40 Films That Will Transport You to Italy

If you’ve come to this website, you’ve done so ostensibly to seek our travel advice. If you’re reading our latest of the sort, you might know that we at Condé Nast Traveler recommend traveling to Italy in the off-season—fall, winter, and spring, to be precise. And it won’t be lost on you that summer is now very much under way. So, if you are dying to visit that fabulous-heeled boot but are also keen to make the utmost of your time there, you’d better wait. Hope, however, is not lost for taking in some summertime Italian iconography. The country’s cinema is one of its greatest exports—Federico Fellini, Monica Vitti, Sophia Loren, and Roberto Rossellini all remain household names, and from the rubble of the Fascist midcentury spills potent art to this day.

Below, editors past and present look back at some of their favorite films set in Italy. We have here classics alongside what we’d call “tourist cinema,” wherein a visitor is forever changed by their time in il bel paese. From Rome‘s chaotic recent history to the rolling hills of Tuscany, Lake Como‘s scenic vistas and the undersung Aeolian Islands to Venice’s alluring, impenetrable depths, these are the movies to watch if you’re dreaming of Italy but cannot make it there quite yet.

This article has been updated since its original publish date.

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