Fall in love with these romantic movie destinations
By Max Milano *
Hollywood knows a thing or two about romance, but are the locations of your favorite movies as romantic in real life? We find the lowest airfare deals to the most romantic movie destinations in the world for less.
Rome (Roman Holiday, Eat, Pray, Love)
The R in Rome stands for romance. Hollywood declared Rome the most romantic destination in the world when Gregory Peck scooted around the Coliseum in a Vespa with Audrey Hepburn clinging to his back in the movie Roman Holiday. More recently, Julia Roberts got her groove back and ate her way through Rome’s best trattorias in Eat, Pray, Love. You can get your love groove back too by flying your loved one to Rome for an al fresco dinner at the Campo di Fiori, followed by an evening stroll along the ruins of ancient Rome. End up at La Bocca della Verita (the mouth of truth) to re-enact the romantically funny scene from Roman Holyday where Gregory Peck puts his hand into the open Mouth of Truth to test the myth (don’t worry; the stone mouth won’t bite as long as your love is true). Rome is the real thing.
Romance level: Goes to 11.
Paris (Midnight in Paris, Amelie)
Romantic movies shot in Paris are too numerous to count. The city of lights offers the perfect backdrop for love. In the film Amelie, the Paris neighborhood of Montmartre is transformed into a magical land of quirky characters whose lives are changed for the better by the quirky Amelie and her traveling gnome. In Midnight in Paris, a frustrated writer goes for a night stroll in Paris circa 2011 and is magically transported to 1920’s Paris and gets to meet Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein. He falls in love with a girl from the 1920’s who is infatuated with the La Belle Epoch era Paris of the Moulin Rouge and Toulouse Lautrec. You can revisit Amelie with your loved one by booking a quaint hotel up in Montmatre (the best views of Paris are not from the top of the Eiffel tower, but from the steps of Montmatre’s Sacre Cour’s church). Walk down to Pigalle for a night at the Moulin Rouge and then hit the riverbank for a cruise along the seine and a kiss under a Paris bridge as the Eiffel Tower sparkles with lights.
Romance level: Trough le roof.
Tokyo (Lost in Translation, Norwegian Wood)
Sofia Copola’s classic Lost in Translation proved that Tokyo’s cold neon towers could be the perfect haven for romance (and the film Norwegian Wood proved that the Japanese can be as dramatically romantic as the French). Tokyo’s endless nightlife, karaoke bars and love motels with Hello Kitty themed rooms are the perfect setting for the more adventurous couples with a taste for anime and animated nightclubs. For those looking for a more sedate romantic experience, head down to Kyoto on the bullet train for a true traditional Ryokan experience and his and hers mud baths.
Romance level: 8 ½.
Casablanca (Casablanca, Morocco)
Morocco has been a Hollywood romantic favorite for decades. Marlene Dietrich falls in love with a young Gary Cooper and follows him over the sand dunes of the Sahara in the 1930 classic Morocco, and Humphrey Bogart rocked a white tux jacket while muttering the most romantic lines in film history: “Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine” and “we will always have Paris”. Casablanca today boasts a real Rick’s Café Américain in honor of the classic movie, where you can wear your own white linen suit and repeat classic lines from Casablanca with your sweetheart over gin and tonics. Head down to Marrakesh by train for an even more romantic experience and live the ‘real’ Morocco of bustling Medinas, snake charmers and traditional luxury hotels fit for Brad and Angelina.
Romance Level: A perfect 10.
Next Week (the sequel): Shanghai (Shanghai Express, Shanghai Surprise), Saigon (The Lover, The Quiet American), Venice (Summertime), Florence (Light in the Piazza), Barcelona (Barcelona, Vicky Cristina Barcelona), London (Waterloo Bridge, Notting Hill, Four Weddings and a Funeral).
What is your favorite romantic movie destination?