The beauty of Italy has been captured through film multiple times. American film director Martin Scorsese once said that movies touch our hearts, awaken our vision, and change the way we see things. They take us to other places. They open doors and minds. Movies are the memories of our lifetime. We need to keep them alive.
Because of the pandemic, the country has been in lockdown for so long. Some of us don’t even know what to do in our homes anymore, but hey, why not watch a film? Just like what Scorsese said, movies take us to other places. Even though we’re at home, we can visit other sites, just like Italy! Did you know that there are classic movies that were filmed in Italy? What’s impressive is that we get a glimpse of Italian culture.
The Lizzie Mcguire Movie
Open your eyes; Italy is what dreams are made of! Just like how teenager Lizzie McGuire’s fantasy turned into reality as she set her foot in the magical city of Rome. The Walt Disney comedy unravels how protagonist Lizzie McGuire (Hilary Duff) went from a junior high school graduate to a European pop star. Besides the adventures of Lizzie, the film also showed the audience the beauty of Italy through its different magnificent destinations.
The movie poster of The Lizzie McGuire Movie was released in 2003. | Photo from IMBD
What Places were featured in the Lizzie McGuire Movie?
For the first stop, we have the fountain where Lizzie tossed a coin and made a wish, The Trevi Fountain.
Lizzie and Gordo talks in front of the Trevi Fountain. | Photo from reelstreets.com
Located in Rome’s Trevi district, the late Baroque masterpiece Italian Fontana di Trevi is the best-known fountain in Rome. It was designed by Nicola Salvi in 1732 during a competition; his creation was considered a scenic wonder.
The massive fountain stands around 85 feet and is approximately 160 feet wide. Found at its core is Oceanus standing proudly atop a chariot pulled by sea horses and partnered with tritons. The statue of Oceanus was created by Pietro Bracci. Sculptures of Abundance and Health are also featured. To mold the fountain, it took thirty years. After Salvi’s death in 1751, Giuseppe Pannini overtook the project. The Trevi Fountain was completed in 1762.
Lizzie made a wish here in the fountain because, according to legend, people who toss coins into its waters will have their wishes granted. Trivia time! The coins that are thrown in the water are being collected and donated to charity.
The magnificent Trevi Fountain | Photo from IMBD
Spanish Steps show the beauty of Italy
“Goodbye Lizzie McGuire, hello fabulous!” For the next stop, we will be visiting The Spanish Steps, where Lizzie emerges after her makeover with the stylist of Paolo.
Named after the neighboring Spanish Embassy, the Spanish Steps links the Piazza di Spagna at the bottom with Piazza Trinita Dei Monti at the top. Fun fact! The Italian word for the steps is la Scalinata, derived from the proper name, “La Scalinata di Trinita Dei Monti.
The vast irregular gathering place comprising 138 steps positioned in a mix of curves, straight flights, vistas, and terraces is considered a great exemplar of Roman Baroque style. | Photo from City Wonders
The design of architect Francesco de Sanctis and the financing of French diplomat Étienne Gueffier brought the stairs to life from 1723 to 1725. Because of its distinctive design and elegance, the Spanish step has become popular within artists, painters, and poets. Of course, the steps are indeed the perfect place for Lizzie to show off her new pop star look!
The Roman Colosseum
What better final destination in our Rome trip with Lizzie than the Colosseum itself? Considered as an icon of Rome, the Colosseum is a massive giant amphitheater.
It is also called the Flavian Amphitheater, it was built under the Flavian emperors, their gift to the Roman people. | Photo from The Smithsonian Magazine
The Colosseum has a long trace of history. During Medieval times, it was used as a church. Afterward, it was utilized as a fortress by two distinguished Roman families, the Frangipane and the Annibaldi. Both natural and artificial disasters have severely damaged the Colosseum. In the 1990s, a restoration project led by Pope Pius VIII was undertaken.
The director of The Lizzie McGuire Movie was a genius to have the final performance at The Colosseum. A phenomenal performance right at the cultural icon of Rome, just perfect indeed!
Call Me By Your Name
Based on the applauded novel by André Aciman, Call Me By Your Name is a sensual and lush tale of first love.
In the summer of 1983, in the Italian countryside, 17-year-old lad Elio (Timothée Chalamet) meets Oliver (Armie Hammer), a 24-year-old temporary research assistant of Elio’s father (Michael Stuhlbarg).
The film shows how Elio grows from a naive boy to a flirty adolescent to a passionate lover, and alas, a heartbroken adult. Call Me By Your Name utilizes a slow buildup to its emotional beats; it spotlights the small gestures. The Italian film is a coming-of-age story that the audience can relate to.
Call Me By Your Name also touches the theme of forbidden love, as well as growing up. The beauty of Northern Italy was definitely captured through the eyes of the protagonist for the audience to see. Moreover, Italian Director Luca Guadagnino made sure to showcase Italian culture in the film.
How does Call Me By Your Name celebrate the Beauty of Italy?
Despite English being the primary language used in the film, it is noticeable that the Italian language was spoken a fair amount of time. For instance, the word ciao can be heard numerous times. Originally from the Venetian language, ciao is an exclamation used as an informal greeting or farewell. Also, the titles of signore and signora can be heard from the lips of the character. Signore is a conventional Italian title of respect for a man, while signora is for a woman. An old Italian slang was mentioned as well! In one scene, a guy said the word “cuccare,” which means to pick up( a guy or a girl).
Italian media and the Beauty of Italy
In the movie, many Italian newspapers and publications can be spotted. Elio’s father’s favorite was Corriere della Sera, but Quattrote, and L’L Espresso were present also.
