Italy: Love it or leave it Review

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Italy: Love it or leave it Review

Italy: Love it or leave it

Beauty in Italy

“Everything in Italy is beautiful…on the surface.” The film presents to us at the start.

It’s true. This country exudes beauty: from the Roman frescos preserved in Herculaneum to the natural beauty of the countryside of Tuscany. People on the streets are impeccably dressed as well. There’s no avoiding it. Foreigners fall in love with Italy’s beauty, and Italians recognize it.

But what lies below the surface? What is it like to be an Italian living in Italy? And why are so many young Italians leaving their county?

These are some of the questions Luca and Gustav set out to explore in Italy: Love it or Leave. But they didn’t just stay in Rome to get the answers. They traveled around the whole of the country—in a Fiat 500!

Italy Love it or leave it

Luca and Gustav on the road in Italy in their Fiat 500.

Putting around to every corner of Italy, they hope to both uncover the dark side of Italy as well as reveal the country’s splendor? But they are of opposite opinions. Should they move abroad or stay in Italy?

Gustav is pessimistic about the current state of Italian society. He’s trying to convince Lucca to move to Berlin—a place which is growing, nurtures creativity, and welcomes diversity.

Italy Love it or leave it

One by one, Lucca and Gustav expose us to the rampant corruption and mismanagement, the lack of economic opportunity, the widespread homophobia, the exploitation of immigrants, and the general stagnation of creativity in Italy.

However, life in Italy is not all doom and gloom. This Lucca tries to show us. And Gustav knows it. He loves many aspects of life in Italy. He loves the importance of family. He loves the emphasis placed on mealtimes and the quality of food. He loves the coffee.

So, finally in the end, they decide to go or stay.

We all live in this Italy

One of the reasons I love this film so much is not only because it’s well put together, but because it touches a universal theme to which we all can relate.

Our own countries are not perfect. If we’re not completely satisfied with our homeland, is it OK to emigrate? Or is it our duty to stay and enact positive change?

Have you left your home country? Have you at least considered moving? Would you feel like a traitor if you abandoned your home for a place you felt had more opportunity?

Watch the trailer:

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Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno has been traveling the world and writing about it for the better part of 20 years. His articles and essays have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, and Transitions Abroad magazine. He blogs at Bohemian Traveler and edits the independent travel magazine He most recently set up a tour company offering authentic, small group tours at Unquote Travel. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


  1. This looks like a really interesting and thought-provoking movie… not to mention hilarious (?)… Can I say that? It’s not at all how you’ve described it, but the antics between these two look entertaining!
    I’ve always wondered about how people live in other countries (it’s why I love staying with local people when I travel if I can, be it with friends or couchsurfing). It’s almost never as glamourous or romantic as the quick tourist imagines life to be, but it is almost always a better, more enriched experience.
    As for leaving one’s country… I can only say that sometimes, it really is the only option. I have a couple of Irish friends who have moved to my hometown (Winnipeg) from Dublin because there was no work there for them. They are also looking at it as an adventure, traveling as much as possible and seeing this side of the world.

  2. creative nomad says:

    I am going to have to check out this movie! looks great! I always just saw Italy as a beautiful country with a great way of life, but as i traveled the country and dove in deeper, I realized its problems as well. For this reason I must watch this movie!

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