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Elham AbolFateh

Tourism

The 10 most romantic cities from the world's favourite films، songs، books and paintings

Wednesday 14/February/2018 - 12:35 PM
Sada El Balad
Edited by: Yara Sameh

Cities can be inspiring places، especially when it comes to matters of the heart. From merely acting as the backdrop to being a key feature in a love story، here are 10 places that have given birth to some of the world’s most romantic pieces of art، from novels to films، songs to paintings، the independent reported.

New York
The Big Apple is the backdrop to countless books، films and songs. One of the most romantic yet tragic of these is An Affair to Remember. The 1957 romance saw Carrie Grant’s Nickie Ferrante meet Deborah Kerr’s Terry McKay aboard the SS Constitution، whereupon they agree to meet at the Empire State Building in six months’ time، only for (spoiler alert) McKay to be hit by a car on the way there.

All ends well، of course (this is a Hollywood romance) and the film’s Empire State Building has been an iconic meeting point for lovers ever since.

Rome
The 1953 film Roman Holiday told the story of crown princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn) visiting Rome on a state trip، where she meets an expat reporter (Gregory Peck) oblivious to her royal status.

Hi-jinks ensue، sparks fly and the Italian capital cemented its position thereafter as one of Europe’s most glamorous cities.

Hollywood sparkle aside، Rome is full of attractions for lovers in search of a romantic spot، from the Trevi Fountain to its picturesque Spanish Steps.

Amsterdam
The capital of the Netherlands is undoubtedly romantic، with its pretty bridges، canals and gabled houses. Perhaps this made it the natural backdrop for a couple of star-crossed teenagers to finally embark upon a relationship in John Green’s 2012 book The Fault in Our Stars، which was later adapted into a Hollywood film.

The tragic tale follows two American teens، Hazel and Augustus، who have been diagnosed with cancer. The pair fall in love despite their illness، going on their first proper date during a trip to Amsterdam to meet Hazel’s favourite author.

Dublin
Dublin، romantic? This is the city of The Commitments، by Roddy Doyle، Ulysses and Conversations with Friends، books you’d be hard put to associate closely with swooning couples.

However، it’s also the location of 2007’s Once، written and directed by John Carney. The film features The Frames’ Glen Hansard as a busker and Markéta Irglovà as a Czech immigrant flower seller، whose relationship dances between friendship and romance، with the bittersweet reality it will never happen hanging over them throughout.

Sharp، funny and incredibly sweet، the film’s main song won an Oscar، and the film itself features excellent views of Dublin city.

Tokyo
There are many reasons you could claim Lost in Translation is not a romantic film: the fading older actor doing a whisky commercial for the money; the lonely photographer’s wife lost in a foreign city، unable to speak the language.

But the Scarlett JohanssonBill Murray comedy-drama was a one-of-a-kind love (or love-lorn) story that delved into the manner in which detachment and feelings of loneliness in a crowded foreign city can stir longing.

Edinburgh
The beautiful Scottish capital is the place that bookends the story of Emma and Dexter’s romance in David Nicholls’ 2009 novel One Day.

The pair meet as students at Edinburgh University on the last day of term، and climb Arthur’s Seat together. The book then documents a day in their lives each year، charting the ebbs and flows of their friendship as they fall in and out of love with one another at different times.

The love story was so popular that it was adapted into a film starring Anne Hathaway in 2011.

Florence
Florence is littered with examples of its cultural excellence، from Galleria dell’Accademia to the beautiful Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore.

But in (relatively) modern times، the city is often remembered for being the setting for A Room With a View، EM Forster’s 1908 novel about young Lucy Honeychurch، which was adapted into a Merchant Ivory film in 1985.

Touring Italy with her cousin and chaperone، Charlotte Bartlett، Lucy falls for George Emerson. The book is as much about independence as it is romance، and features Florence’s Basilica of Santa Croce and Piazza della Signoria.

London
It’s busy، it’s rainy and it’s one of the most romantic cities on the planet if Shane McGowan of The Pogues is to be believed.

Several of the Irish band’s best songs focus on the English capital، including “Rainy Night in Soho”، “Misty Morning”، “Albert Bridge” and “London Girl”; evidence if ever it were needed that despite the queues، delays and prices، the English capital can go toe-to-toe with any city in the world when it comes to romance.

Istanbul
Like Lost in Translation، Turkish director Ferzan Özpetek’s Hamam explores the transformational power of place. When Italian Francesco heads to Istanbul to sell his late aunt Anita’s property، he hopes to be in and out of the Turkish city as quickly as possible، only to be seduced by a derelict Turkish bath which he decides to turn around.

After embarking on a relationship with Mehmet، the son of the family running the property، Francesco’s life is changed dramatically، as is that of his wife، Marta، who comes to Istanbul hoping for a divorce and quickly finds herself seduced – by the city.

Vienna
The Austrian capital’s contribution to the arts stands shoulder to shoulder with most cities around the world، no more so than when it comes to matters of the heart.

Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss was painted at a time when the painter thought his powers to be on the wane. Reinvigorating his career، it was purchased before it had even been finished.

Despite its simple theme of lovers kissing، it is considered a masterpiece due to its combination of artistic styles and is now housed in Vienna’s Österreichische Galerie Belvedere.

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