Movies That Took Place In Italy

Movies That Took Place In Italy

When there is a lockdown and everything is closed, we usually tend to reside to movies to make us feel something different. I usually love to watch thriller & investigative crime movies while other times I love watching films about adventure, love and travel.

I currently live in Rome; weirdly enough, I still try to find movies shot in Italy or I’ll re-watch some older movies. Italy is a place with endless dreamy locations to film in and so watching movies shot in Italy will never be boring. Instead, it will always get you excited about planning a trip once the lockdown is over! Not all of these movies are masterpieces but, in some way, each of them beautifully showcases Italian landscape, society or culture.

Below I will be mentioning some good & enjoyable movies shot in Italy:

1. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

Thriller/Crime

This movie is definitely one of my favorite “keep-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat ” kind of film. The Talented Mr. Ripley was shot in and around Positano and some locations in Rome and Venice.

It is an American psychological thriller film written and directed by Anthony Minghella and based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1955 novel . The movie stars Matt Damon as Tom Ripley, Jude Law as Dickie Greenleaf and has received five Academy Award nominations, including Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Law.

The movie is about the charismatic but very psychopathic Tom Ripley who gets sent to Italy to bring back Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law), a spoilt millionaire. However, events take a sinister turn and a murder occurs.

2. Love Wedding Repeat (2020)

Love. Wedding. Repeat (2020) • Netflix | by Charlene DeKalb | Frame Rated |  Medium

Romantic Comedy

If you like cringe-inducing humor, this movie is for you. The movie takes place, in large part, at Villa Parisi in Frascati, Italy.

Love Wedding Repeat is a romantic comedy film directed by Dean Craig and is a remake of the 2012 French romantic comedy film Plan de Table. The film stars Sam Claflin, Olivia Munn and Eleanor Tomlinson.

The movie is about Hayley’s marriage (wedding day) to Roberto, a wealthy Italian man. The wedding gives Hayley’s older brother, Jack, the chance to reconnect with his old crush, a journalist named Dina. However, Hayley’s ex shows unexpectedly which leads us to seeing the multiple scenarios of how people are trying to handle that situation.

3. Call Me By Your Name (2017)

Luca Guadagnino: 'Elio would be a bedroom producer if the film was set now'  | Dazed

Romance/Drama 

This movie will make you never look at peaches the same again. The movie was shot in Lombardy, mainly in the town of Crema, an hour from Milan.

Call Me by Your Name is a coming-of-age romantic drama film directed by Luca Guadagnino and starring Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet.

The movie talks about Elio (Timothée Chalamet) who is staying in his family’s 17th-century villa and Oliver (Armie Hammer), a 24-year-old graduate student whom Elio’s father, a professor of archaeology, invites over for the summer. What follows is a sensual tale of first love between Elio and Oliver in the beautiful Lombardy!

4. The Rite (2011)

The Rite (2011 film) - Alchetron, The Free Social Encyclopedia

Horror/Thriller (based on real events)

This horror movie was filmed in Budapest and Rome. It is a supernatural horror film directed by Mikael Håfström and written by Michael Petroni.

The movie was based on Matt Baglio’s book The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist; which is based on supposedly real events as witnessed and recounted by an American then-exorcist-in-training, Father Gary Thomas, and his experiences of being sent to Rome to be trained and work daily with veteran clergy of the practice. The film stars Anthony Hopkins and Colin O’Donoghue.

The movie talks about a seminary student Michael Kovak (Colin O’Donoghue) who finds that he must attend a Vatican school of exorcism while believing possession to be the work of a troubled mind rather than actual demons. Then, Michael becomes the apprentice of Father Lucas (Anthony Hopkins), a veteran exorcist, and encounters a terrifying force that causes him to question everything he believes.

5. Under The Tuscan Sun (2003)

Under The Tuscan Sun (2003) Movie Review from Eye for Film
Positano

Romance/Drama/Memoir

Under The Tuscan Sun was filmed in multiple locations in Italy, including Cortona, Florence, Montepulciano, Positano and Rome. This American romantic comedy-drama (starring Diane Lane) is written, produced, and directed by Audrey Wells and is based on Frances Mayes’ 1996 memoir of the same name.

