46 Movies Set in Italy and Streaming

A romantic moment in the movie Cinema Paradiso.
A romantic moment in the movie Cinema Paradiso.

Italian movies, and any movies set in Italy, tend to be romantic, sexy, dramatic, political, and sometimes violent or nostalgic. Regardless of the topic, they offer a great way to see the Italian landscape and society up close. Having lived in Florence for five years, I love how the movies can transport me back there for a couple of hours!

The first five movies on this list are streaming on Netflix. There are more that you can watch on DVDs via Netflix, but I wanted to limit this list to streaming movies only.

The remaining movies are by Italian directors only and are part of the Centurion Collection on Hulu Plus. To access them you need to first subscribe to Hulu Plus ($7.99 per month), and then go to the Criterion Collection home page. For anyone who loves foreign films it’s a treasure trove of more than 900 films from many countries. I was amazed to see how many Italian films there were by the country’s top directors. It’s such a treat; in the past, it was much harder to find these. (For more movie lists, check out my lists of movies set in Paris, New York, and England)

Movies Set in Italy and Streaming on Netflix:

 A Room with  a View

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A young English woman heads to Tuscany with her much older cousin, and in the process learns what love is. Based on the novel by E.M. Forster, directed by James Ivory in 1986. This is one of my favorite romantic movies.

I Am Love

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Tilda Swinton stars as a Russian matriarch in this romantic film about a wealthy Italian family’s ruin. It was nominated for many awards. Directed by Luca Guadagnino in 2010.

Cinema Paradiso

Of all the movies set in Italy, Cinema Paradiso is one of the best.
One of my favorite movies set in Italy! A Sicilian boy becomes fascinated by the movie theater in his small town, and ends up becoming a famous director. The love story between the boy and a girl is delightful. Directed by Giuseppe Tornatore in 1990.

Marriage Italian Style

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Sofia Loren stars in this 1964 movie about a mistress whose illness convinces a man not to marry another woman. Directed by Vittorio De Sica.

Roman Holiday

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Audrey Hepburn stars in this 1953 black-and-white movie about a princess who escapes her duties to hang out with a tabloid reporter, played by Gregory Peck.


Italian Movies Streaming On Hulu Plus – The Criterion Collection

I’ve organized these films based on who directed them, in alphabetical order. For detailed plot summaries check out the Centurion Collection descriptions.

Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni:

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  • L’avventura, 1960
  • La notte, 1961
    • L’eclisse, 1962
    • Identification of a Woman, 1982

    Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci:

    • La Commare Secca, 1962

    Directed by Giuseppe De Santis:

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    • Bitter Rice, 1949

    Directed by Vittorio De Sica:

    • The Children Are Watching Us, 1944
    • Umberto D., 1952

    Directed by Federico Fellini:

    8 1/2 by Fellini is one of the most famous movies set in Italy.

    • Stromboli, 1950
    • La Strada, 1954
    • 8-1/2, from 1963
    • Juliet of the Spirits, 1965
    • Amarcord, 1973

    Directed by Marco Ferreri:

    • Dillinger is Dead, 1969

    Directed by Pietro Germi:

     

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    • Divorce Italian Style, 1961
    • Seduced and Abandoned, 1964

     

    Directed by Raffaello Matarazzi:

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    • Chains, 1949
    • Tormento, 1950
    • He Who is Without Sin, 1952
    • Nobody’s Children, 1952
    • Torna! 1954
    • The White Angel, 1955

    Directed by Mario Monicelli:

    • The Organizer, 1963

    Directed by Ermanno Olmi:

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    • Il Posto, 1961
    • I Fidanzati, 1962

    Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini:

    • Mamma Roma, 1962

    Directed by Gillo Pontecorvo:

    • Kapo, 1959

    Directed by Francesco Rosi:

    • Salvatore Giuliano, 1961
    • Hands Over the City, 1963
    • The Moment of Truth, 1965

    Directed by Roberto Rossellini:

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    • Paisan, 1946
    • L’Amore, 1948
    • The Flowers of St. Francis, 1950
    • The Machine that Kills Bad People, 1952
    • Journey to Italy, 1954
    • Socrates, 1971
    • Blaise Pascal, 1972
    • The Age of the Medici, 1973
    • Cartesius, 1974

    Directed by Paolo Sorrentino:

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    • The Great Beauty, 2013

    Directed by Luchino Visconti:

    • Senso, 1954

    What are your favorite movies set in Italy? Leave a comment below!

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