Four big-screen destinations that you can visit on a P&O Cruises holiday
As the nights draw in and the weather grows cold, we all like to snuggle up to watch a good movie. Seek inspiration for future travels while you watch with four of our favourite P&O Cruises film stars
1. Amsterdam, Netherlands – Diamonds Are Forever
In Sean Connery’s 1971 outing as James Bond, he is tasked with destroying the diamond smuggling operation of arch nemesis Blofeld, who needs them to build his space-based laser weapon, of course. Inevitably, the trail of dastardly deeds takes 007 to the European capital of gems, Amsterdam. As Bond nips down the canalsides and across scenic bridges in his natty yellow Triumph Stag, a body is dragged from the waters of the River Amstel by the Skinny Bridge – with tourists watching in horror from a passing boat. Assuming the identity of smuggler Peter Franks, Bond makes contact with Tiffany Case, who resides in a splendidly stylish example of Dutch townhouse architecture at Reguliersgracht, 36. The canals, bridge and house are easily identifiable today – and if you want to delve deeper into the history of Amsterdam’s diamond trade, a visit to the Diamant Museum is a must.
2. Barcelona, Spain – Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Woody Allen’s 2008 romantic comedy-drama stars A-listers Penelope Cruz, Scarlett Johansson, Rebecca Hall and Javier Bartem as a ménage whose friendships and love lives become entwined one summer of cultural exploration in Barcelona. However, the star of the show is the city itself in Allen’s Barcelonian homage. From the minute friends Vicky (Hall) and Cristina (Johansson) arrive in the Catalan capital, the city’s artistic and architectural wonders form the backdrop to the action. As the pair immerse themselves in the city, they feast on iconic Gaudí projects including The Church of La Sagrada Familia, Casa Milà and Passeig de Gràcia and Park Güell. Their cultural odyssey also takes in the city’s abundant museums and galleries, among them The Miró Museum, National Art Museum of Catalonia and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Scenes set in Las Ramblas, Parc Montjuic and a host of cool cafés, bars and markets add to the city’s exciting vibe.
3. Bay of Naples, Italy – The Talented Mr. Ripley
The Bay of Naples in Italy was chosen for much of the filming of 1999 cult thriller The Talented Mr Ripley. Starring Matt Damon as the jealous and calculating Tom Ripley, Jude Law as the wealthy playboy Dickie Greenleaf and Gwyneth Paltrow as Dickie’s girlfriend Marge Sherwood, the film is set in the 1950s, and the colourful scenes of cobbled streets, umbrella-dotted beaches and sparkling waters make for some serious wanderlust. From the minute Tom Ripley arrives at the port of the fictional Italian town of Mongibello (which was inspired by the beautiful Amalfi Coast but is really Ischia, a small island off the coast of Naples), we’re captivated by the romantic scenes of market vendors and the imposing ancient castle in the background. Die-hard fans can follow the trail inland to Naples and to the magnificent Teatro di San Carlo opera house, which in the film is presented as Rome’s opera house.
4. Bruges, Belgium – In Bruges
Spend even a small amount of time in Bruges in Belgium and it’s a given you’ll spot at least one of the filming locations featured in In Bruges. The film follows Irish hitmen Ken (Brendon Gleeson) and Ray (Colin Farrell), who are told to lie low in the city after completing a job, but in fact end up going on a two-week sight-seeing mission – much to an uninterested and nervous Ray’s despair. The mismatched pair take in the glorious views from atop the belfry in Bruge’s UNESCO-listed centre, get a taste for Belgian beer at ‘t Zwart Huis and become captivated by Old Masters paintings at Groeninge Museum – just three activities you can also enjoy in this medieval gem of a city.