Great journeys often begin after watching one good movie! They start with a small dream to see a city nearby or a country somewhere far away! You are still sitting on the sofa with popcorn and looking at the screen, but in your mind you are already climbing the mountains of Kilimanjaro, or traveling through the Amazon forests… And it turns out that only one movie can turn your life upside-down and inspire you to travel!

Especially for travel dreamers, we have created an extraordinary selection of life-changing movies! These are films about traveling and travelers, real and fictional, shot in different years of cinema’s existence, starting from 50s of the last century.

Here is a selection of five inspirational travel stories out of 15: Roman Holiday (1953), Out of Africa (1985), Before Dawn (1995), Under the Tuscan Sun (2003) and 2 Days in Paris ( 2007). After watching you’ll get really inspired. The movies will definitely make you want to google the locations where the shooting took place.

Roman Holiday

Let’s start our post with a trip to Rome. This is a feature movie “Roman Holiday” (1953, USA), a romantic comedy directed by William Wyler and written by screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. Starring gorgeous Audrey Hepburn and charismatic Gregory Peck.

The story follows the adventures of a young princess, Anna, who arrives in Rome from an unknown European country as part of her much-publicized diplomatic tour through European countries. 

Wyler took on the film on the condition that it would be shot in Rome, and not on studio sets. Thus, “Roman Holiday” became the first Hollywood film to be shot entirely in Europe. The opening credits specifically stated to exclude thoughts of studio sets: “This film was shot and recorded entirely in Rome, Italy.”

In the film, you will experience Rome as it was! There are many places in Rome that were widely known even before 50s. For example, Joe finds Princess Anne sleeping on a bench near the Forum. On the steps of the “Spanish Steps” against the backdrop of the Trinita dei Monti church, the main characters are talking during the day. Near the Trevi Fountain there  is a hair salon where Anna gets a new hairstyle. In the Grand Hall Gallery of the Palazzo Colonna, at the end of the film, Anna gives a press conference and says goodbye to Joe. Many other real-life locations in the city are locations or backdrops for the film. Enthusiasts are even now compiling separate tourist routes through the city according to the movie “Roman Holidays”.

Out of Africa

And now let’s go to Africa! Hi Kenya! Feature film “Out of Africa” (1985, USA) is a biographical drama directed by Sidney Pollack based on an autobiographical book by Karen Blixen.

The story is set in colonial Kenya in the 20th century. In the center of the plot there is the Danish baroness Karen von Blixen-Fineke, the owner of a coffee plantation, and the charismatic hunter Dennis, between whom passion flares up. Meryl Streep and Robert Redford starred in the lead roles.

The film was made using the descendants of several Kikuyu people named in the book, including the grandson of Chief Kinyanjui, who played his grandfather. Most of this was shot in the Karen / Lang’ata area near the actual Ngong Hills outside of Nairobi. The Cheulu Hills replaced the less picturesque Ngong Hills. As Karen’s home was part of the local nursing school at the time of shooting, it took place in her first nearby home, Mbogani, which is now a dairy. Her original home, known as Mbagathi, is now the Karen Blixen Museum. Much of the shooting took place in Scott’s home and a 1910s replica of Nairobi built on vacant land in Langata.

Scenes depicting Government House were filmed at a Nairobi school with an administrative block that is an exact replica of the residences of British colonial governors. The train sequences were filmed on an abandoned section of track 97 km from Nairobi. Scenes set in Denmark were actually filmed in Surrey, England.

Wonderful savanna landscapes, interesting animals, people who perceive life in a completely different way – all this will make you immerse yourself in the atmosphere of a trip to Africa.

Before Sunrise

…Now what about coffee in Vienna?

The feature film  “Before Sunrise” (1995, USA-Australia) is a romantic melodrama directed by Richard Linklater about a young man and woman who meet on a train in Europe and spend an evening together in Vienna. Starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. The film has two sequels – “Before Sunset” (2004) and “Before Midnight” (2013).

The film can be considered a kind of guide to Vienna, as it includes the main locations visited by tourists, such as the Vienna Railway Station, the Zollamsteig Bridge, the Schwarzenberg Palace, the Albertina Palais Museum, as well as numerous cafes and shops.

