Over the years, Italy’s cities, mountains and countryside have formed the backdrop to some of the best films in cinematic history, from Cleopatra to Under the Tuscan Sun. Visiting some of the sights immortalized on the big screen is a great way to explore the country, whether or not you perform an Audrey Hepburn impression and get taken for a scooter ride around the Eternal City.
Movie fans are advised against recreating La Dolce Vita’s famous Trevi Fountain scene. Each year, dozens of tourists are caught attempting to bathe in the landmark fountain and the city has increased the amount of fines in an effort to deter Anita Ekberg wannabes. Instead, below are some beautiful spots in Italy that have played a part in some famous films. How many of the six films can you name, based upon the photograph and description?
San Quirico d’Orcia, Tuscany, is worth visiting for its beauty and the road through the hillside of Terrapille, Siena. The road pictured is shown at several important points in which film from 2000?
This film included many scenes that used the stunning backdrop of Matera in the southern region of Basilicata. Matera, the 2019 European Capital of Culture is known for the Sassi di Matera, southern Italy’s ancient cave dwellings carved into the rock face. But what is the name of the 2004 film?
The beautiful island of Ischia is the setting for scenes from this 1999 thriller. Nestled between Ischia Ponte and Ischia Porte on the island just off Naples, you will find Bagno Antonio, a secluded beach which was the setting for a key scene in the film.
Central Florence was the setting for scenes where Lucy Honeychurch, a young upper-class woman, travels to Italy under the watchful eye of her cousin Charlotte. Far from the restrained culture of Edwardian England, she explores the city’s key sights from the Church of Santa Croce to the Piazza della Signoria, just as many visitors do today. Can you name this 1987 film?
In Reggia di Caserta, not far from Naples, visitors will find the Versailles-inspired Royal Palace – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a stunning example of Baroque architecture. The palace was also transformed into the Queen’s royal palace in two films that are part of one of the all-time biggest franchises in cinematic history. What were the names of the two films?
For those who pay attention to restaurant locations in films, numerous ones in Rome and Naples are featured in this 2010 film, where the main character, Elizabeth, travels the world after a divorce and enjoys the food of Italy as much as we do.
San Quirico d’Orcia is featured in the film, The Gladiator, as Maximus journeys home from war and later, just before his death. The cypresses here are nicknamed ‘gladiators’ for their role in the film and the crew spent two weeks getting the perfect shots.
The Passion of the Christ prominently featured the Sassi di Matera. Fans of the film should make sure to check out San Nicola dei Greci, one of the churches carved into the rock where the Last Supper was filmed and follow the alleyways of the Sasso Caveoso to trace the route of the procession of the cross in the film.
In The Talented Mr. Ripley, the title character first meets Dickie (Jude Law) and Marge (Gwyneth Paltrow) on Ischia, but fans should travel to Procida, Ischia’s neighbor, to get the full Ripley experience. Wandering around its colorful streets you’ll recognize plenty of views and buildings from the film, including the Church of Our Lady of Grace.
Florence was beautifully filmed in A Room With a View. The hotel where Lucy and Charlotte stay in the film, the Pensione Bertolini, can be found on the banks of the Arno River. In reality, it’s called the Hotel Degli Orafi and boasts a magnificently decorated dining room as well as beautiful rooms – some, naturally, with excellent views.
The Royal Palace of Caserta was featured in Star Wars Episodes I and II: Attack of the Clones and The Phantom Menace. Star Wars fans will recognize the ornate rooms and staircases of the palace. Give yourself extra credit if you also recognize that the location also appeared in Angels and Demons as well as Mission Impossible.
In Eat Pray Love, Julia Roberts character Elizabeth’s stay in Rome can be found at 18 Via dei Portoghesi, in the west of the city close to the Tiber River. Fans of the movie can try out the San Crispino gelateria. Roberts eats hers by the Chiesa di Sant’Agnese in Agone in Piazza Navona. She also eats at Caffè della Pace in Via Della Pace, where her Italian teacher explains the Italian approach to food and life and the Osteria dell’Antiquario and Ristorante Santa Lucia, both of which are near Piazza Navona. In Naples, fans will have to wait on a long line to sample pizza at Da Michele. You will spot a photo of the actress near the entrance.