help you relive the many wonderful places you’ve been able to experience. Of course, being that Italy is the home of the Catholic Church, as well as the home to many a great and much-loved saint, there are also some really well-done religious films that have been shot here. In addition, there are plenty of delightful romance films that are among my favorites. These will be sure to put you in an Italian frame of mind. So, grab the vino, along with some popcorn sprinkled with grated parmesan, and enjoy the views. Viva Italia!
Francis of Assisi: Starring then Delores, now Mother Delores, Hart. According to Mother Delores her experience in portraying St. Clare in this film, changed her forever and impacted her decision to go into the religious life. St. Clare was a courageous young woman who lived at the time of Francis and desired greatly to follow his austere way of life. She defied her family and joined the convent, eventually becoming a strong Christian leader herself.
Roman Holiday: A classic and my all-time favorite film starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn. Rome will never be the same after seeing this film. Believe it or not, there is actually a Roman Holiday self-guided tour you can take around the city. Most of the gift shops have a fun map that points out where key scenes were shot. A few years ago, since again this is my favorite film, my husband and I followed in the footsteps of Audrey and Gregory. I ate a gelato on the Spanish Steps. Hung out along the Tiber river. Stood in line to put my hand in the Mouth of Truth etc. The movie is about an American reporter based in Rome and a princess who visits the Eternal City. They meet accidentally and fall in love. For the rest of the story, rent the film.
Letters to Juliet: If you’ve never been to Tuscany, this film will really get you in the mood to see and enjoy the rolling hills of this stunning Italian region. It’s a darling movie and very romantic. An American writer helps a woman find her long lost love she left behind in Italy decades ago, and then falls in love with the woman’s nephew.
It Started in Naples: Starring Clark Gable and Sophia Loren. How can you go wrong with these two super stars side by side? It’s an adorable film about a Philadelphia lawyer who travels to Italy to settle the estate of an estranged relative. While there he meets Loren’s character who is caring for a boy left behind by the long-lost family member.
Only You: Marissa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr. light up the screen in this love story that takes us from the romantic streets of Rome’s Trastevere region to the beautiful Amalfi Coast. The real star however is the scenery.