There is nothing that will get you so in the mood for the sights and sounds of Italy, before your next Italian river cruise, as losing yourself in the wonderful scenes of some of the country’s most iconic movies. From the steamy sultriness of Rome in the swinging Sixties in La Dolce Vita to the culture clash of British reserve with Italian passion in A Room With a View, these films will bring alive the sights and sounds of Italy. And that’s without even leaving your living room. |
Life is Beautiful (La Vita e Bella)
Italy is the stunning backdrop for Roberto Benigni’s Oscar-winning film about a father’s attempts to shield his son from the horrors of World War Two. Set initially in an unnamed Tuscan city, a man who refuses to take life too seriously turns his whimsical nature to good use when he and his son are interned in a concentration camp.
Bread and Tulips (Pane e Tulipani)
Venice itself seems to be a character in the gentle romantic comedy Bread and Tulips, directed by Silvio Soldini. A woman is left behind on a family trip to Venice but rather than worry about her desertion she sets up home in the city. During her time there she not only finds a job and a new life, but manages to rekindle her own passion for life. But what will she do when her family eventually begin to miss her and come to the city to look for her? A wonderful film this is also a good reminder to stick close to your companions on your next Italian river cruise!
La Dolce Vita
The iconic film about life in Rome in the Sixties, Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita oozes sensual Italian passion. The dissatisfied journalist, played by Marcello Mastroianni, flits from relationship to relationship looking for some kind of meaning in a world obsessed by wild living, image and beauty.
A Room With a View
The very opposite to the sultry La Dolce Vita, A Room With a View – with its wonderful cinematography of Florence and the surrounding Tuscan countryside – is about English repression at the beginning of the twentieth century. In the Italian scenes of this coming-of-age film the Latin passion of Italy is juxtaposed with the stiff-upper-lip repression of a young English man before the eyes of an English girl.
Six Venices (Sei Venezia)
This fascinating documentary by Italian filmmaker Carlo Mazzacurati looks at the famous city of Venice through the eyes of six of its inhabitants. From an artist to an ex-con-turned chef, the views of the six give a rare insight in to what it means to live and work in this extraordinary city.
These movies are bound to get you in the mood for the dolce vita before your Italian river cruise so you’ll be ready to drink in the passion and culture of one of the world’s most beautiful countries. So whether you choose to buy the DVDs, stream them on the computer or, if you’re lucky, find a cinema featuring them, my advice is take a look… these films will make you yearn for your next Italian adventure.
Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, the UK's most respected provider of all-inclusive, luxury river cruises and barge holidays throughout Europe. If you're looking for the most exciting Italian river cruise itineraries, European Waterways is an ideal choice. Part of a team of experienced barging aficionados, Paul is first in line to endorse the perks of a slow-paced barge cruise to anyone looking for a unique holiday experience.
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