The view over the Grand Canal towards St. Mark's Square with St Mark's Campanile dominating the view

10 Movies for European Wanderlust Part 1

In Inspiration, Movies, Our Journeys, Trip-Types by JanisLeave a Comment

Films that will get you planning for your next mini-break

I’ve love it when we’re sitting on the sofa of an evening watching a film together and a scene in the movie passes through a location we’ve visited. It always gets us reminiscing about our visit and the wonderful adventures that we encountered on that trip.
A view of the Grand Canal of Venice taken from the Rialto Bridge

The view from the Rialto Bridge in Venice

Wouldn’t it be a fantastic if your job was a film location scout.
 
It then got me thinking about some of the incredible European places we’ve visited and the movies that have been captured there. I’m sure some these classic films will tempt you into planning your next European mini-break. Or even better start plotting some locations for a road-trip.

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Perhaps Hannibal is not the most uplifting of movies; however, parts of this 2001 blockbuster were filmed around the captivating streets of the city of Florence.
The column of Saint Zanobi in front of the Duomo in Florence, Italy
The Duomo in Florence

This Ridley Scott movie starring Anthony Hopkins as Dr Lecter and Julianne Moore as Clarice Starling is a sequel to the Thomas Harris novel ‘The Silence of the Lambs’, and equally gruesome.
 
Although it’s not for the faint-hearted, don’t let that distract you from the charm and beauty of the Tuscan city and its historic Duomo and the magnificent Ponte Vecchio.

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Ohh I love a James Bond movie and especially one starring Daniel Craig.
 
The high-action exploits take 007 to many places around the globe in Casino Royale; however, it’s the spectacular scenery around Lake Como that I remember so well.

The palatial style Villa del Balbianello in sandy ones with terracotta tiled roofs against the backdrop of the deep blue water and blue skies of Lake Como

The Villa del Balbianello on Lake Como, Italy

After Bond is tortured at the hands of Le Chiffre he is seen convalescing in the picturesque gardens of Villa Balbianello on the banks of Lake Como.
The classic late 19th century, Villa Gaeta as seen from the Lake Como that featured in the James Bond film Casino Royale
Mr White's residence on Lake Como
Located in the Lombardia region of Italy, this is a stunning part of the world. While visiting Lake Como I highly recommend that you hire your own speed boat for the day. Cruise around at your own pace and soak up the captivating bays and inlets dotted around the shores.

A helpful guide

If you're hooked like us and want to tour around the beautiful Italian Lakes in northern Italy, then take a look at this DK Eyewitness book.

This Top 10 Pocket Travel Guide is invaluable, I find them extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.


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One of my favourite cities in the world is Seville in Andalucía, southern Spain, and particularly around the striking Plaza de España.

So, when we were watching the George Lucas Star Wars movie the ‘Attack of the Clones’ I couldn’t believe it when I saw that it was used as the backdrop for Naboo.

A view of the walkway next to the canal in the Plaza de España, next to the ornate buildings that surround it.

A view of Plaza de España

I am a fan of the Star Wars empire especially the original three films, what’s there not to love about C-3PO and R2-D2 shuffling around the sand dunes.
 
Let’s not digress if you only choose one location to visit in Spain, you must make it Seville in the spring or autumn, you won’t be disappointed.
 
Also keep an eye out for the Plaza de España in the 1962 movie Lawrence of Arabia.

A helpful guide

Ahhh the call of Andalucía, I love nothing more than planning a trip and so often I use the DK Eyewitness books. I find them extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.

We used a previous version of this book to plan our southern Spanish road trips, now you can grab the revised copy.


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Well the title gives its location away a bit, but hey it wasn’t a secret.
 
In my opinion the 2008 movie ‘In Bruges’ starring Colin Farrell and Brendon Gleeson is a classic. Although it involves the two guys playing hit men in the dark streets of Bruges, it has some really funny scenes, as they await their orders.

A view, at dusk, of the canals, and red brick medieval building of Bruges, with the Belfry in the backbround.
The pretty, medieval Bruges

Brendon Gleeson’s character Ken can’t resist taking in the sights around the picturesque city, at the bemusement of Colin Farrell.
 
Ohh don’t forget to indulge in the local chocolate while in Bruges.

London Movies

Take a peek at our Movies filmed on the streets of London Part 1 and Part 2. So often we stumble upon film crews when we are strolling around London.

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A little more on the light-hearted side is Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the 1968 classic family movie starring Dick Van Dyke as Caractacus Potts and Sally Anne Howes as Truly Scrumptious.
The view through the arch, at the entrance of the fairytale castle of Schloss Neuschwanstein, to the inner courtyard.

The courtyard of Schloss Neuschwanstein

The eccentric inventor and his children can be watched enjoying their adventures in their flying car. Parts of which were filmed around the lush region of Bavaria in southern Germany.
 
The magical Neuschwanstein Castle which is used during the film is just near the colourful town of Füssen, which is at one end of the enchanting Romantic Road.

The view of Rothenburg ob der Tauber from the with the old stone bridge known as Tauberbrücke in front in a scene right out of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Rothenburg ob der Tauber or Vulgaria?

Then a further 150 miles north still along the Romantische Strasse is the incredibly attractive walled Medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. When you stroll around Rothenburg it really does feel like you’ve stepped onto a movie set and even more so if you visit Rothenburg ob der Tauber
at Christmas time.

