The beauty of Venice, with its dozens of canals and stunning Venetian Gothic architecture, is a familial scene in films. Hollywood has had a love affair with this Italian city for decades, featuring it in independent productions as well as blockbuster movies. Venice also plays host to one of the most prestigious and sought after film festivals in the world. If you’re a movie buff with plans to visit the city, you might want to check out some of these best movies shot in Venice prior to your trip. It’ll give you preview of what to expect before experiencing what the city has to offer.
4 Best Movies Shot in Venice
It’s very likely that you’ve certainly heard of The Tourist; a romantic thriller that starred Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. Despite featuring two Hollywood heavyweights, the movie itself was a flop by industry standards; but it certainly took advantage of everything that Venice has to offer. High-energy boat chases around the canals; beautifully crafted scenes inside the city’s most opulent palaces; and a breathtaking panorama of the city’s romantic side. The Tourist may not make it to your top 10 lists of best films for plot; but it certainly earned its stripes as one of the best movies shot in Venice.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Venice featured prominently in the third installment of the Indiana Jones franchise, The Last Crusade. Hollywood’s favorite archeologist Indiana Jones, found himself searching for the Holy Grail beneath the city’s soggy catacombs. Indy’s quest eventually led him towards Campo San Barnaba where the neighborhood church stood for the library’s exterior. The movie also included shots of Saint Mark’s Square and the Grand Canal; but it was the high-speed boat chase along the Venetian cruise ports that sticks in many movie lovers’ minds.
Death in Venice
One of the best movies shot in Venice follows the story of Gustav von Aschenbach, a successful German writer who developed an obsession with a young boy he came across while on holiday in Venice. Death in Venice was shot mostly on Lido and features many of the city’s side streets and lesser-known locations. Despite its melancholy plot, this poignant and dramatic portrayal of Venice strikes a chord and makes you appreciate the city even more.
The Merchant of Venice
This 2004 film adaptation of Shakespeare’s play provides viewers with historical accuracy. From intricate costumes to beautiful set designs that featured traditions and customs from 16th-century Venice, viewers can relive the complicated relationships within families and businesses. Many of its scenes were shot in the island of San Giorgio Maggiore where you can pay a visit to the 16th-century Benedictine church named after the island.
Can you think of other best movies shot in Venice? Share your thoughts below for the benefit of other travelers and film buffs who are disembarking from their Mediterranean cruises to visit one of Europe’s most romantic cities.