The first and last meeting location of the heros is the West Railway Station of Vienna (German Wien Westbahnhof). Located in Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus, near the intersection of Hürtel and Mariahilferstraße. It was inaugurated on December 15, 1858 for the railway connection with Linz. The modern station building was built in 1951 and is a monument of Austrian architecture. In 2011, an underground shopping center was built under it.

Then the heroes come to Zollamstezh bridge, where they meet two actors. By chance, they enter the church of Maria am Gestade – a Catholic church in the northern part of the Inner City in Vienna, built in the Gothic style. One of the oldest buildings in the Austrian capital.

The last location of the trip is the Albertina Palais Museum  – an art museum located in the palace of Archduke Albert in the center of Vienna. It houses one of the largest and most significant world collections of graphics (about 65 thousand drawings and more than a million works of printed graphics). The collection spans the period from the late Gothic to the present. The name “Albertina” comes from the name of the founder – Duke Albert of Saxe-Teschen.

If you want to have fun in Vienna but don’t know where to start, watch the movie and follow the characters!

Under the Tuscan Sun

Now it’s time to go to sunny Italy!

Feature film “Under the Tuscan Sun” (2003, USA-Italy) is a romantic melodrama directed by Audrey Wells based on the autobiographical novel “Under the Tuscan Sun” by Frances Mace.

The story is about a writer who impulsively buys a villa in Tuscany to change her life. Starring Diane Lane, Raoul Bova, Sandra Oh, Lindsay Duncan.

Shooting took place in the medieval village of Cortona  –  a city in the Italian region of Tuscany, just 20 km from the agritourism Country House Marilena la Casella.

It is an important cultural and tourist center. It is very picturesque because of its typical medieval architecture consisting of ancient palaces, narrow and cobbled streets, small artisan workshops and typical bars.

The walled city, in which Etruscan and Roman features are still visible, was built on a hill that is about 600 meters high. This high position provides an excellent view from different points of the city, allowing you to admire the beautiful landscapes of the Valdikiana, as well as to see Lake Trasimeno.

Fields of sunflowers, green hills, cypress alleys, villages rich in art monuments – the locations will not leave anyone indifferent.

2 Days in Paris

Now we will go on a journey to France, namely to Paris.

Feature film  “2 Days in Paris” (2007, France-Germany) – a romantic melodrama directed by Julie Delpy tells the story of a woman Marion and her boyfriend who try to revive their relationship by visiting Paris, the home of her parents and several of her ex-boyfriends.

Starring Julie Delpy, Adam Goldberg, Daniel Bruhl, Marie Pillet.

The film was shot entirely in Paris. Many locations were used in the filming, but we will focus on the most famous ones, such as the Gare Du Nord train station, the Pasteur station in the Paris metro and the grave of Jim Morrison at Père Lachaise Cemetery. Marie Piillet and Albert Delpy, who portray Marion’s parents, are Julie Delpy’s real parents.

Let’s start with Gare du Nord North Station, which is one of the seven stations of Paris, a dead-end station, the largest station in Europe in terms of the number of passengers served. Serves both suburban connections (Transilien, TER Picardie) and long-distance connections to the north-east of France (SNCF lines, including TGV), Great Britain (Eurostar), Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany (Thalys).

The next location is Pasteur Station – an interchange of the Paris Metro between lines 6 and 12. Named after Boulevard Pasteur, which received its name in honor of the outstanding biologist Louis Pasteur. A museum and a research institute named after him are also located near the metro station.

The last location in this part is the Père Lachaise Cemetery. Located in the east of the city, in the 20th municipal district. The official name is Eastern Cemetery (fr. Cimetière de l’Est). This is the largest cemetery of Paris and one of the largest open-air grave sculpture museums with an area of about 48 hectares.

Traveling is a way of life

For many people, traveling is a way of life, it is a way of moving forward. Because when we travel, we not only discover new countries and regions, we get acquainted with a new culture and unique things, we discover our real selves to a greater extent, explore our strengths and our feelings.

We wish you get inspired after watching these movies.

To be continued.

Written by Olena Chepurna especially for ArtTravel