The movie is about an American author, Frances Mayes, who escapes to Tuscany when she discovers her husband has been cheating on her. Falling in love with Cortona, she buys a dilapidated villa and starts to rebuild it, hoping it will lead to a change in her life.

6. Eat Pray Love (2010)

Julia Roberts Teaches Us How To “Eat, Pray, Love” (2010) | by Arini Arsana  | SeoulSearching In Film Industry | Medium

Romance/Drama/Memoir

If you are into Italian food porn and good vibes, this movie is a great choice! Eat Pray Love, starring Julia Roberts, was shot on location in Rome and Naples. This film is an American biographical romantic drama film based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s 2006 memoir of the same name. Ryan Murphy co-wrote and directed the film.

Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts) thought she had everything she wanted in life: a home, a husband and a successful career. But after her divorce, she hits a turning point and finds out that she is confused about what is important to her. Daring to step out of her comfort zone, Liz embarks on a quest of self-discovery that takes her to Italy, India and Bali.

Bonus movie to watch:

The Lizzie McGuire Movie (2003)

Watch The Lizzie McGuire Movie | Full Movie | Disney+

Family/Comedy 

A trip down memory lane and childhood memories, perfectly describes this movie! The film was shot in Rome, Italy in the fall of 2002. The Lizzie McGuire Movie is an American teen comedy film directed by Jim Fall starring Hilary Duff and Adam Lamberg.

The film talks about Lizzie McGuire, who while on a holiday in Rome, is mistaken to be a pop star named Isabella. However, when the time comes, she must choose between her new glamorous lifestyle and returning home.

Top 5 Serial Killer Netflix Series To Binge-Watch During The Lockdown

Top 5 Serial Killer Netflix Series To  Binge-Watch During The Lockdown

In these tough times, we all are looking for a sweet escape from today’s pandemic and drama. Although not so sweet, every time I surf Netflix, I find myself fascinated and inclined to watch serial killer Netflix shows. I end up binge watching them for days and this makes me question my sanity and the reason why am I so interested in serial killer series in particular.

For the most part, the reason I watch serial killer shows is because I am very curious & interested in delving into the minds of serial killers and understanding why they did what they did and how did they manage to get away with several murders.

Below I will introduce 5 serial killer Netflix series that will satisfy your curiosity and keep you hooked:

1. The Confession Tapes:

The Confession Tapes is a Netflix TV show from the journalist and documentarian Kelly Loudenberg. The show got distributed by Netflix and became available to all subscribers on September 8, 2017. This show presents a stimulating look into the failures of the American criminal justice system, of forensic science, and of memory where several cases of possible false confessions leading to murder convictions of the people of interest is portrayed. The series presents alternative views of how the crime could have taken place and features experts on criminal law, psychology, and false confessions.

The series features the case of Atif Rafay and Sebastian Burns, who come home to discover Rafay’s parents and sister murdered in their family home after a night of partying. In spite of their alibis, the police decided almost immediately that Burns and Rafay should be the murderers.

Rating: The show was given a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.

2. The Alienist

The Alienist is a psychological thriller drama on Netflix that was premiered on January 22, 2018. This chilling serial killer show was set in 1896 and focused on a series of gruesome murders of young male prostitutes in New York City. The series joins fictional characters and true historical figures, such as Theodore Roosevelt.

In the series, Teddy Roosevelt calls upon Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, who is a criminal psychologist, Sara Howard, the headstrong secretary to the police commissioner, and John Moore, a newspaper illustrator, to conduct the investigation secretively. The opening of the series is very catchy by itself: “In the 19th century, persons suffering from mental illness were thought to be alienated from their own true natures. Experts who studied them were therefore known as alienists.”

Rating: The series was given a 66% on Rotten Tomatoes but actually deserves a much higher rating.

