Inferno is definitely one of the most awaited movies of this season: thriller and mystery lovers can’t wait to watch the last chapter of the Dan Brown’s best-seller, directed by Ron Howard. But the movie will also catch the attention of art lovers and Italy’s fans. In fact, when you will see Tom Hanks floating through “Hell” from Florence to Venice, you will wish to be there in that very moment, to admire such beauty.
With its unparalleled natural and architectural locations, Italy inspires directors and actors from all over the world. So, ItalyXP made a list of the movies set in Italy – starting from Inferno – that will make you discover precious corners of the “Bel Paese”.
Be careful! After reading this you may want to buy immediately a flight ticket to Rome!
Even a journey to hell, if passing through Florence and Venice can become… heavenly! The famous Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon run in search of clues in the narrow streets of Florence, showing hidden corners and evocative atmosphere.
As Tom Hanks said “Florence is a movie character”: and the leading role in Inferno is played by art. You can admire the Vasari Corridor, the pass away connecting the Uffizi Gallery and Uffizi Palace, which is accessible only through a guided tour. In addition to the collections, the Vasari Corridor is characterized by the scenic view of the Arno River and the interior of the Church of Santa Felicità.
The “movie tour” continues climbing up the astonishing Giotto’s Campanile of the Dome’s Cathedral, and then in the majestic rooms of the Old Palace, right in the heart of Florence, the City Hall since Medieval Times. Our hero arrives also in the astonishing Boboli Gardens, one of the most famous in the world, in Pitti Palace.
2. Eat, Pray, Love
If you have not seen this movie yet, guess where is set the “eat” part? Not hard to find the answer! Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts) starts its journey through the delightful sense of taste in Rome and Naples, admiring how food is part of the “great beauty” of Italy. The famous actress walks through the Rome’s Jewish Ghetto, where the famous Jewish artichoke’s recipe was born, and she admires the majestic Navona Square, and like every tourist truly passionate of Rome, she throws a coin in the Trevi Fountain, wishing to come back once again.
Liz Gilbert perfectly knows that when in the centre of Rome, it’s mandatory to stop in a good gelateria, choosing among tons of flavors: fruits, cream, chocolate… And then, there is still time for shopping in the world-known Via Condotti!
After the dessert in Rome… having a pizza in Naples is what you need to do! And choosing Da Michele, one of the best pizzerias in the world could be an unforgettable experience!
3. The Tale of Tales
If you want to truly discover Italian culture and fairy-tale places in Italy you should really watch this movie, directed by Matteo Garrone. The locations chosen to narrate the three tales from the popular Italian tradition looks so perfect that it seems they have been built in a studio!
So, during the 2 hours movie, you can travel across Sicily, Apulia and Lazio, exploring imposing castles quite known in Italy like the Donna Fugata Castle in Sicily or the mysterious Castel del Monte in Apulia, built by Federico II.
But this movie gives also the chance to discover some hidden, beautiful jems that even most of Italians ignore: the picturesque Castle of Roccascalegna in Abruzzo, the Moresque Castle of Sammezzano and the wild Gole dell’Alcantara, where the king in one of the stories goes into the water to fight a sea monster!
4. The Passion of The Christ
It is hard to believe that the external location of this historic movie by Mel Gibson is not built in a studio in the famous “Cinecittà” in Rome. The movie was settled in fact in Matera, an ancient town of the southern region of Basilicata, dug in to the rock face which, up until the 50s, were still inhabited by people. It is composed by cave-dwelling districts, the sassi (which means “stones”), which makes the town the perfect framework for a story plot of the ancient times in Jerusalem.
In particular, the scene of the Last Supper was filmed at the rock church of San Nicola dei Greci, and the procession of the cross on the steep alleys of the abandoned older section, Sasso Caveoso.
For the fan of the famous vampires’ saga is not a secret that Italy, particularly Tuscany, hosted the set of some of the most known scenes of the movies.
The main characters often mention the city of Volterra, which in the book by Stephanie Mayeris the place where the Volturi, an ancient family of vampires, reside. But, actually, we are going to spoil a curiosity for you: the film is actually set in the beautiful Medieval hill-top town of Montepulciano, about 55 miles to the southeast of Volterra, famous for its red wine, rosso di Montepulciano.
But the clock-tower of ten shoot in the movie scenes is the one of Piazza Grande in Volterra.
(+1). Hannibal, the TV series
The third season of the popular NBC’s TV series Hannibal was partially shot in Italy, between Florence and Palero. The episodes set in Italy pay homage to Florence showing the light and shade, with soft lighting that linger on the Ponte Vecchio, with Mads Mikkelsen (the actor who plays the main character, Dr. Lecter) walking through the architectural wonders of the Tuscan city, between Renaissance palaces and historical monuments.
In this season, Dr. Lecter (alias “Hannibal the Cannibal”) and the other character will also visit the wonderful Cathedral of Palermo, showing to an international audience some of the most wonderful historical treasures that Italy has to offer.