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Italy through its film sets

Italy through its film sets

Let’s take a different journey through Italy’s beautiful cities, villages and unspoiled nature and discover those places which have become part of our subconscious because they were locations for famous Italian and foreign films.
We begin in Abruzzo whose breath-taking landscapes were immortalized in "The American" with George Clooney and the historic "Lady Hawke", and move on to the quaint villages of Basilicata where "King David", "the Passion of Christ" by Mel Gibson and "Quantum of Solace", a chapter in the James Bond series were set. The latter film was also located in Siena – during the Palio – and Torbole and Tremosine on Lake GardaThe beautiful art cities of Milan and Turin in the north were much loved by film directors who located an adrenalin packed  "The Italian Job" by Peter Collinson, the bourgeois " Io sono l'amore " (I am love) by Luca Guadagnino" and "La migliore offerta " (the best offer) by Giuseppe Tornatore here.

The typical towns of the Liguria Riviera have been involved in several films, including "The Wolf of Wall Street" by Martin Scorsese, who shot some of the scenes in Portofino, Cinque Terre and Chiavari.

The castles and quaint villages in Emilia Romagna were the setting for several films: the pleasant series of Don Camillo and Peppone and "Novecento" by Bertolucci which was filmed in the provinces of Parma, Cremona and Reggio Emilia.

Florence, a city of art and a UNESCO World Heritage site, obviously couldn’t go unnoticed and has been immortalized by Italian and foreign directors in films such as "Un attimo, una vita" (Bobby Deerfield) by Sydney Pollack, "Portrait of a Lady" by Jane Campion and "Obsession "by Brian De Palma, whereas Luc Besson and Francis Ford Coppola loved Sicily for their locations.

Then we have films shot over several locations which give us glimpses of a variegated Italy: "Ieri, oggi, domani (Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow)" by Vittorio De Sica, which was divided into episodes set in the cities of Naples, Rome and Milan, "The Talented Mr. Ripley" by Anthony Minghella, which ranged between the locations of Rome, Sorrento, Procida, Ischia, the Casino of Anzio, Venice, Naples, Monte Argentario, Palermo and Livorno, " Fratello sole, sorella luna (Brother Sun, Sister Moon)" by Franco Zeffirelli, which was located in the National Park of Monti Sibillini, Castelnuovo dell’Abate (Siena), the hills of Assisi and the Cathedral of Monreale, near Palermo.  A special mention also to the cities of Rome, Venice and Naples which were the settings for Italian cult films such as "Matrimonio all’Italiana (Marriage Italian Style)", "Gomorra", Toto’s films and those by the De Filippo brothers.

Rome of course is one of the most loved towns by film directors and at least 130 films have been shot here, ranging from neo-realist to comedy films with Alberto Sordi and Carlo Verdone. Some unforgettable scenes of the capital include the Oscar-winning film "La grande bellezza (The Great Beauty)" by Sorrentino and the "Dolce Vita" by Federico Fellini, a director who has filmed other masterpieces here. No-one could forget cult movies featuring the ride on a “vespa” in "Roman Holiday", the chases between the churches and Castel Sant'Angelo in "Angels and Demons" or the stunning scenery of "To Rome with Love" by Woody Allen. Not to mention Cinecittà, also known as the factory of dreams. 

What about Venice? Its palaces, streets and history have made it the ideal setting for many films such as "Othello" by Orson Welles and the "Merchant of Venice" with Al Pacino, "Death in Venice", "Nikita" , "The Tourist," "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," and numerous episodes of 007.

“Italy”: This Italy which shows us so many facets; the Italy with natural parks and hills sloping towards the deep blue sea; the Italy of art cities and villages and the Italy which shares its age-old traditions and folklore… a great place for any film set.

Useful Information

Some films shot in Italy

  • The Talented Mr. Ripley
  • Rome, Open City
  • Cleopatra
  • Purple Noon
  • When in Rome
  • The Incredible Army of Brancaleone
  • Roman holiday
  • The Gospel According to Matthew
  • The Black Arrow (Tv serie)
  • The Crimson Pirate
  • San Babila-8 P.M.
  • Good Morning, Night
  • La dolce vita
  • Tototruffa '62
  • 42plus
  • Quantum of Solace
  • Welcome to the South
  • Allònsanfan
  • Rocco and His Brothers
  • The Godfather
  • The Adventure
  • Malena
  • It May Be Love But It Doesn't Show
  • Casino Royale - 007
  • Give me five - II Ep. "Il prete ballerino"
  • Incantato