Organizing a vacation is great fun, but there are always lots of things to think about, to consider and to prepare for. What kind of holiday is it, business or pleasure? Are you headed to the beach or the mountains? Will you be travelling with locals, or do you have to find your own way around?

Just like for any other place in the world, getting ready for your Italian holiday will be no easy task. Once you have placed imaginary—or real—pins on the most glamorous destinations within the country, there comes the time to choose your most fashionable outfits, get a sense of what you should be eating during your stay and learn some of the basic Italian phrases to get around. But how exactly do you go about doing that when you’ve never been to Italy before?

Enjoy Italy like Julia Roberts!

In my opinion, there’s no better way to learn how to be an Italian than by watching others being—or trying to be—Italian! So many of our favorite actors and actresses over the years have walked the Italian walk and talked the talk, so I see no reason why we shouldn’t look at them for ideas. There is an exhaustive list of great movies set under the Tuscan sun, on the back of a Vespa in Rome or along a Venetian canal. Here is my short list of must-see films to watch before setting off on your Italian vacanza.

Eat Pray Love – Julia Roberts demonstrates for us how to eat, pray and love your way around some of the most beautiful areas of Italy, while riding around Rome on the back of a Vespa and salivating over her first real Neapolitan pizza.

Roman Holiday – Audrey Hepburn shows the ladies that we can all experience Rome like a princess—even in disguise! This oldie is truly a classic and you’ll love remembering the scenes when you’re on the living set!

Life Is Beautiful – The fairytale romance between Guido and Dora distracts you from the pressing issue of anti-Semitism during World War II. Roberto Benigni as Guido reflects the joy of life that lives within every Italian and despite the hardships, he tells us that love conquers all!

Pane e Tupliani – A married woman, after being forgotten at a bus stop by her husband and kids, decides to take off on her own journey and start a new life in Venice, where she finds true love.

Under the Tuscan Sun – This movie can make you fall in love with the Tuscan countryside over and over again! The breathtaking scenes filled with winding dirt roads lined by Italian cypress trees will leave you yearning for a life under the Tuscan sun.

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