5 Movies You Should Watch Before Coming To Italy

We are experiencing something that had never happened before. Currently, we are all stuck at home, traveling nor moving for leisure is not permitted during these extraordinary times. While this might be hard for many, we should all try to look at this situation from a positive point of view. We have become owners of our times, the stressful working routine taken away from us and we have more free time to do things we wouldn’t have time to do normally.

But let’s be honest. Even if most of us are trying to use their quarantine time wisely, getting organized, learning new languages, do some exercise at home, it is easy to get caught up by Netflix or watching movies and series.

After all, if you like to travel or you simply want to learn more about a country, movies can be a great way to “travel with your mind” and possibly practice foreign languages. We have prepared a list of movies to help you get inspired for your next trip to the wonderful and charming country that is Italy. If you are planning a trip to Italy or even just consider the idea of visiting it after the crisis, make sure you watch the following movies. You’ll have the opportunity to learn more about a country that is currently being harshly hit by the Coronavirus but that has a lot to offer to its visitors, much more than you can expect.

Call Me By Your Name

Call Me By Your Name“Call Me By Your Name” by lesmoughscft is licensed under CC0 1.0


Currently available on Netflix, Call me By Your Name is a recent movie directed by Luca Guadagnino based on the novel by the Egyptian-Italian-American author André Aciman. The story takes place in Northern Italy in the pretty town of Crema in the 1980s and it is part of a trilogy created by the director Luca Guadagnino on the theme of “desire”. Later on this list, you’ll find another movie that is part of the trilogy and that is worth watching.

The focus of the movie is the romantic relationship between the 17 years old boy Elio and the 24 years old Oliver, a graduate student’s assistant to Elio’s father who is an archeology professor.

The movie was positively received by critics and earned various awards for direction, acting, and music. If you are looking for a passionate, intimate and deep drama portraying a story of first love, you should consider watching this movie.

Crema

Suburra: Blood On Rome

Rome


This Italian crime drama set on Rome is a great way to get to know this eternal city and learn some Italian along the way. You can find the series on Netflix. This series is meant to be a prequel to the 2015 movie by the same name and it is based on the real-life events of the Mafia Capitale investigation. If you wish to learn more about the corruption and organized crime that involved churchmen as well as politicians in this national scandal that hit Italy in the 2010s, include Suburra in your “to watch” list.

A Bigger Splash

Old style“Old style” by passer8 is licensed under CC BY 2.0


Planning a beach holiday? Watch A Bigger Splash to get to know the charming island of Pantelleria, an island off the coast of Sicily that is geographically closer to Africa than to Italy but still influenced by the typical Italian culture. This drama, directed by Luca Guadagnino (the same director of Call me by your Name), takes place in an isolated villa on the island of Pantelleria and is centered around the rock-star Marianne on holiday with her lover Paul. Everything goes smoothly until Marinanne’s previous lover reaches the island accompanied by his daughter. While the movie is mainly in English, as it stars Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, and Dakota Johnson, it can help you learn more about the remote but beautiful island of Pantelleria. The movie has received several positive reviews and is a great drama that has a lot more to offer than what you might think.

The Passion Of Christ

Matera


You might have already heard of this biblical drama produced and directed by Mel Gibson. Even if you are not religious, watching this movie, that covers the final 12 hours before Jesus’ death will give you an idea of what the charming city of Matera looks like. The movie itself has made history: it is mostly in Aramaic, Latin, and Hebrew and is the seventh-highest grossing movie of all times. Critics have been polarized: some praising the movie and others criticizing the violence and the antisemitic undertones. No matter what you’ll think in the end. this movie is a must-watch, even just to enrich your film culture and learn more about the popular biblical figure of Jesus.

But let’s go back to how this movie can inspire your trip to Italy. Shot primarily in the old city of Matera, chosen for its untouched looks and the ancient-looking landscapes, you’ll get to discover this Southern Italian city that has recently become a major touristic attraction, mainly because of its unique “Sassi” and its charming historical looks.

