With the coronavirus pandemic affecting the world right now, multiple countries have ordered shelter-at-home or lockdowns. This has forced people to stay at home, making it the new norm for weeks now.
With countries closing its borders to foreign travelers and airlines canceling flights, a lot of travel plans have been put on hold for the meantime. However, just because you’re stuck at home and can’t fly out doesn’t mean you can’t experience gorgeous destinations around the world. Through movies, at least.
With the power of cinema, you can still marvel at enchanting tourist attractions and colorful culture from your couch. Here’s a list of the most beautiful movies that would trigger some extreme wanderlust.
This critically-acclaimed black-and-white classic from director William Wyler takes viewers to Rome, Italy. The 1953 fairy-tale romance Roman Holiday stars iconic Hollywood stars Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.
Hepburn plays Princess Ann, a gusty royal who escaped her stifling royal duties to travel around Europe and experience the lives of people from the other side. As she roams around the Eternal City, she meets an American journalist played by Peck right at the Arch of Settimio Severo.
The classic film, which earned 10 nominations including Hepburn’s Best Actress win, took audiences around famous spots in Rome including the Spanish Steps, the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, Piazza del Popolo, Piazza Venezia, Castel Sant’Angelo, and the Piazza Bocca della Verità. It even popularized the now-iconic Italian motor scooter, the Vespa.
Out of Africa
We now travel to the African continent with this classic film starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep. Take a whole lot of passion and romance, add in a moving soundtrack from John Barry, and mix in reels of gorgeous landscapes and you get this 7-time Academy Award-winner, Out of Africa.
Set in the early 1900s, the movie is based on the life of Danish author Karen Blixen (played by Streep). It follows her life in British-ruled Kenya as a baroness and owner of a coffee plantation. The movie also highlights her relationship with dashing big-game hunter Denys Finch Hatton (played by Redford).
Out of Africa was filmed in Northern Kenya at the Shaba National Game Reserve and Ngong Dairy. A scene in the movie where Redford’s character takes Streep’s character on a plane ride over the Masai Mara is probably one of the most well-remembered scenes in movie history, with rich colors of the landscape and wildebeests migrating below.
Crazy Rich Asians
Based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Kevin Kwan, Crazy Rich Asians is a movie that aptly highlights the crazy rich multicultural culture of Singapore. The romantic comedy tells the story of New Yorker Rachel Chu who flew to the Asian country with her boyfriend to attend the wedding of his best friend. There she had to deal with a super-wealthy yet disapproving family.
The visual treat starts right when they landed. Between the story-telling are travelogues featuring Singapore’s unique cuisine, high-end contemporary interiors and fashion, and Peranakan-style antiques. The movie also used some of the city’s famous spots as settings, with the famous lavish wedding set at the 19th-century Chijmes Hall, and the grandiose reception that was filmed in the meticulously manicured Gardens by the Bay.
Eat Pray Love
This Julia Roberts-starrer takes you backpacking around three destinations in Europe and Asia. Based on the journey in a 2010 novel by Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love follows a divorcee on a mid-life crisis who went traveling in a bid to find herself.
Ingeniously told in three parts, the movie lets audiences relish the romantic sophistication of eating in Rome, the spirituality of praying in India, and the lush landscapes in Bali that makes it the perfect place to fall in love.
Roberts’ character tries out the local cuisine in Rome with the cafes and fountains of Piazza Navona as backgrounds, masters the art of meditation in Indian ashrams, and finally finds love in the person of Felipe (played by Javier Bardem) in Bali as they scour through silk scarves in the markets in Ubud, soak in the ancient Balinese culture, and enjoy the beaches of Padang Padang.