If you’re stuck at home and looking for something to inspire your Italy wanderlust, I’ve rounded up the 30 best movies set in Italy.
The Best Movies Set in Italy + TV Shows Set in Italy
To inspire your travels, I’ve put together a list of my favorite movies set in Italy. There’s a little bit of everything with iconic Italian films, modern romantic comedies, and dramatic Oscar-winning productions as well.
Many of them are also based on spectacular novels set in Italy and you should check them out! Enjoy my list of the 19 best movies about Italy.
Made in Italy
Starring Liam Neeson, this movie set in Italy is about a father and son who are estranged and come together again through fixing up an old house. It’s a heartwarming story that deals with grief and love. You’ll be sure to fall in love with the Italian countryside. And it may even want to make you buy an old Italian fixer-upper!
Spiderman: Far From Home
This is probably my favorite Spiderman movie, simply because it had so many great scenes filmed in Italy. Superheros + Italian scenery. What could be better? There’s even a huge battle scene in the canals of Venice.
Under the Tuscan Sun
If you’re looking for more recent movies in Italy, go with Under the Tuscan. The 2003 movie is based on the autobiographical novel by Francis Mayes.
It begins when Mayes spontaneously purchases an abandoned villa. Watch as she meets the challenge of renovating the villa, gets to know the town, and ends up falling in love! You enjoy an intimate look at the dreamy town of Cortana near Lake Trasimene in the Tuscan countryside. You’ll want to plan a trip to the rugged hills of Tuscany after watching this movie!
Even though it’s animated, you may recognize some of the scenes from the Disney movie Luca as the beautiful Cinque Terre. Set in a picturesque seaside town on the Italian Riviera, this movie is a coming-of-age story about a boy who comes from under the sea and the friendships he makes with the Italians above the shore. Luca features swimming, scooter rides, gelato, and some adorable Italians and beautifully animated Italy. While this movie set in Italy is definitely geared toward kids, it’s really cute and I would have watched it even without my kids.
The White Lotus
While Season 1 of The White Lotus takes place in Hawaii, Season 2 takes us to the beautiful island of Sicily! Amongst romance, love affairs, drugs, murder plots, adultery, nudity, and more, there are some truly stunning shots of this gorgeous island. The characters traipse around the island and you’re able to see inside and out of some truly gorgeous villas. The second season of the show was all filmed in Sicily. I do not recommend watching this one with kids! It’s rated R at best.
The Godfather (1972) is by far one of the most famous and beloved movies made in Italy. Follow the story of the fictional Corleone crime family of New York over a 10-year period. While the movie by director Francis Ford Coppola begins in New York City, much of it also takes place in Sicily.
Most of the Italy scenes were filmed in the medieval mountainside villages of Savoca and Forza d’Agrò. You can visit iconic film locations there like romantic (and real) Bar Vitelli, which also includes rooms for rent. Or see the gorgeous Teatro Massimo in Palermo.
A Room with a View
A Room with a View is one of the best romantic Italy movies, and the book by E.M. Forster is just as good. Set in the Victorian era, it’s about a young married woman visiting the city of Florence before returning home to England.
This Italy movie was the breakout role for Helena Bonham Carter who played Lucy Honeychurch. There’s forbidden love and gorgeous set locations across the Tuscan capital in every scene! A dramatic scene takes place at the Piazza Della Signoria, and you can take walks along the River Arno as Lucy did.
Eat Pray Love
One of the most popular modern movies set in Italy is Eat, Pray, Love with Julia Roberts. Based on author Elizabeth Gilbert’s true story, it follows a woman’s search for meaning in life as she explores Italy, India, and finally Bali.
The “Eat” portion of the story, and most people’s favorite, is when Gilbert indulges in food across the Italian countryside! In Naples, she eats Margherita Pizza at the famous L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele. Rome she learns to appreciate the way Italians slow down and appreciate every meal. And she simply wanders the endlessly romantic streets of Venice.
Call Me By Your Name
For more great Italian romance movies, you’ll want to see Call Me By Your Name. It’s a moving story of 2 young men who fall in love over a summer abroad in Italy. This coming-of-age tale is set in 1983 and features several locations in the Lombardy region of northern Italy, including Crema, Moscazzano, and Bergamo.
Many important parts of the movie take place in the Piazza Duomo in Crema. You get to see ruins of an ancient Roman villa, Grottoes of Catullus, that overlook Lake Garda. And the movie even features the magnificent Cascate del Serio, Italy’s tallest waterfall with a cascade of 315 meters.