3. You

You is an American psychological thriller television series that was originally released on September 9, 2018 and became available on Netflix in 2019. I, myself, watched it 5 times already. This serial killer Netflix TV show takes place in New York and portrays the life of a regular bookstore manager (Joe Goldberg) who turns out to be a serial killer. Joe falls in love with his customer and quickly develops a toxic and delusional obsession with her. The series hit an astonishing 43 million viewers. Season 2 was aired on Netflix at the end of 2019 and had a major plot twist where Joe leaves New York to Los Angeles to escape his past to start over with a new identity. Later, he meets Love Quinn and then begins falling into his old patterns of obsession and violence.

Rating: The series was given a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes.

4. Conversations With A Killer – The Ted Bundy Tapes

The Ted Bundy tapes is a limited serial killer Netflix show released on January 24, 2019, thirty years after Bundy’s 1989 execution. The Netflix show focuses on the charming Ted Bundy who was one of America’s most notorious serial killers and was dubbed as the “Jack Ripper of the United States.”  The series delves into the life and mind of Ted Bundy who was convicted in the deaths of more than 30 women before being caught in 1978.

Rating: The series was given a 56% on Rotten Tomatoes

5. Making a Murderer

Making a murderer is a Netflix TV show premiered on December 18, 2015 which talks about Steven Avery who was falsely convicted of murders he spent nearly two decades in prison for. Steven Avery then filed a suit against Manitowoc County and other individuals involved in his false conviction. However, after his release, Avery got accused of the murder of 25-year-old photographer Teresa Halbach and got back into prison. Teresa was last spotted on Avery’s property, where she was to photograph a vehicle. Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey were convicted of her murder.

Rating: The series was given an 84% on Rotten Tomatoes

Bonus Serial killer Netflix Series To Watch:

The End of the F***ing World:

This series is one of the only serial killer Netflix series to be a Netflix Original. Season 1 was released on Netflix on 24 October 2017 to be followed by season 2 on 4 November 2019. The serial killer Netflix show follows two 17-year-old teenagers, James and Alyssa, who decide to go on a road trip to find her estranged father, who left home when she was just a child.

James, who claims he is a psychopath, has decided it’s time to spot a human victim (Alyssa) as his next kill, after spending his time killing animals. James and Alyssa get caught up on a trail of violent events and gruesome murders that brings them closer together. The series is a part humor, part serial killer show and is filled with exciting and wild turn of events.

Rating: It was given a rating of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes.

The Corona Diaries: A Lebanese Expat Quarantined in Italy

The Corona Diaries: A Lebanese Expat Quarantined in Italy

March 8, 2020- March 21, 2020

Yesterday, the death toll from the novel coronavirus was announced to be 627 deaths, the biggest day-to-day increase in the country’s four-week epidemic. The total number of deaths in Italy reached 4,032 with the number of active cases now being 37,860 after hitting a high of 47,021 cases.

I am a Lebanese expat living in Rome and as crazy as it sounds, I have decided to stay here in Italy for the lock down. I have decided to stay as not to circulate the disease back home, like everyone mistakenly did at first and thought staying put is the best decision for now to stop the spread of this virus. During these 2 weeks, I was trying my best not to lose my sanity and was keeping busy for the most of it and saw this quarantine as an opportunity for self-improvement rather than confinement .

It is crucial to not let this quarantine consume you and make sure that by staying home you are not only helping yourself but everyone else in the process. Hence, this quarantine has made me realize that no one is special when it comes to a pandemic and no one should assume they are. And by not following the rules, you are just proving how selfish you are and deterring any progress that the collective is managing to do.

How does the lock down look here?

One day during work, I felt everyone was panicked and anxious and I knew that we are not going to be allowed to come to work anymore until further notice. Everything happened very sudden…

At first, Conte, the prime minister, announced a nationwide lockdown, effective the following morning where restaurants and coffee bars would have to close by 6 p.m. local time.

Seeing how people were not being careful or responsible enough and continued on with their normal life routines, Conte announced an even stricter lock down. Now, everything is closed except for grocery stores, pharmacies and tobacco shops. You are only allowed to go out for necessary reasons like for grocery shopping, doctor’s appointment or work reasons. Moreover, travel has been restricted only to emergency and/or necessary reasons where the airline can simply deny you boarding without a good case.