Il Postino

Sicily


This timeless classic shot in Procida, a beautiful island off the coast of Naples is another movie that will most probably make you fall in love with the gorgeous island. It tells the fictional story of poet Pablo Neruda creating a relationship with a simple postman from Procida who learns to appreciate poetry. Watching this movie is a great way for you to practice or brush up your Italian, as the language is pretty clear and easy to understand in the movie. It is a classic movie, which might not be of everyb0dy’s taste but that is worth considering for its poetic tone and beauty.

Set in the 1950s, the movie starts some popular Italian actors of the time, such as Massimo Troisi who was unfortunately weakened by his worsening heart condition during the production. Positively acclaimed and well received by the critics, this drama is a must-watch, especially if you are planning to visit Naples and its surroundings.

With these 5 movies to watch you now have no excuse to prepare your next trip to Italy! What are you waiting for? Get inspired and get ready for your next holiday to experience first-hand the beautiful panoramas and to get to know the charming local culture of gorgeous Italy!

Matera Walking Tour

Matera is a town in the Southern region of Italy called Basilicata. It has one of the most unique geographies and history and houses one of the world-renowned UNESCO HERITAGE site, the Sassi di Matera which is the old city of Matera and consists mostly of cave dwellings. Up until the year 1950 residents in this town were living in caves, which had been their homes for generations until the Italian government moved them forcibly terming their cave dwellings as unfit for human habitation. As one pundit put it is the only place where you will find a family has dwelt in the same home for 9 thousand years. Up to the late Stone age period, it was normal for humans to dwell in caves for safety and protection from natural elements. Only a few tribes and communities on the world today carried the practice into the twentieth century.

Matera was built over a deep ravine which hid it well from prying eyes but being a drier region of Southern Italy meant that there are no natural rivers and provision of fresh water through canals is a challenge. Residents of the Sassi Matera would dig cisterns inside their caves to collect water from underground seepage or even store snow during the winter months. This is one of the reasons that made the cave homes so appealing to the locals.

What is Sassi di Matera?

Sassi di Matera is the worlds UNESCO HERITAGECulture City of 2019. This is a great honor and privilege bestowed upon an icon of human civilization that Matera is. The government has embarked on the restoration of cave homes and churches since 1984 in order to preserve this gem of our heritage and bestow something of value to the next generations. Some of the cave dwellings have also been transformed into Chicago hotels to offer an authentic experience of living in Matera cave dwellings.
Getting to Matera is not difficult with the nearest airport just twenty miles away at the city of Bari. You can fly in from Rome, Venice but the best option is to contact your local travel agent who will be able to advise you best based on where you are coming from. From Bari, you can hire a car or take a taxi to Matera. There is no highway but only local roads so take extra great care on the road. The trip can also be organized in conjunction with a local travel agency who will arrange all your transportation from the moment you leave the airport to your hotel. This is a good option as for a few extra dollars you get to just sit back relax and enjoy the views. As a tourist, the last thing you want is to be breaking traffic laws as this will ruin your holiday.

Matera is a city with laid back easy lifestyle, narrow streets, friendly neighborhood, great sights to discover and as with everything Italian, great food. Get to enjoy Southern Italian cuisine.
One of the most beneficial things you can do is to hire a local guide to take you around Sassi di Matera, and all other important locations. From the old cave cathedral which is the first Benedictine church adorned with its precious stained glasses and its wall Fresco’s depicting the last judgment, the corner pawn, and souvenir shops dotted all over the city. In short, a guided tour will add immense value to your experience as a tourist as opposed to fumbling around trying to find your way on the narrow alleyways.

Guided Tours of Matera.

