This scattering of islands on the northeast coast of Italy has long stood as the embodiment of romance and mystery—a quality inevitably captured in the films that employ the Venetian canals as their backdrop. Cashing in on the darker tones of the city, and hoping to follow in the footsteps of Venetian box office winners Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Italian Job, The English Patient and The Talented Mr. Ripley, is the upcoming Bond flick Casino Royale.


Comprised of a cluster of small islands, Venice has played a major role in Italian artistic culture, from the famous architecture of the Duke’s palace to the Peggy Guggenheim Museum and most famously the ornate masks of the city’s winter carnival. Within the film community, the Venice Film Festival—the world’s oldest film festival—remains one of the most prestigious, recognizing many of the year’s top films and awarding the much sought-after Leone d’Oro (Golden Lion) to the fest’s best picture. At the 63rd Venice Film Festival this past August, the best picture Lion was awarded to Jia Zhang-Ke’s Sanxia Haoren, and best director to Alain Resnais for Private Fears in Public Places.

Other films that have featured Venice’s (sinking) streets include:

Death in Venice
Everyone Says I Love You
The Wings of the Dove
The Merchant of Venice
From Russia With Love