Films shot in Tuscany - famous movies filmed in Florence and the towns of Tuscany, Italy

Films shot in Tuscany

Films shot in Tuscany

Films shot in Tuscany

Famous movies filmed in Florence and the towns of Tuscany, Italy

Tuscany had already begun to appear in films at the beginning of the 1900s. Among the better known movies featuring or filmed in Tuscany are:

Romola (Henry King, 1924), a silent movie based on the novel by George Elliot and set in Florence in the 1500s, starring Lillian and Dorothy Gish.

Love on a Pillow (Le repos du guerrier) (Roger Vadim, 1962), which starred Brigitte Bardot, contains a shot filmed in the Abbazia di San Galgano.

Obsession (Brian de Palma, 1976) includes scenes filmed in the Church of San Miniato al Monte above Florence.

Room with a View (James Ivory, 1985) based on the novel by E.M. Forster and filmed in Florence.

A room with a view

Portrait of a Lady (Jane Campion, 1996), based on the novel by Henry James and starring Nicole Kidman.

Amici Miei (Rossellini, 1975) starring Ugo Tognazzi and Philippe Noiret.

La Vita è Bella (Life is Beautiful) (Roberto Benigni, 1997) was set in Arezzo.

The Gladiator (Ridley Scott, 2000). The scene where Maximus rides back home from the war along a cypress lined path only to arrive too late to save his family was shot in the Siennese countryside while the dreams of paradise were shot in the Val d’Orcia.

Tuscany landscape

But it’s always better to edit out the Fiat tractor tracks if your film
is set in the days of ancient Rome.

Tractor tracks

Hannibal (Ridley Scott, 2001). Hannibal lectures in the Sala dei Cinquecento of the Palazzo Vecchio of Florence and commits his most gruesome crimes in Piazza della Signoria and Piazza della Reppublica.

San Gimignano, with its cluster of mediaeval towers, is one of the most photogenic towns in Italy, and has been the location for dozens of films, from which the following stand out:

Fratello Sole, Sorella Luna (Franco Zeffirelli, 1972) was filmed in San Gimignano.

The Meadow (Il Prato) (Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, 1979) brought further fame to San Gimignano.

Tea with Mussolini (Franco Zeffirelli, 1999) filmed in Florence and San Gimignano.

Where Angels Fear to Tread (Sturridge, 1992), based on another E.M. Forster novel, is set in the fictional city of Monteriano which is basically a make-believe San Gimignano.

The English Patient (Anthony Minghella, 1996), which won 9 Oscars, was filmed in Montepulciano, Versilia and the countryside around Pienza, particularly the monastery of Sant’Anna in Camprena.

Under the Tuscan Sun (Audrey Wells, 2003) was filmed around Montepulciano, Cortona and the Amalfi coast. It was based on the best-selling book of the same name by Frances Mayes, who restored a house namedCasa Bramasole and located in Cortona.

Several cinematographic adaptations of works by Shakespeare set in Tuscany. These include:

Romeo and Juliet (Castellani 1954), filmed in part in San Quirico d’Orcia.

Much Ado about Nothing ( Kenneth Branagh 1993), filmed at Villa Vignamaggio near Greve in Chianti.

Muchado about nothing

Romeo and Juliet ( Zeffirelli, 1968), a much more successful effort than that of Castellani in 1954, was filmed in Pienza and won two Oscars.

Midsummer Night’s Dream (Hoffman, 1998) starring Kevin Kline, Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Everett and Sophie Marceau was filmed in Montepulciano.

The Twilight Saga: The New Moon (Chris Weitz, 2010), part 2 of a vampire movie aimed at teenage girls, is partly set in Volterra but was filmed in Montepulciano.

The Chinese director Wang Xiaoshuai, winner at Cannes in September 2005 for Shanghai Dreams, has recently filmed a documentary called Tuscan Dreams, around PisaFlorenceChianti and the Maremma, exploring the land and its inhabitants, and their traditions and customs.

Pinocchio (Roberto Benigni, 2002) was filmed in part in Tuscany. The dubbed version received multiple Razzi awards. I thought the Italian version was not too bad. True, Benigni didn’t take any risks. I guess the earlier film with Gina Lollobrigida was pretty good if only because she was in it. Collodi, who wrote the story of Pinocchio, was born and died in Florence.

