7 Films to Inspire Your Wanderlust

February 10, 2022

Between travel adventures, I often turn to movies to satisfy my wanderlust! Some have great plots, and others have unique characters, but all have beautiful scenery from amazing destinations. While the list of potential movies with travel eye-candy galore is long, here are my picks highlighting my favorite European getaways!

Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)

The gist of it: Based on a travel memoir by Frances Mayes, Under the Tuscan Sun, narrates the story of a divorced writer who, while on a trip to Italy, impetuously buys a villa in Tuscany, thinking that it’ll change her life for good.

Why I love it: Go ahead and start packing your bags! You’ll be dreaming of rows of olive trees and glasses of red wine on vine-covered terraces before you run out of popcorn. It’s an obvious pick in the favorite travel movie category, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. If you love rustic, old villas and Italian hillsides, and have ever dreamed of picking up and leaving it all behind, then this movie is probably already on your list.

In Bruges (2008)

The gist of it: Two Irish contract killers hiding out in Belgium after a job gone wrong have very different goals: Ray wants to get drunk, Ken would prefer to see the cultural sights. As Martin McDonagh’s bitterly funny dark comedy plays out you’ll take in architectural delights such as the Belfry of Bruges as well as canal trips through the medieval city.

Why I love it: I first watched this after planning a trip to Bruges. A friend of a friend mentioned it showed off the city well. He was right; the movie built extra excitement for my upcoming travels and sparked several ideas for places I wanted to learn more about. Plus, who doesn’t love a good dark comedy with great actors and amusing dialogue? These days I watch it to reminisce about a fantastic week spent in beautiful Bruges.

Roman Holiday (1953)

The gist of it: Take a trip back in time to Rome, where a princess is trying to stay incognito. After an American reporter befriends her, he realizes her identity but keeps the secret in an attempt to get a scoop. Romance soon follows along with iconic black and white shots of the Eternal City.

Why I love it: Rome is special to me. It’s the first country outside of the US, besides the Bahamas, that I ever visited. After years and years of dreaming

about traveling to Europe, stepping off the plane in Rome was magical. So any movie that allows me to relive that first adventure is high on my list. Now pair that with Audrey Hepburn and a princess plot, and it’s a no-brainer. I have yet to live out my Vespa, white shirt, and scarf fantasy, but it will happen one day! And if you’ve never been to Rome, the movie highlights iconic must-see locations that will most defiantly lead to Roman travel dreams.

Amélie (2001)

The gist of it: Amélie is a fanciful comedy about a young woman who discretely orchestrates the lives of the people around her, creating a world exclusively of her own making.

Why I love it: Amélie was shot in over 80 Parisian locations, so the travel eye- candy is plentiful. It showcases one of my favorite districts, Montmartre. I could roam the streets of Montmartre for hours and never tire. I love the quirky, whimsical nature of the film and its main character. Amélie has quite the imagination, and it helps you see Paris from a magical new perspective.

Midnight in Paris (2011)

The gist of it: The film follows successful Hollywood screenwriter Gil Pender who is vacationing in Paris with his fiancée and her parents. Gil harbors dreams of moving to Paris for good to write a novel. However, his fiancée has a very different idea of what their future should look like. One night, while walking around Paris alone, Gil bumps into a group of mysterious revealers who seemingly transport him back in time. He finds himself in his dream era, where he gets to meet his literary idols, enjoy some romance, and ultimately reassess his present life.

Why I love it: Midnight in Paris is set in the ’20s, a period I love. The storyline magically whisks us off to visit infamous writers and artists like Salvador Dali and Ernest Hemingway. While it often plays to all the clichés of Paris, you can’t help but soak up every second of the City of Lights screen time. I love this movie because it highlights the importance of slowing down and wandering while traveling. Gil soaked up every ounce of creativity and wonder Paris had to offer. Genuinely experiencing a destination can be life-changing. The results impact you so much greater than snapping the perfect photo.

Mamma Mia (2008)

The gist of it: Based on a popular musical of the same name, Mamma Mia transports us to a beautiful Greek island where a young bride-to-be named Sophie tries to find out who her birth father is so he can walk her down the aisle

on her big day. She secretly invites three potential candidates to the wedding to figure this out. She discovered them through the old diaries of her mother, Donna, who is entirely unaware of the imminent arrival of her old flames.

Why I love it: This is 100% my favorite movie of all time. Well, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is actually number one, and Mamma Mia is a super close second. While musicals might not be everyone’s cup of tea, and it’s hardly a cinematic masterpiece, it boasts some incredible scenery and the very best music ever! After watching, if you aren’t belting out Abba tunes while Googling Greece, I’m going to need to check your pulse.

A Good Year (2006)

The gist of it: A Good Year is loosely based on the novel, A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle. The movie follows the story of an investment banker who moves to France after inheriting a wine estate from his late uncle. While attempting to sell the property, he learns to slow down and enjoy life.

Why I love it: You will find this movie playing on the TV at my house pretty much weekly. It’s my husband’s favorite and easily in my top 5. Provence is heaven!

The land, the sky, the smells, the way of life, it’s all perfection. This movie captures everything I love about the area. A Good Year takes its time, just like life in Provence. Grab a glass of wine, hit play, and completely take in and savor all that is Provence!

Whether you’re looking for inspiration for your next trip or want to relive past adventures, these flicks have a little something for everyone. Enjoy, and be sure to call me when the wanderlust gets too much to handle!

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