With its glorious cinema tradition and lineage of celebrated filmmakers, Italy has been represented on the big screen over and over. Of course, this is the land of La dolce vita’s and La grande bellezza’s Rome, of Nuovo Cinema Paradiso’s Sicily and of The passion’s Matera.  But when it comes to cinema and film locations, there’s so much more to discover, in terms of off-the-beaten-track destinations and less known beauty.

In Italy the slowest trains are called ‘fast’ and the evening news comes out in the morning.

Grand tour with the talented Mr. Ripley

From Florian Café in Venice to the Grand Hotel in Rome, down to Martorana church on Palermo’s Piazza Bellini, Talented Mr Ripley is a real Grand Tour of Italy. This iconic thriller from 1999 starring  Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett and Matt Damon offers in fact also rich display of the diversity of Italy’s landscapes and architectures.

Many seaside scenes were set in the fictional town of Mangibello but were actually shot between Ischia and Procida. These two Phlegraean islands off the coast of Naples are both worth a holiday. But whilst Ischia is already famous, little Procida is the real hidden gem. Recently nominated Italian Capital of Culture 2022, it graces visitors with colourful fishermen’s houses and pristine waters, while capturing the heart with a humble, poetical charm and an authentic atmosphere.

Having bread and tulips in Venice

If you haven’t seen this low-key romantic comedy starring the late Swiss actor Bruno Ganz, do yourself a favour and watch it right now. The story of neglected housewife Rosalba, who is forgotten by her family in a gas station and ends up in Venice, where she becomes a florist and meets all sorts of bizarre people, will make you want to retrace her steps.

And they are many steps indeed, with Rosalba moving from the Giudecca and Santa Marta areas to more specific addresses like  Campo San Francesco della Vigna, Ponte della Corte Nova, Campiello dei Miracoli and  Calle Lunga San Barnaba. The atmosphere on this film from 2000 is so genuine and authentic, so nostalgic and far from the tourist route, that trying to enjoy Venice “the tulips way” is a great way to stay off the beaten track.

Discover a selection of Venice experiences here.

Salina Island between Caro Diario and Il Postino

If you’re looking for wild beauty and poetic landascape, look no further that Salina, one of the most beloved island of the Aeaolian archipelago.
Compared to glamourous neighbor Panarea, Salina has a low-key, understated charm and is a favorite among stylish travelers with a penchant for nature and privacy.

Salina also served as location of the elegiac latest work of actor director Massimo Troisi, The postman, actually directed by Michael Radford and based on the 1985 novel Burning Patience by Antonio Skármeta, it tells the fictional story of the friendship between a local postman and Chilean exiled poet Pablo Neruda. Fun fact: despite being partly filmed in Salina, the movie was actually set in Procida.

Salina is also featured in an episode of the iconic Dear Diary, by Nanni Moretti, a film that we strongly recommend you to watch for its timeless caustic irony and also for the majestic depiction of a mid-august ghostly Rome. (oh, and if you’re interested in visiting Rome en solitaire, check this)

Royal Palace of Caserta and Star Wars

One wouldn’t necessarily associate this eighteenth century’s palace south of Neaples to a sci-fi classic, and yet the Palace of Caserta, aka “The Italian Versailles”, has been used as location for two episodes of the saga, Attack of the Clones and The Phantom Menace, where it served as Queen Amidala’s royal palace on Naboo. This same stunning palace, a Unesco World Heritage Site, has also been a location for thriller  Angels and Demons and for the action classic Mission Impossible.

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