Going out

In order to go out, you have to carry with you a self-declaration document (stating your name, address and reason for movement/travel) along with an ID which the police have the right to check if you are seen on the streets. If you have no important reason (like buying food) to wander around you will be fined. Such strict measures were crucial since people did not follow the rules before.

For example, an Italian man is facing 12 years in prison because he was corona positive but hid his symptoms just to get a rhinoplasty. This guy’s sentence was as harsh because he knew he had the virus and was selfish enough to infect the anesthesiologist, nurse and the doctor.

At the supermarket, only 4 people are allowed to enter and the rest of the people should wait outside while keeping a 1 meter distance from one another. Usually, I go to the supermarket once in every 4 to 5 days just to avoid any prolonged exposure to the virus.

How does it feel?

Going out now to buy food has been one of the weirdest and most uncomfortable things I had to do since the beginning of this year. For example, going down the street people will avoid eye contact with you and would merely run away when they see another person close to them. From living in a social and lively neighborhood, this scene of people running away from each other sounds legit crazy. You can see the fear in everyone’s eyes because everyday the death toll keep rising and rising and we all are feeling a bit threatened.

So what have I been doing all alone at home for 2 weeks in Rome?

  • Staying positive : by neglecting the news or the numbers (as much as possible) and reading educational books and novels instead. It is important to stop obsessing about the news because they will only cause your panic attacks to act up. So, try to avoid the news and propaganda and just focus on yourself. Consider this as a 1 month retreat for self-improvement where you catch up on everything you were not able to do before (like sleep and work) but now have no excuse to miss on anymore.
  • Finally met my neighbors : from the terrace I have been chatting with some neighbors like the good old days which is something I would never have thought of doing before. Also, I am using my terrace to tan, read and have breakfast or coffee.
  • Learning how to cook : by checking out online recipes or just asking your family for recipes (my mom loves it) that you finally have time to try making. Cooking is super fun and it just makes me proud of myself that now, I can finally consume something that I prepared and not Chef Luigi from down the street.
  • Learn how to play an instrument: you can easily purchase a cheap ukulele from amazon like I did and start strumming. YouTube offers a huge number of channels with endless instrument guides to learn from.
  • Watch them documentaries: and series that you always wanted to watch but never could.
  • Call your friends and family members : that you always wanted to catch up/reconnect with. I am now communicating way more with my family members and distant relatives. It feels really good to reconnect with your family members when you were never free to do so before (and felt guilty when you didn’t). It would have been better if I was able to be with them in person but video call is good enough for now (at least you don’t have to send a pigeon in these times).
  • Organize dinner dates and home parties with friends on video call: Yesterday I had a pizza and wine date with my friend Amanda who lives 20 minutes away from me by metro. Sadly, we can’t see each other as it is not allowed by law. It was not the same as a real life hangout but pizza is pizza (YUM!). Also, a lot of DJs are performing live sets on Facebook or Instagram…So make sure to watch out for those.
  • Plant Stuff : I planted my own spring onion plant and it feels amazing to just cut a piece off and add it to my omelette in the morning. You harvest what you sow 😉
  • Home exercise: Staying in shape is especially crucial now knowing that we won’t be exerting any motion for the upcoming days. When I started to feel uncomfortable from eating without exercising, I pushed myself to research simple calorie burning home exercises. It really helped with the mental aspect of being quarantined and motionless.
  • Cheer on your neighbors: or yell “ce la faremo” (we’ll make it ) from your window. Recently my neighbors started putting on a nice DJ set and music which really lifted up my spirits. So, if you can do that,make sure you put on some music and sing out the window. This would put a smile on people’s faces (either because you sound good or look crazy). Anyhow, both reasons are perfectly fine and fun if you are enjoying your time doing so!

For most of us, this is a very new experience that we probably won’t have again. So, make sure to use this large amount of time to do everything you wanted to do before and grow in the process instead of viewing it as just imprisonment or confinement. Happy thoughts always. Take care*!

*Make sure you follow the correct references on how to protect yourself and your family members/friends against the virus (WHO website is a reliable reference to use).