We did not travel very much when I was growing up and we definitely didn’t go anywhere exotic. I feel pretty certain that I got my passion for travel from the Movies. James Bond, Indiana Jones, Romancing the Stone and so many more movies taking you to places all over the world.
The Top 5 Movies that have Inspired me to Travel
#5 – The Italian Job – Venice, Italy
After a heist in Venice, Steve (Edward Norton) turns on his partners in crime, killing safecracker John Bridger (Donald Sutherland) and keeping all the gold for himself. The rest of the team, including leader Charlie Croker (Mark Wahlberg) vows revenge. They enlist the help of Bridger’s daughter, Stella (Charlize Theron), and plot to recover the gold from Steve’s Los Angeles mansion
I LOVE ACTION MOVIES!
The way they planned out the heist and the chase scenes on the canals of Venice in this movie were awesome. I could just imagine how much chaos this created as the scene unfolded with boats speeding through the canals. A good action movie makes my heart race, my hands clench and I may even jump out of my seat.
#4 – In Bruges – Bruges, Belgium
After a particularly difficult job, hit men Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson) head to Belgium to hide out until things cool down. Their experiences become increasingly surreal and possibly life-changing as they encounter tourists, locals, an American dwarf and a potential romance for Ray.
This movie moves a little slow for me and sometimes goes down some wonky paths, but the scenery in Bruges is storybook perfect. Visiting here is like stepping back in time. Mark and I had a short visit here this year. We walked through town to the main square, and although we saw it, we did not climb the stairs of the bell tower. We did tour the Basilica of Christ’s Blood which had unbelievable original stained glass windows. This is on my list of places I must go back to.
#3 – The Woman in Gold – Vienna, Austria
Sixty years after fleeing Vienna, Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren), an elderly Jewish woman, attempts to reclaim family possessions that were seized by the Nazis. Among them is a famous portrait of Maria’s Aunt Adele: Gustave Klimt’s “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I.” With the help of young lawyer Maria embarks upon a lengthy legal battle to recover this painting and several others, but it will not be easy, for Austria considers them national treasures.
First of all I adore both Helen Mirren and art. This movie has both so it is a Win Win for me. There are a lot of flash backs to set this story line up. Stories portraying the Nazi reign are always sad, heart wrenching and hard to watch. My Great Grandfather immigrated from this area when he was a young man. It’s difficult to imagine all the injustices and atrocities that occurred during that era.
But when Helen and her lawyer come to Vienna, you really get a good look at the city. It is a fabulous place. My husband and I spent a few days there this year and I really liked it. We saw both Palaces, had the famous chocolate torte at Cafe Sacher, (and so much more…..) plus we saw some Klimt works. They were spectacular!
#2 – Under The Tuscan Sun – The Tuscany region of Italy
Under the Tuscan Sun: A Writer discovers her husband is cheating on her and decides to take a trip to Tuscany. Along the way she buys a villa, makes new friends, has a romance and figures out what is really important in life.
I tend to look past the Rom-Com structure of this movie and focus on the Italian countryside and way of life. This movie was my first introduction to Limoncello. This movie makes you want to sell your stuff and move to an Olive grove in Italy. After visiting Italy, I would say that Tuscany or Sorrento would be the perfect place for my dream villa with olives, lemons or grapes.
I made sure to try plenty of Limoncello while visiting Sorrento and Positano!
#1 – Eat Pray Love – Rome, India & Bali
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia is a 2006 memoir by American author Elizabeth Gilbert. The memoir chronicles the author’s trip around the world after her divorce and what she discovered during her travels.
The villa she stays in in Bali is to die for. I looked it up and sadly it doesn’t exist. Although the scenery in Bali is amazing in this movie, I think that my favorite place is when she is in Rome. I enjoy watching her learn a new language, meeting new people and trying all the food and wine along the way. One of my top 10 movie quotes of all times is from this movie and The Muffin Top Scene.
“So this is what I’m going to do, I’m going to finish this pizza and then we’re going to go watch the soccer game and tomorrow we’re going to go on a little date and buy ourselves some bigger jeans.”
Exactly what I would do! Eat the Pizza…..You only live once!
James Bond Movies
Ok, I mentioned earlier how much I love Action Movies. Well James Bond is the best. I couldn’t pick just one movie (Shhh-it’s Casino Royale – with filming in Venice and Bellagio), any more than I could pick which James Bond I love the best (Ok-it was always Sean Connery until Daniel Craig came along). So this is a shout out to ALL the great 007 Movies and locations they were filmed in. Gosh they were everywhere, even the moon. I grew up on these movies and they may have seriously fueled my desire to see the world more than any other thing. Maybe I missed my calling as a Secret Agent!
We took a cruise on Lake Como to visit the Island of Bellagio a few years ago and were able to see the Lakeside Villa Balbianello where he recovers in Casino Royale. Now that is a place I would like to stay! We also saw Richard Branson’s place. Not too shabby either.
I know it’s Television but…..
Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown or No Reservations
Anthony takes us on a new travel journey with each episode. He visits countries in a much different way than most “travel hosts” do. His show is not just a “Food Show,” although he is a Chef. It’s not just a “Travel Show,” even though he travels all over the world. It is a blend of Food and Travel with strong elements of History and Sociology that really connects you to the place and the people in his current location. Once you add music and his voice narrative to the episode you are hooked and the connection is complete. These shows move me.
Oh the Places You will Go!
Notable mention to The Sound of Music as well. Loved the mountain settings in the movie. We enjoyed visiting Salzburg last year and seeing the Convent and other places from the movie.
These Movies and TV shows most certainly had an impact on me. I have been able to visit many of the locations they were filmed in like Rome, Venice, Bellagio, Tuscany, Vienna and Bruges as well as plenty of other fun places. Bali is definitely still on the must see list!
Keep Living the Dream! And dreaming of new Places to Go!