The Trip to Italy Review - A Five Star Michelin Rated Experience

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"The Trip to Italy," from IFC Films, BBC Films and Revolution Films, brings to the screen the perfect summer vacation adventure for those of us who can't indulge in an all expenses five star paid vacation through Italy.

 

Directed and written by Michael Winterbottom, "The Trip to Italy" stars Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon reprising their roles as best buddies, a little older and less wiser, from the original film "The Trip."

The premise behind "The Trip to Italy" is the same only this time Steve Coogan is asked by The Observer to take a tour of six of Italy's finest restaurants again for review. With all expenses paid the two are given a Mini Ferrari convertible for a week as they make their way throughout the picturesque Italian countryside.

In a homage to the Bob Hope/Bing Crosby "On the Road" films, the two head off to Italy, with the same assignment adding luxurious villas and hotels to the itinerary.

We meet them as the third companion riding shotgun in the backseat listening and laughing as they drive, and talk about life, love, and work unaware of our presence.  They discuss romantic poets, Lord Byron and Shelley, whose lives, loves and work, were defined by their time in Italy.

They talk of women adding euphemisms, for the experiences and as both are in the "business" the trip is filled with the sincerest form of flattery as they impersonate everyone from Marlon Brando to Robert DeNiro to all the Bonds, James Bonds, Batman which becomes the theme as the stops along the way are filled with film history enough so that any person remotely interested would want to participate and experience the beauty.

Becoming the invisible, secondary, traveling companion, we see the adventure, the hotels and the restaurants, the oddities. We discover the beauty, the enchantment of Italian cities from Liguria, Toscana, Roma, the Amalfi coast and ending in Capri with a side excursion to Pompeii. 

We get a chance to step into the kitchen of the famous chefs at Piemonte: Trattoria Della Posta, Monforte D'alba, Liguria: Ristorante La Cantina, San Fruttuoso, Toscana: Trattoria Albana, Mazzolla, Roma: Ristorante Oliver Glowig, Roma, Campania: Relais Blu, Massa Lubrense and see the delicious creations. The mouth watering hand-rolled pasta, the seafood, desserts!

As indirect travelers we stayed along with our companions at luxurious villas in Liguria: Hotel Cenobio Dei Dogi, Camogli, Liguria: Ristorante & Albergo Da Giovanni, San Fruttuoso, Toscana: Relais La Suvera, Pievescola, Roma: Hotel Locarno, Campania: Villa Cimbrone, Ravello

I didn't want to leave my seat.  It was a beautiful soothing, relaxing, vicarious vacation, with two very funny traveling companions, joined mid-way by new friends, exploring the Italian countryside, historic cities, the Amalfi coast, Capri, six gorgeous hotels and six delicious restaurants! Viva I'Italia!

"The Trip to Italy" is what movies should be! You'll be transported, enchanted with the funny and somewhat flawed characters, and the desire to join in! I wanted to eat, laugh, drink, and be a part of the memories.

"The Trip to Italy," at 107 minutes running time is the perfect surrogate vacation for those who can't escape for a week tour of Italy!

A must see! Pure enjoyment! Bellissimo!

"The Trip to Italy" opens in New York and Los Angeles, August 15, 2014. 

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