Gina Lollobrigida looking good as the Blue Fairy in Pinnocchio
Gina Lollobrigida looking good as the Blue Fairy in Pinnocchio

Films shot in Tuscany since 1910

Province of Massa and Carrara

Al lupo, al Lupo (Carlo Verdone)
Quantum of Solace (Marc Forster, 2008)

Province of Lucca

Sweet Sweet Marja (Angelo Frezza)
Der Kilometertresser (Karl Imelsky)
Una Vita Difficile (Dino Risi)

Province of Pistoia

Dove vai in Vacanza (Alberto Sordi)
Oci Ciornie (Nikita Mikhalkov)
Milano Palermo il Ritorno (Caludio Fragrasso)
Puccini (Giorgio Capitani)

Province of Prato

Sweet Sweet Marja (Angelo Frezza)
Berlinguer ti Voglio Bene (Giuseppe Bertolucci)
Cenci in Cina (Marco Limberti)
Le Affinità Elettive (Paolo e Vittorio Taviani)
Madonna che Silenzio c’è Stasera (Maurizio Ponzi)

Province of Florence (Firenze)

Romola (Henry King, 1924)
Good Morning Babilonia
 (Paolo e Vittorio Taviani)
Hannibal (Ridley Scott, 2001)
Der Kilometertresser (Karl Imelsky)
Mar nero (Federico Bondi)
Obsession (Brian de Palma, 1976) 
Dove vai in Vacanza
 (Alberto Sordi)
The Night of the Shooting Stars (La Notte di San Lorenzo)  (Paolo e Vittorio Taviani, 1982)
Room with a View (James Ivory, 1985)
Io e Marilyn (Leonardo Pieraccioni)
Piano solo (Riccardo Milani)
Le affinità elettive (Paolo e Vittorio Taviani)
L’arcidiavolo (Ettore Scola)
Il ciclone (Leonardo Pieraccioni)
Up at the Villa (Philip Haas, 2000)
My house in Umbria (Richard Loncraine, 2003) – filmed in part in Tuscany.

Province of Pisa

L’Amore Ritrovato (Carlo Mazzacurati)
L’Uomo Privato (Emidio Greco)
Amici miei atto II (Mario Monicelli)
Der Kilometertresser (Karl Imelsky)
Good Morning Babilonia (Paolo e Vittorio Taviani)
Padre Padrone (Paolo e Vittorio Taviani)

Province of Leghorn (Livorno)

Ben Hur (Fred Niblo)
Io e N (Paolo Virzì)
L’amore Ritrovato (Carlo Mazzacurati)
La prima Cosa Bella (Paolo Virzì)
Ovosodo (Paolo Virzì)
Io e Marilyn (Leonardo Pieraccioni)

Province of Arezzo

Under the Tuscan Sun (Audrey Wells, 2003)
Life is Beautiful (Roberto Benigni, 1997)
La Seconda Volta non si Scorda Mai (Francesco Ranieri Martinotti)
Il Ciclone (Leonardo Pieraccioni)
Certified Copy (Kiarostami, 2010)

Province of Sienna (Siena)

Al Lupo, al Lupo (Carlo Verdone)
Piazza delle Cinque Lune (Renzo Martinelli)
New Moon (Chris Weitz, 2010)
Quantum of Solace (Marc Forster, 2008)
Stealing Beauty (Io Ballo da Sola) (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1996)
Cari Fottutissimi Amici (Mario Monicelli)
Much Ado about Nothing (Kenneth Branagh 1993)
The English Patient (Anthony Minghella, 1996)
Nostalghia (Andrej Tarkovskij)
Eight and a Half (Federico Fellini, 1963)
Guendalina (Alberto Lattuada)
Puccini e la Fanciulla (Paolo Benvenuti)
Gunslinger’s Revenge (Il mio West) (Giovanni Veronesi, 1998)
Miracolo a Sant’Anna (Spike Lee)
Letters to Juliet (Gary Winick, 2010)

Province of Grosetto

L’Estate del mio Primo Bacio (Carlo Virzì)
L’Anatra all’Arancia (Luciano Salce)
L’Arcidiavolo (Ettore Scola)
Quantum of Solace (Marc Forster, 2008)