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Top Six Films Set in Tuscany

We’ve had a very busy last couple of weeks; there’s been a new job, a new apartment, a new city. We’ve both lived in the same town most of our lives so this has been a big change. The one thing we didn’t want to change was our dedication to at least post something up on the web each week for No Kids, Will Travel.  So I decided to keep this week’s post simple. I have a list of five six! great movies set in Tuscany.

Honorable Mention

Much Ado about Nothing

This Shakespeare adaptation is excellently shot and well-acted by an all-star cast. The villa where it takes place is located in Chianti. We stopped alongside the road and took pictures of it on our last visit. If you like Shakespeare you will definitely love this comedy.
The film stars Denzel Washington, Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Keanu Reeves, Kate Kinsdale, Robert Sean Leonard, Michael Keaton and many, many more stars.

Letters To Juliet

A relatively weak-plotted romantic comedy shot with amazing clarity. You will sit and watch this film again and again because the biggest star is the scenery.

And now to our list:

6. Stealing Beauty

A beautiful coming-of-age story about a young woman who stays with family friends in Tuscany and learns lessons about life and her own emerging sexuality. This film has a great cast starring Liv Tyler and Jeremy Irons.

5. A Room with a View

The story of Lucy Honeychurch, a young lady from England visiting Florence in the 1900s.  She meets a young man named George Emerson who opens her eyes to the wonders life has to offer for those who seek them out.  She returns home and has to decide whether to marry a cold, stoic Englishman or return to life and love in Florence.  The beautifully shot film stars Helena  Bonham Carter and Florence, Italy.

4. Light in the Piazza

A young American woman with a secret is traveling in Italy with her mother when she meets a young man  named Fabrizio Naccarelli in Florence.  The two strike up an innocent romance that leads to love.  The only obsticle is Clara has a secret that only her mother really knows. Clara’s innocence and child-like behavior is not an act but a result of an accident. The film stars  Yvette Mimieux as Clara and Olivia de Havilland as her mother and was shot on location in Florence.

3. Tea with Mussolini

A tale of English and American expats in Italy during second world war. These mature women, most from English aristocracy, live out peaceful retirements in Florence, having garden parties and taking tea in the galleries of the Uffizi. The problem comes when the Fascists come to power and place them under house arrest.  The women also shield a young boy from the Fascists by passing him off as a girl. The film stars Maggie Smith, Judi Dench and Lily Tomlin.

2. Hannibal

Amanda here, adding this superb film to the list at the last minute. While it’s darker than many of the others on our list, Hannibal also shows off the beauty of Florence (and a nearby pig farm). I’ve always enjoyed Hannibal Lecter as a character, and seeing him in our adopted city – enjoying the arts, music, history and food – is a great mix of personal favorites. Watch for an exterior shot of the police station in the city. The door the investigator uses actually goes into the hotel where we’ve stayed on each of our three visits!

1. Under the Tuscan Sun

The main reason this ended up at the top of the list is it is because it represents the dream of most of us who’ve fallen in love with Italy; the idea that one day you will go to Italy and stay. This comedy has its ups and downs and an amazing performance by Diane Lane. I’ve seen it several times, watching the story of a divorcee who buys a ruin in Italy, renovates it, gets involved in the lives of the inhabitants of the Village of Cortona and eventually finds love.

We watch these movies again and again because they remind us of the places we love; the places we long to return to and the adventures we hope to have.


About No Kids, Will Travel

In the eyes of their friends and family, Amanda and Zeke are a young jet setting couple without any real responsibility. In real life, the stress of work and raising a kitten push them to flee reality at every opportunity. The "lack of obligation" gives them the chance to explore the world.

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