The weekend is here! Grab your popcorn. I’m a huge movie fan, and so do I like to travel. I’ve always wanted to do a post on movies filmed in beautiful Italian cities. Often times I binge watch when I feel stressed out and the need to detox my brain. Asides from travelling, watching a good movie – particularly a good horror movie – keeps me charged. Below are some international movies with scenes shot in Italy. Have you seen any of them?
Table of Content
The Godfather (1972) – Sicily
The Godfather is often cited as one of the best films of all time – especially in American Cinema. This movie transformed the gangster genre. Though there have been many reports that filming was not all smooth sailing, they did manage to film on location in Sicily for the relevant parts. Though the town of Corleone was too built up for the film’s historical needs, they used Savoca and Forza d’Agro instead.
The Spy who loved me (1977) – Sardinia
With the villain’s base (Stromberg) in Sardinia, what better excuse does James Bond need to visit the glorious beaches and azure stretches of sea. With his leading lady (Barbara Bach) in tow, Bond sets off for some stunning car chases and even stays in the Cala di Volpe Hotel.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) – Venice
In the film ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’ (1989), the church (only the exterior) was used as the setting for an imaginary library. The Campo San Barnaba, in front of the church, was then used to shoot the scene in which the protagonist of the film, after having passed through the (non-existent) underground passages in search of the tomb of one of the keepers of the Holy Grail knights, emerges out of a manhole in the middle of the square, to the embarrassment of the elegant clients of the bar seated at the tables.
In fact, the church of St. Barnabas, of medieval origin but rebuilt in the second half of the 18th century by the architect Lorenzo Boschetti, is still a church to all intents and purposes, although it is currently hosting an exhibition on the machines invented by Leonardo da Vinci.
The Godfather Part III (1990) – Rome
The Godfather Part III is an American crime film produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola from the screenplay co-written with Mario Puzo. It is the third and final installment in The Godfather trilogy. A sequel to The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather Part II (1974), it completes the story of Michael Corleone, the patriarch of the Corleone family, who attempts to legitimize his criminal empire.
The Italian Job (2003) – Venice
A little part of The Italian Job with Charlize Theron, Mark Wahlberg and Edward Norton, shows Venice. Most of the film was shot on location in Venice and Los Angeles, where canals and streets, were temporarily shut down during principal photography.
Ocean’s Twelve (2004) – Sicily
Ocean’s Twelve is an American heist film directed by Steven Soderbergh. The sequel to 2001’s Ocean’s Eleven, the film stars an ensemble cast consisting of George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Andy García, Julia Roberts, Don Cheadle, and Bernie Mac.
In this video, you can admire the great beauty of Scopello, one of the most important places in Sicily, with its stacks (Faraglioni) and its wonderful sea, all framed in some minutes of Ocean’s twelve film.
Passion of Christ (2004) – Basilicata
The Passion of the Christ by Mel Gibson and with Monica Bellucci in the role of Mary Magdalene has been entirely produced in Italy in the city of Matera (Basilicata), which is also known as “the City of Stones”. Thanks to its unique scenario, Matera has been declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Another recent biblical movie was set in the same place: Mary Magdalene (2018), starring the talented couple composed by Joachim Phoenix and Rooney Mara. This colossal also shows Gravina in Apulia and the cities of Naples and Trapani.
Casino Royale (2006) – Venice
The festival city has been portraited in all its glory in Casino Royale, although Daniel Craig and Eva Green have their final kiss on the shores of Lake Como.
The Omen (2006) – Matera
The Omen (also known as The Omen: 666) is an American supernatural horror film directed by John Moore and written by David Seltzer. Filming took place between Prague and Matera, where the director found the perfect setting to give life to an Israeli citizen.
From a religious theme to a horror film. Omen – The omen, directed in 2006 by John Moore, is the remake of the 1976 film of the same name and brings the reincarnation of the Antichrist to the big screen.
Mission: Impossible III (2006) – Rome
Mission: Impossible III is an American action spy film starring Tom Cruise in the role of IMF agent – Ethan Hunt. It is the third installment in the Mission: Impossible film series, following 2000’s Mission: Impossible 2. In the film, Ethan (Cruise) has retired from fieldwork for the Impossible Missions Force (IMF) and trains new recruits. However, he is sent back into action to track down the elusive arms dealer Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman).