Elio’s father reading Corriere della Sera. | Photo from HeadStuff
Meanwhile, Elio was seen reading Diabolik, an Italian comic series revolving around a genius thief. Fun fact, the comics began in 1962 and are still ongoing! There was a scene too where famous ex-comedian Beppe Grillo was shown on television.A political song was also played on the radio while Elio was playing with his peach. Most people would think it was a love song, but Radio Varsavia is actually a song about the situation of the working classes in communist countries.
In the June of 1983, general elections were held to set the Italian parliament. In Call Me By Your Name, there were electoral posters spotted. During the lunch where Elio has a nosebleed, the name Bettino Craxi was mentioned a lot of times by his parents and the loud couple. Craxi was actually a member of the Socialist party who emerged as prime minister after the elections. The portrait of Benito Mussolini was seen hanging above the front door of the lady who gave the protagonist water. Mussolini was the former prime minister of Italy from 11922-1923, who founded and led the National Fascist Party as well.
Elio and Oliver look at the portrait of Mussolini. | Photo from sedregina via tumblr
“I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”
Now, who would not know where this iconic line comes from? Considered as one of the greatest classic films, The Godfather revolves around the Corleone crime family. Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) protects his godchildren, both literal and symbolic, by going around the law, and then demanding their eternal loyalty.
In exchange, they have to agree to return the favor—by means legal or illegal. The movie shows us the Mafia’s perspective from the inside. Here, we do not see gambling or prostitution. In the world of the Mafia, the real enemies are the traitors. The film depicts that one cannot escape their destiny. Youngest son Michael Corleone (Al Pacino), who wanted to escape the family business, ended up spearheading the organization after his father passed. For the Corleones, the family would always come first.
And perhaps, food would come second. In the movie, different Italian dishes were seen that showcase the beauty of Italy. Of course, to run an organization, their stomachs must be full.
First up, we have the Cannolis. Who would forget it? In the film, Clemenza (Richard Castellano) said.
“Leave the gun. Take the Cannoli.”
What Italian Food is Featured in The Godfather?
Well, don’t mind if I do! But actually, the pastry is a symbol of fertility; that’s why it was an ironic circle of life moment when they killed someone and said the line.
Cannoli, the beauty of Italy
Invented in Sicily, the long slender pastry is derived from the Italian word for “reed.” Cannolis are ricotta-filled tube-shaped shells of pastry dough, which may I say are popular in the Sicilian tradition. Metal cannoli molds are used to shape the dough into hollow tubes. For the fillings, ricotta and confectioner’s sugar are the ingredients. Take note that sheep ricotta is needed for the filling. It is also best to stuff the Cannolis just a few minutes before eating because if not, the filling may ruin the crispness of the shell.
Just look at these mouth-watering cannolis! | Photo from La Cucina Italiana
The Beauty of Italy is that the dessert is also really nice to eat while taking a walk. Also, Cannolis have become a breakfast treat nowadays. Did you know that some people even like to decorate its ends with chocolate? Not only that but minced pistachios and candied fruit as well!
Next up, let’s have a taste of the corrupt cop’s favorite dish, which is none other than Veal Marsala! Fond of eating chicken? This one’s for you! The dish comes from the classic Italian scaloppine recipe, which is popular in Western Sicily.
The Marsala wine is cultivated in that region, and the butchering of young cows (veal) was regarded as a delicacy. Flour, salt and pepper, sage leaves, salted butter, shallots, rosemary, chicken stock and mushrooms are some of the ingredients needed to prepare the dish. Also,the cooking time is quicker than other dishes because the veal is already thin, so no need to wait for long!
We totally understand why this was the cop’s favorite dish, look at that creaminess! | Photo from Parker Feierbach
In Italy, Sundays are when the family gathers around after attending church. Most women spend the day slowly cooking a delectable meat sauce, also known as Sunday Gravy, for everyone. In the film, Clemenza demonstrates to Michael how to cook for 20 guys, “because you never know when you’ll need to feed 20 guys.”
Clemenzo teaching Michael how to cook the Sunday Gravy.
The sauce is not so much of a meal really, but more of a symbol of everybody coming together. Since a lot of stomachs need to be filled, cheaper cuts of meat are likely to be favored as ingredients go. Fun fact, the recipe used in The Godfather is actually Director Francis Ford Coppola’s own recipe. He figured that if ever the film becomes a flop, at least the audience would have a good sauce recipe. To cook the director’s recipe, you’ll need olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian sausages, meatballs, sugar, and dry red wine.
The Beauty of Italy in the Philippines
Even though the film was not solely shot in Italy, The Godfather still perfectly portrays the food culture of Italians. Just how the people residing in the Philippines can experience Italian homes right here in Vista Alabang. The master-planned community can be found in Daang Hari.
Considered as one of the luxury homes, Vista Alabang perfectly captures the beauty of Italy. Rafaello in Vista Alabang.
In fact, as soon as you enter the gates of luxury real estate, you will feel like you are stepping into Italy. You will be greeted by the fresh air since Brittany Corporation ensured that Vista Alabang has plenty of green spaces. Of course, the architecture is Italian! The luxury house and lots in Daang Hari reflect the Italian Renaissance style.
The luxury of exclusivity can be your brand of southern living with Portofino.
In Vista Alabang, you can feel the beauty of Italy. All of the luxury homes would make you feel like you are in the setting of an Italian movie. Lizzie’s dream came to life when she went to Rome; perhaps you may find your dream house here in Brittany Corporation? Elio and Oliver found love in Northern Italy; perhaps, you’ll fall in love with one of the luxury homes here in Vista Alabang? Michael’s destiny has always been to take over the family business; perhaps your fate lies within luxury house and lot in Daang Hari?
Similar to how the filmmakers gave their best in creating their masterpieces, the Brittany Corporation went all out to provide us with the best houses in the Philippines.