The Two Popes
The Two Popes is a biographical movie based on a play about true events. It takes place between Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Bergoglio after the Vati-Leaks scandal of 2012. While much of the story occurs inside Vatican City in Rome, those film locations had to be recreated on a set.
But for movies taking place in Italy, this one does a great job of showing you what life is really like inside the Vatican. They did get to film on location outside the Castel Gandolfo, the Pope’s summer home. And you’ll see some beautiful shots of Villa Farnese in the town of Caprarola.
Tea with Mussolini
I think Tea with Mussolini is one of the best movies set in Italy because of the endearing storyline and how it’s used to paint a bigger picture. The 1999 movie by Franco Zeffirelli is about a little boy raised by a bunch of ex-pat women from England and America.
It takes place in Florence during World War II and shows the impact of fascism on daily life in the region of Tuscany. It also beautifully displays many locations in Florence (as well as the village of San Gimignano), most of which you can still visit today.
Shadows in the Sun
Shadows in the Sun is a movie set in Italy about a young writer who is sent to Italy to convince an old famous writer suffering from writer’s block to write again. This movie has some great scenes of the gorgeous Tuscan countryside.
When in Rome
Lovers of silly romantic comedies will appreciate When in Rome starring Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel. Beth (Bell), who works at an art museum in New York City, is burnt out on love when she travels to Rome for a wedding. There she meets Nick (Duhamel), but things get complicated.
Beth hears about a fountain of love. If you remove a coin from the fountain, the owner of the coin will fall in love with you. Drunk, she pulls several coins from the fountain. Back in NYC, this leads to many hilarious meetings with love-struck men.
Concerning movies set in Italy, this one is filmed completely on the east coast of the US. But the fountain of love is probably inspired by Rome’s showstopping Trevi Fountain. It’s a fascinating place with its own legends, and history dating back to 19BC.
Love in the Villa
This is a pretty cheesy Hallmark-type movie on Netflix that just came out. Julie, an idealist girl who just got dumped right before her trip to Italy, checks into her villa to find that it’s been double booked by a handsome guy with a cat allergy. The real saving grace is that its shot in Verona and you can see some gorgeous views of the city.
To Rome with Love
The Woody Allen film To Rome with Love features many big-name headliners, while Rome itself feels like a central character! If you’re looking for movies based in Italy that will inspire a trip to Rome, go with this one.
You see the city from the perspective of different kinds of people, which is a breath of fresh air. This movie is packed full of authentic destinations across Rome, from piazzas and restaurants to private residences and even the Trevi Fountain. The perspective is usually very casual and unmanicured, and it will make you want to see every location up close!
Whatever your thoughts are about the Twilight Saga, New Moon has a scene at the end of the movie where the main character, Bella, is running through the piazza of “Volterra” which is actually filmed in the beautiful town of Montepulciano.
One of the most interesting movies set in Italy is Patty Jenkin’s 2017 Wonder Woman. The movie has many different film locations, and you may not have realized that Italy is a big one!
While Diana doesn’t visit Italy in the movie, it’s the location for her mystical homeland of Themyscira! If you watch the beach scene, it’s actually Palinuro on the Cilento Coast. These cliff-lined beaches just south of the Amalfi Coast are dramatic, the perfect setting for Amazonian women.
When you see the queen holding a young Diana on a balcony, it’s actually a terrace of a villa in the village of Ravello on the Amalfi Coast. And there are many, many more Italy locations used secretly in the movie.
Quantum of Solace
We couldn’t leave James Bond off the list! Quantum of Solace is the sequel to Casino Royale (which also features a villa in Lake Como) and has some stunning scenes near Lake Garda, Siena, and the Tuscan countryside.
The Tourist is a romantic thriller that will make you fall in love with Venice! It stars Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie who spend the entire movie traversing the canals, running along Venice rooftops, and exploring popular attractions.
The movie takes off when the couple meets on a Venetian train and even features the Rialto Market. If you are a sucker for views of the canals and historic sites of Venice, take some time to see this film.
The Lizzie McGuire Movie
Yes, it’s a kids’ movie, but still set in Italy! You can see shots of Lizzie in Rome on the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, at the Colosseum, and riding a Vespa with a cute boy.
If you enjoy a good heist comedy that keeps you on your toes, consider Oceans 12 (2004). Much like its prequel, Oceans 11, it has a star-studded cast, white-collar crime, and an impressive number of film locations across the globe.
While not necessarily a movie about Italy, it benefits from many stunning film locations across the country. Enjoy sweeping views of the Piazza Della Rotunda, as well as clips of the famous Termini Station, both in Rome. There are several other locations, including Villa Erba on Lake Como and the medieval village of Tonnara di Scopello in Sicily.
