From Italy with love

Film locations in Bella Italia

Italy is synonymous with love and romance and of course let’s not forget films. This Valentine’s day may not be for everyone but one cannot deny that there have been some spectacular films made in Italy over the years which showcase the beauty, diversity and our love of Italy.

Let’s start with the obvious, who hasn’t seen The Italian Job? Well, for those few who haven’t enjoyed Michael Caine’s 1969 classic, it contains one of the most famous one liners ever spoken and also spectacularly celebrates Turin city centre and the breathtaking mountain roads out of the city, it has to be seen to be believed.

Moving swiftly East to the stunning city of Verona, even though the 1968 version of Romeo and Juliet was filmed around Rome, not in Verona, it still manages to celebrate the stunning Tuscan scenery and the fight scenes were filmed in the beautiful Umbrian town of Gubbio. The more recently criticized 2013 film was shot true to the story, in Mantua, Verona with some scenes in Rome, despite receiving much criticism, the winning elements of this film have to be the locations.

Travelling diagonally south to The Royal Palace of Caserta, this 18th century UNESCO world heritage site has seen the presence of many a film maker. The Palace became Queen Amidala’s royal palace in Star Wars Eposide I, Queen Jamilla’s palace for Star Wars Episode II, Mission Impossible III and also Angels and Demons were also filmed there, featuring courtyards and staircases which showcase the spectacular Baroque architecture.

For those Twilight fans, Twilight Saga: New Moon, scenes were filmed in the Tuscan hill town of Montepulciano as an actual stand in for the town of Volterra, the city where the Volturi live. If you are a fan, I’m sure that will make sense to you. The city is renowned for its wine and also boasts a very walkable car free city centre, perfect for a stroll and an opportunity to take in the sights.
Other film classics which show the beauty or chaos of Italy include: Roman Holiday, Romance on the Orient Express, A Room With a View and some of the James Bond films including From Russia with Love, The spy who loved me, Moonraker, For your eyes only, Quantum of solace, The living daylights and Casino Royale.  There are many small film makers who have profited from budget films which are big on location.  One such example is the soon to be produced film Rodolfo which tells the story of Rodolfo Valentine, his life and friendships in Puglia.  A budget film with a big heart, matching the stunning Puglian surroundings and who knows maybe this could be the next blockbuster.

Whatever your preference in terms of film, there will be a fantastic Italian location to match. Italy offers you the adventures and romance that Hollywood has brought to our front rooms. When thinking about where to retire, why not recall the scenes from your favourite films and who knows, perhaps Italy will be able to offer something to match your taste.