A journey through Tuscany as told in films
It was 1985 when James Ivory chose Florence as the unforgettable setting for his film A Room with a View, adapted from the book by Edward Morgan Foster and starring a very young Helena Bonham Carter and Julian Sands. The film received global acclaim and set Tuscany on the map as the ideal film location.
A host of directors have chosen this area to shoot their films and each one artfully represented the centuries-old beauty of the Tuscan land and the fascinating architectural masterpieces of its breathtaking towns.
Florence naturally leads the league. It has served as a setting for a huge number of films, first of all Mario Monicelli’s Amici Miei, an adventurous tale of four inseparable Florentine friends who had known each other since childhood. Filmed in various parts of the old town, it made its fame with scenes that subsequently became iconic in Italian cinema and are known in Italian as “zingarate”, “Gipsy tricks”, such as the episode in the Santa Maria Novella train station where the four friends run along a departing train slapping the faces of unsuspecting passengers who are leaning out of the windows.
On the Duomo square, the inside of the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral served as a setting for one of the most striking scenes in The Portrait of a Ladyby Jane Champion, in which John Malcovich seduces Nicole Kidman.
World-famous actor and director Roberto Benigni, born in Tuscany, was awarded three Oscars for his La vita è bella (1997), set in the main squares and streets of the romantic town of Arezzo, such as the piazza Grande and piazza Duomo. Pienza was chosen as a set for one of the top award-winning films in history, The English Patient by Anthony Minghella, both a historical depiction of WWII and a moving love story between a soldier played by Ralph Fiennes and his nurse portrayed by Juliette Binoche.
The film went on to win 9 Oscars and 2 Golden Globes. The charm of the hills around Siena attracted Bernardo Bertolucci to film Io ballo da sola, shot in the Castello di Brolio in Giaiole in Chianti and the Villa di Geggiano. In her coming-of-age journey, a 19-year old US girl finds amongst the shadows of Siena not only her first love but also long-lost family members.
Finally, even productions for the younger generations such as Twilight, the famous saga by Stephenie Meyer, have found an ideal setting in the Tuscan towns of Montepulciano and Volterra, were New Moon was filmed.