Most of these movies take place about a century ago. The first two on the list take viewers into the beautiful landscapes of Provence and the French Riviera that inspired two of my favourite artists, Renoir and Van Gogh. The remaining films are set in the Italian Riviera and Tuscany.
The first film tells the story of an aging Pierre-Auguste Renoir the summer his son returns home to convalesce after being wounded in the First World War. Listen to the sound of cicadas as the camera ambles through sunlit olive groves on the French Riviera. The film is in French with English subtitles.
2. Vincent and Theo
This Robert Altman film chronicles the complex relationship between the tortured artist Vincent Van Gogh and his brother Theo. Venture into fields of vibrant sunflowers and shimmering wheat as Vincent sets up his easel to capture his beloved Provence in paint.
|Sunflowers of Provence|
3. Enchanted April
This film follows two English women as they escape their tedious lives for a relaxing vacation in a villa on the Italian Riviera. Peaceful garden scenes and splendid views of the sea will bring your pulse down a notch or two. The film won two Golden Globe Awards.
4. A Room With a View
Starring Maggie Smith, Judi Dench and Helena Bonham Carter, this film is based on the acclaimed novel by E.M. Forster and features beautiful scenes of the countryside in Tuscany as well as the family estate in England. The film won three Academy Awards.
|The Tuscan Countryside|
5. Tea with Mussolini
This semi-autobiographical film by Franco Zeffirelli begins in the city of Florence on the eve of World War II. With the war serving as a backdrop to the story, the film has stronger plot elements than the other movies on this list but well-known Florentine landmarks enrich the story. (I loved the Uffizi Gallery scenes.) The hill town of San Gimignano also plays an important role.
|Arno River, Florence|
If you'd like to learn more about these movies, follow the links below to the listings on Amazon. And you'll find more film suggestions on my Pinterest board Movies for Armchair Travellers.
My Favourite Films for Armchair Travel
Classic Films for Armchair Travellers