Nothing can get me lusting for a plane ticket in my hand like a good travel themed movie.  It transports me to places far and exotic and pulls me under its spell, even though I`m sitting in my own living room, in my sweats, and a cat half sitting on my head.  Yes, sexy stuff.


So I have put together a list of my top 10 movies that make me wistful for adventure and culture.  Do you have any favourites that haven`t made the cut on my list?  Please share!!



10. Bread & Tulips, 2000 – This Italian charmer stars Licia Maglietta and Guiseppe Battiston and is about an unappreciated housewife who gets left behind at a highway cafe during a bus trip without her family noticing.  Fed up, she decides to start her own life in Venice, and does exactly that.  Very Shirley Valentine.  Very lovely and lots of Venice eye candy.

In Bruges (2008) UK, Belgium

9.  In Bruges, 2008 – Colin Farrell and the wonderful Brendan Gleeson star in this dark comedy about a guilt-ridden hit man dealing with the fall out of a job gone wrong.  They are sent to Bruges by their ruthless boss, Ray Fiennes, because “Bruges is like a fucking fairy tale”.  Hilarious in all the right ways, with gorgeous cinematography of this picturesque city.  I can just picture myself strolling down the quaint cobblestone streets.

8.  The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, 2011 – While I have no wish to head to India at this point in my life, this movie most definitely stirs up the adventurer in me.  The amazing marigold-1Judi Dench is delightful as a new widow trying to carve out a life on her own – in the colourful chaos that is India.  Along the way she meets new friends such as Billy Nighy, and the adorable Dev Patel (from Slum Dog Millionaire).    This movie touches on the importance of opening your mind and seeing that people from other cultures aren`t so different from you – and perhaps discovering yourself at the same time.

7.  To Rome with Love, 2012 – While Woody Allen kind of gives me the creeps, his movies have won me over.  I have been to Rome twice now, for rather short jaunts, but have never felt a real emotional connection to it.  To reinforce that feeling, dinner one night at a small “mom and pop” place (Osteria da Salvatore) near my hotel turned out to be a disaster with a curmudgeonly old lady as our waitress, watered down wine, rock hard stale bread, and bland food.  We didn’t even merit a buona sera when we left, although the locals seemed to get the customary farewell.  But seeing this movie made me want to give Rome another chance.  Half of it was in Italian and I didn’t have subtitles, yet it still won me over.

6.  Last Stop for Paul, 2006 – This movie was lot of fun, and the opening scene in Moscow should sell you on this film (really funny!)   A pair of friends decide to travel aroundLast stop the world.  Why?  Because their friend, who was planning the same trip, dies suddenly, and they are inspired to do the trip in his stead, and scatter his ashes along the way – a final tribute to their adventurous friend.  They don’t have the money, however, and portray themselves as writers for Frommers to get free accommodation along the way (crap, could that actually work??!).  Their trip is really fun, full on crazy at times, and you really feel the unpredictability and adventure that travel is all about.  Different cultures, new friends, something new around every corner.   I dare you to not want to take a trip after this!

5.  Under the Tuscan Sun, 2003 – How could you not be charmed by this tale of a newly divorced woman, Frances who decides to buy a Tuscan villa while on a trip through the Tuscan Tuscan suncountryside?  Her BFF (and her partner) give Frances the trip they originally planned to take themselves, hosted by the tour company “Gay and Away” – love it!  Diane Lane stars as Frances – I have always loved her in movies.  She doesn’t disappoint.  The scenery is amazing, and the characters quirky and lovable.  And I’ve actually been to Positano and saw the house where Frances stood and called up to Marcello – it is every bit as gorgeous and alluring as the movie portrayed.

4.  Midnight in Paris, 2011 – Owen Wilson is Gil, and is on a trip to Paris with his rather awful fiance (played by Rachel McAdams).  Inexplicably, he finds himself traveling backmidnight-paris-03 to 1920’s Paris each night at midnight, much to his fascination and wonderment.  There he meets Marion Colltilard, who is disillusioned with the 1920’s and wistfully yearns for an even earlier time.   Amazing views of the most gorgeous, romantic city in the world.  Moral of the story?  If you go, you may never want to leave.


3.  A Good Year, 2006 – To France this time.  Russell Crowe (who I love despite the whole ‘hitting a hotel clerk in the head with a telephone’ thing) plays Max, a corporate bigwig who very obnoxiously shouts out to his employees each day “morning lab rats!”.  Ooohh, don’t you just want him as a boss?

A Good Year

Never fear, Max is redeemable!  He discovers he has inherited an old French farmhouse and vineyard, where he spent summers as a child.  Enter Marion Cottilard as the fiery French waitress, along with various endearing characters, and the stunning French countryside.  Wouldn’t it make you want to abandon life as you know it and drink wine and eat cheese with the French sun warming your skin?  In a heartbeat.



2.  Before Sunrise, 1995 – I know not everyone will agree with me on this (nor with my next recommendation, the sequel).  But I stand firm.  Did you ever watch a movie(s) that made you still believe in true love?  These two made me believe.   Ethan Hawke (aka Handsome Hawke) and Julie Delpy (one of the most luminous, gorgeous actresses before-sunriseout there, in my humble opinion), meet on a train in Europe and get off in Vienna, only to walk around the city til dawn, and in the process, fall in love.  Slower paced, this story depends on the dialogue between the two character, and it works brilliantly.

1. Before Sunset, 2004 –  The path to true love is never straightforward.  Celine and Jesse meet up in my beloved Paris after Jesse pens the tale of their meeting and travels there on a book tour.  Together, they walk Paris , talk, agonize over lost time, and discover each Before Sunset2other and their love all over again.   Apparently the script was written by Hawke and Delpy, and it is magic all over again.  And you get view of Paris, in all its gorgeous splendor.







**Thanks to Google images for the movies images