A tour guide will ensure you do miss out on any social or cultural event that may be happening g at the time. From spectacular lights festivals which are a Hallmark of all Mediterranean people to the bustling nightlife in the city, there is always something of interest happening in this old city.
Due to its unique housing and topography, something resembling the old Jerusalem as described in holy books Matera has played host to almost half a dozen Hollywood movies depicting biblical characters or historical figures. It still has that genuine ancient town look and feels that you only need to bring your camera, clear, the streets of the few traffic and dole out Roman era garb and you are on set without any other modifications necessary. The movies helping passion of Christ’ was filmed on location at Matera and you will agree when I say it looked more r than most in the same genre.
The surrounding hills and ravines also offer spectacular sights with their unique topography making for a scenic tour you will not forget in your lifetime. The people of Matera are hospitable with gracious manners and calm characters that manifests itself in the overall feel of the city. No hassle no bustle of modern-day cities with winding clogged up traffic jams. It’s an authentic spot to unwind in total comfort and relaxation.

It’s a great destination to begin your tour of Italy. Either you ate heading to Venice or Rome take a few days to unwind in this gem of Southern Italy. Though all Italian cities are full of relics, the oldest continuously inhabited location in all of Italy is Matera and as such it holds a special place. Being a vanguard and a pioneer it’s the perfect destination to start your tour and surely you will not be disappointed. Take time to experience life as it was 10,000 years ago.

Matera European City Of Culture and Unesco Heritage Site.

Enjoy this cool, calm and unique tourist destination. With the naming of Matera as a world cultural city, the year 2019 will be special with discounts, events and promotions going on and it is the best year to visit Matera and see what is going on. All UNESCO HERITAGE SITE are named for their authentic history and their value to humanity. The best advice when on such a location is to leave minimal footprints and evidence of having been there. Don’t damage the buildings, don’t litter the environment, reduce your emissions and be eco-friendly. Thus other generations will get to enjoy the unique experience that is Matera.

Most picturesque villages in Italy

Italy is a country with an amazing landscape. From Tuscany to Mont Blanc, you are sure to be treated to a plethora of amazing enthralling sights. This is a country where your camera will have to be at ready because you never know when an exciting moment or photo-worthy scene will present itself. Going around Italy, you should find some areas more picturesque than others. Here are the top five villages that you must visit and with your quality camera at ready;

Alberobello
Alberobello

Alberobello– Famed for its fascinating Trulli houses (cone shaped brick houses), Alberobello village is located on the southern side of Italy. It is part of the metropolitan Bari, in the region of Apulia. This village which literally translates to ‘beautiful tree’ is a place where true beauty of Italy comes forth. Make sure you troop in to a Trulli to discover what makes them so special. Visit the Piazza del Popolo and take in the picturesque central square. Take a bench and click away the amazing sights and moments. Don’t forget to visit the Museo dell’ Olio.

Matera– This is a town where culture stays intact and alive. You will have plentiful of fun things to do in this amazing town located on the southern end of Italy. This town gained international fame because of the Sassi di Matera which is regarded as one of early human settlements in Europe. The town was named as the European city of Culture of 2019. This is because of the marvelous cathedrals, dreamy white Sassi or ‘stones’ of Matera and of course the wine havens. One place where you must visit and take a couple of photos is the Church of Santa Maria de Idris.

Manarola – This is one of the most famous Italian tourist destinations. It is part of the famous Cinque Terre in Liguria, Northern Italy. There are fabled hard trails that lead to enthralling sights. You have the amazing opportunity to explore the harbor which is simply refreshing and breathtaking. The apartment blocks standing at the edge of the cliff makes the blue water look so peaceful and precarious. Take a tour to the vineyard and have a winery experience as you explore the landscape. Take the uphill trudge to the inside of the town and enjoy a refreshing view of the town and the scenic sea below.

Civita di Bagnoregio– Any day, Civita di Bagnoregio stands out as a stunning village with to-kill-for sights. It is about one and half hours from Rome. You will feel small but important especially when you visit the iconic pedestrian walkway towards the town. This is a town which is perched atop a hill and whose beauty is unspoiled by modern cars. Walk around this amazing town and take awe-striking photos of the surrounding landscape.

San Marino– This is one of the oldest and smallest republic on the planet. It is adorned with the best nature could think of. There are amazingly high towers which mark the end and start of the town. You will have the incredible sights away from the high placed town. There is the Basilica di San Marino and the sweeping Monte Titano view to soak in.

San Marino
San Marino