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Uplifting TRAVEL Books and Movies

Ok, yes this probably belongs in the books/movie section but as things are slow going for the main General Europe page.

How about a listing of UPLIFTING travel movies and books as folks have a good deal of time to occupy. I’ll just name 1 or 2 to get things going.

Books: Take a mental trip to Italy through the eyes of Frances Mayes. Any of her books, starting off with Under the Tuscan Sun.

Movie: The Way by Emilio Estevez with Martin Sheen.

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Movie: Midnight in Paris! I love it. I watched it a dozen times before we visited Paris.

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Midnight in Paris is align hearted movie with some really great shots of the city. I also thank it for leading us to the Polidor for dinner.

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We found the church where the Owen Wilson character got in the 1920's car! We actually went back there at midnight and sat on the steps! I know, silly, but a lot of fun. And no, the car didn't arrive for us. :-)

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I love to sit on those steps, lol!! And the church is really interesting as well, lol.

I saw the poster for The Hundred Foot Journey this morning when the news was doing an obit for Floyd Cardoz who apparently consulted on the food. That one showed lovely French countryside and markets.

Books - love many of the books by chick-lit author Trisha Ashley who lives in Wales. Many of her books are set in Lancashire or Yorkshire. Currently re-reading one set in Haworth.

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The One Hundred Foot Journey. Loved that movie, thanks for the reminder.

For local food travel I highly recommend Chef with Jon Faveau.

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I have a very obscure recommendation. It is a book called "No Picnic on Mount Kenya" by Felice Benuzzi. It is not a conventional travel book. Its author was an Italian diplomat and public servant who was captured by the British in Ethiopia during WWII, and became a POW in Kenya. It is the account of how he and two other bored POWs escaped from their prison camp to climb Mt Kenya which they could see from their camp. After their attempt, they then broke back IN to the camp. It is a fascinating and surprisingly uplifting story. This is the page on Wikipedia.

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Don't know if it qualifies as uplifting but we streamed "If it's Tuesday it must be Belgium" today ( I think netflix). So funny to see travel circa 1969 and compare to today.

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Take an armchair trip to London , in 1884 , and watch " Topsy - Turvy " , the creation of Gilbert and Sullivan's " The Mikado " . This film from 1999 , is the work of the brilliant British writer and director , Mike Leigh . With a stellar cast , and sumptuous cinematography , it will keep you enthralled for nearly three hours .

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Roman Holiday
The Quiet Man
Hard Days Night
Local Hero
Ryan’s Daughter
Gran Prix
Madame Rosa
Vicki Christina Barcelona
The Confession
Out of Africa
And Godard’s Breathless

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Dirty, Rotten Scoundrels—-filmed in Cannes.

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Midnight in Paris, of course.

Mostly Martha (German version)
Overboard (orignal)
Bull Durham
Shaun of Dead (no they don't have Covid 19)
Atlantic City

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Onefastbob, thanks for starting this thread!
Excellent suggestions from everyone.

Playing this week on Showtime; "Hampstead" with Dianne Keaton.
Filmed in Hampstead Village, Hampstead Heath and London.
Dianne Keaton makes friends with a formerly homeless man who lives in a shed on Hampstead Heath.
Good scenery, good story.

Showtime is giving free access for the next couple of weeks to those who do not subscribe.

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A Good Year: film about French wine with Russell Crowe.

A Year In Provence: An older British four part TV series about a couple who move to France.
Probably only found rarely now. The book is great too, as are all the books by Peter Mayle, RIP.

Any Bill Bryson book: side splittingly funny, most of them.

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Goodbye Mr. Chips — made me feel that I was really present at a British prep school. I remember going to see it at a movie theater in La Paz, Bolivia, almost 50 years ago. When I came out, I was unbalanced and confused about where I was, England, Bolivia, or where?

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On a local rerun station, they showed the entire Saint series with Roger Moore as the Saint. The Saint was a rogue who committed crimes to help people. Pretty ridiculous, but lots of fun. Roger Moore is, of course, almost as cool as David MacCallum or Sean Connery. The best part is that the series is set in Europe, mostly rural England, but also in France, and sometimes Netherlands or Belgium. Great fun.

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A book I really enjoyed was "Vroom with a view" by Peter Moore.

It's an account of a midlife crisis where a man approaching his 40th birthday buys a Vespa built in the year of his birth and rides it from Milan to Rome. Not great literature, but quite fun.

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  • Any Bond movie for the scenery (the actual scenery, not the female scenery). I've always loved watching as he raced around hairpin curves (the road curves, not the female curves).
  • Notting Hill, watching it after our trip to London I was amazed how clear the roads were so Hugh Grant could race to the hotel to find the girl.
  • The Favourite, filmed at Hampton Court Palace.
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A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway. I read it the first time before my first trip to Paris. I've read it numerous times since.

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To Catch a Thief. Mad that area (Monaco and the South of France) look amazing.
Worth watching just to see how that area used to be.

And of course If it’s Tuesday this must be Belgium is just one of those fun 1960s movies with a bunch of sub plots some funnier then others.

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Loved “The Way.” We planned an entire trip in 2017 around seeing places in that movie and “Spanish Affair,” since they are in the same general area of Spain. Followed that up with walking a portion of the Camino last year from Sarria to Santiago.

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In Bruges is a comedy set and filmed in Bruges. Very funny.

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(In Bruges is fantastic)

Italy. I have Italy on my mind. It's so happens that I have been immersing myself in Italian viewing and books, and only just realized the power of this.
I will say, these aren't exactly uplifting, especially the first two. Unless you are like me and find deep satisfaction in being made to ache with feeling, whatever it is

First, The Best of Youth A 6+-hour long movie. It is so absorbing, that years after viewing it, I think about it often. My sister recommended it as her favorite movie of all time. I think I will go back and watch it, but before I do I have to finish ...

Elena Ferrante Neopolitan Books (and now series on HBO) - we got an HBO subscription just for the stay-at-home period and I finally watched My Brilliant Friend (season 1 = Book 1), despite attempting the book several times because it is right up my alley. I never got into the book, but oh the series! I devoured it. Only to find that season 2 (Book 2) had just started and was streaming weekly. Because Im so hungry for more, I started reading Book 2, and am loving it, and then watch each episode on Mondays when they come out. What reminded me of The Best of Youth is that in season 2 of My Brilliant Friend, the politics of the 50's into 60's emerge as transformative in the lives of the characters as they had in B.O.Y., and I am driven to learn more about the era and thus feel more immersed in the country. And then feel even more compassion for what is happening now

Beautiful Ruins (book - by Jess Walter), which also covers Italy in the 60's, with much more. This might be more uplifting, or just a fun read

The Agony and the Ecstasy - not uplifting but a time-machine

The Name of the Rose