A reference guide

I love nothing more than planning a trip and so often I use the DK Eyewitness books.  I find them  extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.

We used a previous version of this book to plan our Germany road trips, now you can grab the revised copy.


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Your mission should you choose to accept it, is a visit to the Czech Republic’s capital of Prague, where the original 1996 Tom Cruise, Mission: Impossible was captured.
The Jan Hus Memorial in the centre of the old town square of Prague in front of the twin spires of the Church of Our Lady before Týn

The centre of old Prague

In this fast-paced action thriller Ethan Hunt races through the cobbled lanes of the ancient city of Prague, on a mission to uncover who amongst he’s team has double-crossed him.
 
Prague is a beautiful city and although it may have been a little tarnished in the past with its rowdy visitors, is truly worth a visit. Especially taking an evening stroll across the historic Charles Bridge.

It’s good to talk!

Please share with us your favourite movie locations around Europe, we’d love to know where you’ve visited.

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Our next stop is to the magnificent city of Paris, ooh la la!

In particularly around the streets of Montmatre and Moulin Rouge. Yes, it’s the 2001 Baz Lurhmann movie of the same name.

The roofline of the Moulin Rouge focusing on the bright red mill that takes centre stage set against a deep blue sky

The Moulin Rouge, Paris

This colourful lively musical starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor is set in 1899, during the French Bohemian revolution.
 
Nicole and Ewan not only begin to fall in love that also share with us their incredible singing skills.
 
This region of Paris is so interesting, within a few streets of each other Paris’s nightlife comes alive and the beautiful Sacre Coeur dominates the Paris skyline.

The white stone of the Sacré-Cœur Basilica in Paris set against a deep blue sky.

Sacré-Cœur Basilica, Paris

I love the atmosphere all around the streets of Montmartre, also keep a lookout for the tiny terraced vineyard just beyond the striking basilica.

Further reading

If you've yet to discover the beautiful architecture in Paris, and the pleasure of strolling along the River Seine at sunset, then you're in for a treat.

I find DK Eyewitness travel guides invaluable, they're extremely informative, easy to follow, and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.
 
We used a previous version of this book to plan our Paris adventure, now you can grab the revised copy.


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We are still in France this time the movie I’ve picked is Ronin. Which is filmed around the southern shores of the country, specifically around Nice and Villefranche-sur-Mer.
 
This action, crime thriller stars Robert De Niro, Jean Reno and Sean Bean to name a few.

The narrow rustic lanes of the old town of Nice on the French Riviera

The back lanes of Nice

A narrow street through the old town of Nice, lined on either side by brightly coloured buildings

The old town of Nice

One of the reasons I chose Ronin was not just for the fact that I really enjoyed the movie, but also because some of the car chase scenes shot around Villefranche-sur-Mer. Watching the vehicles hurtling around the tiny lanes brought back some great memories for us of our road trip along the Côte d'Azur.
The view of our accommodation, the Welcome Hotel, from the jetty in Villefranche-sur-Mer

The Welcome Hotel in Villefranche-sur-Mer as seen in Ronin

Specifically, when were sitting on the side of the picturesque quay of Villefranche, with boats bobbing up and down in the harbour while enjoying a crisp glass of rosé wine.

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And you thought Dubrovnik was all about the blockbuster drama Game of Thrones.

Well, the Last Jedi gets a look in too. The eighth movie of the Star Wars series starring the delightful Carrie Fisher, sees John Boyega and Mark Hamill heading amongst the cobbled streets of Dubrovnik.

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The streets of old Dubrovnik or is that the City of Canto Bight

Dubrovnik has had a bit of a reputation for being overcrowded; however, the reason for this is that the ancient walled city nestled along the Adriatic Sea is stunning.
 
Take a wander around the ramparts and you truly appreciate the wonder of Dubrovnik, far-stretching views over the terracotta rooftops and the glistening seas beyond.

A helpful guide

If you've yet to discover the delights of Croatia you're in for a treat. While planning our road trip, I used the DK Eyewitness books.  I find them extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.

We used a previous version of this book to plan our north to south Croatian road trip, now you can grab the revised copy.


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Ahh, we are back to the land of gelato and pasta, yes Italy and the glorious canal city of Venice.

We are on the trail of Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp in the 2010 movie The Tourist. Angelina Jolie plays a British woman on the run as her husband (Steven Berkoff) owes a vast sum of money and has undergone plastic surgery to disguise himself.

The view along the Grand Canal in Venice, complete with gondoliers,  towards the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute from Ponte dell'Accademia
The view of Venice from Ponte dell'Accademia

Angelina befriends Johnny Depp on the way to Venice as a decoy hoping that the police believe that Depp is her husband. Twisting tales ensue complete with boat chases and stylish Venetian balls.

The meandering canals weaving amongst the charming architecture and the grand piazzas will win me over every time. Venice is so elegant, unique, and a treasure to this wonderful country.

The view over the Grand Canal towards St. Mark's Square with St Mark's Campanile dominating the view
An iconic view across the Grand Canal

We visited in springtime and it was everything we had hoped it to be, especially the ice-cream.
 
You’ll also catch scenes from the James Bond movie Casino Royale, which I mentioned above for Lake Como.

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About the Author

Janis

Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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