These 12 movies are sure to inspire your future travels. But for now, they serve as a dazzling escape from the outside world.
1. Talented Mr. Ripley
This 1999 psychological thriller takes place in the ‘50s. Tom Ripley (a young underachiever played by Matt Damon) is sent to live out la dolce vita in Italy (think private yachts, beautiful beaches, and Riviera fashion) to retrieve Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law), a young, entitled, and rich millionaire. The movie also stars Gwyneth Paltrow and Cate Blanchett.
2. Under the Tuscan Sun
Calling all rom-com fans: Stream this 2003 flick while sipping Italian wine. The movie chronicles the life of Frances Mayes, who decides to take a trip to Italy after learning her husband had been cheating on her. Eventually, Frances buys her own villa in a picturesque small town right outside Tuscany and starts a new life for herself. You’ll have to watch and see how it all folds out…
3. The Beach
Leonardo DiCaprio plays Richard, a young, adventure-loving American backpacker in Thailand who hears of an idyllic, uninhabited island that’s home to a hidden beach. Richard makes the journey with newfound friends, and realizes life on there is way more complicated and complex than it seems.
Based on the bestselling book by Cheryl Strayed, the film captures Strayed’s journey (she’s played by Reese Witherspoon) as she embarks on the Pacific Crest Trail hike after the loss of her mom and the end of her marriage. It’s one of the US’ most grueling treks, and Strayed is definitely in for a challenge — but (spoiler alert) it’s worth it in the end.
5. The Darjeeling Limited
Peter, Francis, and Jack are estranged brothers who reunite for a train trip across India. (Some context: After their father died, the siblings hadn’t spoken for over a year.) They come together to visit their mother, who’s currently living in a Himalayan convent. The movie chronicles the brothers’ journeys — both through India and their lives at home.
6. Roman Holiday
Princess Ann (played by the iconic Audrey Hepburn) is in the midst of a busy European tour and takes the night off in Rome to relax and unwind. She ends up falling asleep on a park bench and is found by American reporter Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck). After realizing Ann’s true identity, Joe places a bet with his editor that he can score an exclusive interview with the princess — however, romance soon gets in the way.
7. Eat Pray Love
Based on the bestselling (and true) book of the same name, this flick tells the story of Liz Gilbert, who seems to have it all — a dream husband, a great career, and an incredible home. However, after her divorce, she’s struggling. In a quest to find herself, she embarks on a solo journey through Italy, Bali, and India.
8. Mamma Mia
This hit musical-turned-movie follows the life of Donna (an American independent hotelier on an idyllic Greek island), who is preparing for her young daughter’s (Sophie) upcoming nuptials. However, behind Donna’s back, Sophie secretly invites three men from her mom’s past in an attempt to meet her real father. Expect gorgeous scenes from Greece.
9. P.S. I Love You
Life is not easy for Holly (Hilary Swank) after her husband Gerry (Gerard Butler) passes away from a brain tumor. However, before he dies, Gerry comes up with a plan to help alleviate some of Holly’s grief with a quest to Ireland, Gerry’s homeland. While abroad, Holly explores the beautiful Irish countryside, along with Dublin, Blessington Lakes, and Wicklow Mountains.
10. Midnight in Paris
Aspiring novelist Gil is vacationing in Paris with his fiancee, played by Rachel McAdams. One night, Gil is exploring the city solo and meets a group of eccentric revelers who seem to take him back in time. A Francophile will love this movie even more.
11. Call Me By Your Name
Call Me By Your Name takes place in 1983 and offers some of the most stunning cinematography — especially for those who dream of summering in Italy. The main character, 17-year-old Elio, spends the summer with his family in Lombardy, and soon meets Oliver, a charming doctoral student who’s working as an intern for Elio’s father. The two eventually start a fling, and the relationship will change both of their lives forever.
12. Grand Budapest Hotel
The Grand Budapest Hotel was a popular and prominent European ski resort in the 1930s and is presided over by Gustave H, a concierge, who becomes a suspect in a guest’s murder. If you’re a hotel geek, you’ll love the grand lobby, regal architecture, and colorful hues.