Letters to Juliet
Another sweet, romantic movie set in Italy is the darling Letters to Juliet. Sophie is an American on vacation in Verona, the setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Wandering the cobblestone streets of Verona, Sophie discovers Juliet’s house (a real place for the fictional character) where people write to Juliet and leave the letters in the courtyard.
The film is set largely in Verona and also includes locations in Siena and Lake Garda. Letters to Juliet does a beautiful job of presenting Verona, the City of Love, in all its glory, with many intimate street scenes and on-location indoor spaces.
This movie is based on a book and is about four English women in the 1920s who decide to leave UK for the month of April and head to sunny Italy!
This movie is set Castello Brown in Portofino and was also filmed here. The views alone make this a must-watch if you’re interested in movies in Italy.
La Dolce Vita
One of the most iconic movies from Italy is the 1960 La Dolce Vita. It follows the adventures of an Italian tabloid journalist as she searches for love and excitement on the streets of Rome.
The fascinating film is set in 7 chapters over 7 days where you see interesting interactions in some of the most iconic landmarks and destinations in Rome. Even if you haven’t heard of this film, its impact is huge in cinema, and everyone should see it at least once!
Ridley Scott’s Oscar-winning Gladiator is considered one of the best movies on Rome. You’ll become invested in the story of Maximus who must fight in Rome’s own Colosseum.
While Gladiator isn’t actually shot in Rome, it’s still a beautiful film that attempts to recreate ancient Rome (though the inaccuracies are funny at times). The movie features film locations in other places across Africa and Europe, with just 2 scenes filmed in the lush, picturesque Orcia Valley in Tuscany.
The Talented Mr. Ripley
Fans of psychological thrillers probably know just how good The Talented Mr. Ripley is! Filmed in 1999, it includes amazing acting by some of the biggest names in the industry when they were still practically babies. And if for no other reason, this movie set in Italy is a feast for the eyes with stunning landscapes and famous locales at every turn.
The story begins in New York City in the 1950s but quickly moves to the cities of Venice and Rome, as well as the region of Campania. You’ll love the winding streets of Procida and the glittering building interiors and exteriors of Palermo and Venice. And that’s just the beginning!
Only you is a movie set in Italy about a woman who is determined to find her true love in Italy. But when she arrives she meets someone else. You’ll see gorgeous scenes from Rome, Venice, Tuscany, and the Amalfi Coast.
Roman Holiday starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck has become synonymous with Rome. The romantic comedy is considered to be one of the most iconic movies set in Rome and has inspired travel to the city for years!
Thanks to the movie’s reach and popularity, you can no longer sit and eat on the Spanish Steps as Hepburn did. But a visit to the steps is rewarding all year round! Hepburn and Peck spend the movie seeing Rome by Vespa. It’s interesting to know that during filming, the city was still recovering from war, so pay attention to the background.
The Italian Job
Another impressive heist movie, The Italian Job is all about iconic film locations, fast cars, and elaborate crimes. Whether you prefer the original 1969 film or the 2003 remake, you’re probably a fan of Mini Coopers and fast chase scenes!
The original movie was filmed entirely in Turin, and you’ll see several recognizable locations on the screen. The 2003 version is more international but the Italian locations are instead set in Venice with a thrilling heist that takes place along the canals.
Life is Beautiful
Life is Beautiful is a critically acclaimed, Oscar-winning film that made international fans fall in love with Roberto Benigni. It’s considered to be one of the best Italian-based movies ever made.
Set in 1930s Tuscany, this gut-wrenching movie follows the life of a lowly Italian-Jewish waiter, along with his wife and young son. The cult film shows the Nazi occupation of Italy along with Benigni and his son living in a concentration camp. It was all fully filmed in the Tuscan countryside.
From Scratch is a new Netflix movie based on the autobiographical book of the same name. It’s a really sweet story about love and loss that will be sure to bring tears to your eyes.
Love & Gelato
Love and Gelato is a sweet movie about a young woman whose dying mother asks her to go to Italy and explore the country that her mother loved and where she was conceived. There she discovers family, love, heartbreak, and growth. It’s a good coming of age story set in Rome (even though the book was set in Florence).
Watch the Top Movies That Take Place in Italy
Now you have my pick for the best movies set in Italy! Let me know what you think about my picks. Is there a movie you would have included or left out?
Perhaps you’ve never seen La Dolce Vita or it’s been a while since you’ve seen The Talented Mr. Ripley. I challenge you to choose a movie on my list and really pay attention to the important element that the setting of Italy plays in the overall story!
Did I miss any movies set in Italy? What would you add?