Top 10 Movies Set In Sicily

Watch these ten movies about Sicily to improve your Italian

While The Godfather trilogy certainly put Sicily on the map, there have been other great movie gems that have been about or set in the small island in the south of Italy. 

Here are ten great films to watch to get a dose of Italian history, culture, and language.

01
of 10

Cinema Paradiso

Caltagirone, Italy, Sicily
Caltagirone, Italy, Sicily. Fré Sonneveld / Unsplash/Getty Images

Giuseppe Tornatore's 1989 Academy-Award-winning film, Cinema Paradiso, takes a romantic look at growing up in a remote village. The filmmaker returns to his Sicilian hometown for the first time in 30 years and looks back on his life, including the time he spent helping the projectionist at the local movie theater.

02
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Divorzio all'Italiana (Divorce, Italian Style)

Pietor Germi's 1961 comedy, Divorzio all'Italiana, depicted Marcelo Mastroianni as a Sicilian aristocrat seeking a divorce when divorce in Italy was not legal. Mastroianni, facing a mid-life crisis, falls for his beautiful cousin (Stefania Sandrelli). Unable to divorce his annoying wife (Daniela Rocca), Mastroianni hatches a scheme to make it seem like she was unfaithful and then kill her.

03
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Il Gattopardo (The Leopard)

Il Gattopardo is Luchino Visconti's 1968 film version of Giuseppe di Lampedusa's novel. Set in revolutionary Italy in the mid-1800s, the film stars Burt Lancaster as a Sicilian prince who seeks to preserve his family's aristocratic way of life by marrying off his nephew Tancredi (Alain Delon) to the daughter (Claudia Cardinale) of a wealthy, boorish merchant. The lush drama culminates with an elaborate and memorable ballroom sequence.

04
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Il Postino

Il Postino is a lovely romance set in a small Italian town during the 1950s where exiled Chilean poet Pablo Nerudo has taken refuge. A shy mailman befriends the poet and uses his words — and, ultimately, the writer himself — to help him woo a woman with whom he has fallen in love.

05
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L'Avventura

The first half of Michelangelo Antonioni's masterpiece, L'Avventura, was filmed off the coast of Panarea and on the nearby island of Lisca Bianca. The film is a scathing examination of Italy's aristocratic classes set within the framework of a mystery story and chronicles the disappearance of a wealthy woman. While searching for her, the woman's lover and best friend become romantically involved.

06
of 10

L'Uomo Delle Stelle (The Star Maker)

L'Uomo Delle Stelle is an affecting story from Cinema Paradiso's director Giuseppe Tornatore. It follows a con man from Rome who, posing as a Hollywood talent scout, travels with a movie camera to impoverished villages in 1950s Sicily, promising stardom — for a fee — to gullible townspeople.

07
of 10

La Terra Trema (The Earth Trembles)

La Terra Trema is Luchino Visconti's 1948 adaptation of Verga's I Malavoglia, the story of a fisherman's failed dream of independence. While it was originally a failure at the box office, the film has since emerged as a classic of the neorealist movement.

08
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Salvatore Giuliano

Francesco Rosi's neorealist drama, Salvatore Giuliano, probes the mystery surrounding one of Italy's most beloved criminals. On July 5, 1950, in Castelvetrano, Sicily, the body of Salvatore Giuliano was found, punctured with bullet holes. Painting a thorough portrait of the legendary bandit, Rosi's film also explores the dangerously complex Sicilian world in which politics and crime go hand-in-hand.

09
of 10

Stromboli, Terra di Dio (Stromboli)

Roberto Rossellini filmed this classic on the Eolian Islands in 1949. Stromboli, Terra di Dio also marked the beginning of Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman's highly publicized affair.

10
of 10

The Godfather

The Godfather is Francis Ford Coppola's 1972 Mafia classic with Marlon Brando as Don Corleone. The landmark drama redefined the gangster film genre and earned Academy Awards for Best Picture, Screenplay and an (unaccepted) Best Actor Oscar for Marlon Brando as aging mob boss Don Vito Corleone. James Caan, John Cazale, Al Pacino, and Robert Duvall co-star as Corleone's sons, who try to keep the family "business" going in the midst of a mob war.