Angels and Demon (2009) – Rome
Angels and Demons is the world-renowned cinematographic adaptation of the first book in the Dan Brown trilogy, which is basically a film where Rome is the co-star. It’s a blend of thriller and mystery, set between the historic Vatican city – Rome and the Royal Palace of Caserta.
Eat, Pray, Love (2010) – Rome & Naples
Eat, Pray, Love with Javier Bardem and Julia Roberts. This comedy mostly shows Rome, but also some streets of Naples.
1. Castel Sant’Angelo, Lungotevere Castello, 50, 00193
After leaving her life behind in New York, Elizabeth Gilbert’s journey in Rome begins at the top of Castel Sant’Angelo. She tells an old Italian joke (via narration) whilst looking out over the city of Rome as the sun starts to set.
2. Via dei Portoghesi, 18, 00186
Next, Gilbert heads to the apartment she is renting in Rome for the duration of her stay. An old Italian woman speaking broken English shows her around whilst pointing out things that are broken.
The exterior of that rundown apartment is 18 Via dei Portoghesi. It’s situated incredibly near the Piazza Navona. It is not far away from the main tourist sites in Rome, if you’d like to make a little pilgrimage to this apartment.
The Tourist 2010 – Venice
This unique city was chosen for Hollywood movie, The Tourist with Johnny Depp and the beautiful Angelina Jolie playing in a sentimental spy story between Paris and Venice. They used Palazzo Pisani Moretta as Hotel Danieli. The Palazzo Pisani-Moretta was originally built in the 15th century but has been altered many times since then. It lies on the junction of the Grand Canal with the Rio San Polo which is opposite the S.
Letters to Juliet (2010) – Verona
Letters To Juliet with Amanda Seyfried, used the romantic and lovely Verona in the northeastern Veneto region as its background. As the title suggests, this movie is a soft and sweet love story taking place in the city famous for William Shakespeare’s best-known play – Romeo and Juliet.
Spectre (2015) – Rome
James Bond’s humorous scene of the car chase between the Aston Martin DB10 and the Jaguar C-X75 through the capital city winding streets. Another filming took place at the Museo della Civilta Romana – shooting what looked like a funeral scene.
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) – Aosta Valley
Avengers: Age of Ultron is an American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team -the Avengers. The Bard Castle/Fortress located in the Aosta Valley (Valle d’Aosta) Italy is the location of the Hydra Fortress in the fictional Eastern European nation of Sokovia for Marvel’s blockbuster movie: Avengers The Age Of Ultron.
This is a 19th-century castle, situated in the historic route that controls the pass between Italy and France in the Aosta Valley (northwest of Italy). For the Avengers attack, the castle was lined with fake snow and many extras were recruited from the local population.
A Bigger Splash (2015) – Sicily
A Bigger Splash is a movie by the Italian Oscar director Luca Guadagnino, starring his friends Tilda Swinton, Dakota Johnson, and Ralph Fiennes. This thriller, inspired by The Swimming Pool with Alain Delon and Romy Schneider is set in Sicily, more specifically in the undiscovered island of Pantelleria.
Let’s Get Married (2015) – Matera
Let’s Get Married is a Chinese romantic comedy directed by Liu Jiang. The film is part of a project that paved the way for “a wider cooperation program between China and Basilicata”. The production employed six young Lucan interns and a Chinese crew of 60 people.
Inferno (2016) – Venice
The last movie in the Dan Brown trilogy and sequel of Angels and Demons with Tom Hanks and Felicity Jones has been mainly produced in Venice and Florence, but it also shows some scenes in another beautiful European country: Hungary.
Call Me by Your Name (2017) – Lombardy
Call Me By Your Name with Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet, is mainly set in the city of Crema, but also in Sirmione on Lake Garda and in Bergamo. Thanks to this movie, the small town of Crema is now able to welcome a great number of tourists from all over the world who are curious to see where the movie was set.
Wonder Woman (2017) – Matera
The streets and terraces, where the young Diana runs from her school tutor, more eager to learn combat skills, are the ancient town of Matera, in the remote southern region of Basilicata, down in the ‘heel’ of Italy’s ‘boot’. In 1993 the town was granted UNESCO World Heritage status.
Matera is an ancient city of cave-houses (known as Sassi) which were dug from the soft volcanic tufa rock. What looks like normal houses are windowless grottoes with earth floors. Although façades and roofs were added, the interiors remained virtually unchanged until, in 1952, unhealthy conditions prompted the Italian government to declare the Sassi uninhabitable.
The 15:17 to Paris (2018) – Rome
The 15:17 to Paris is an American biographical drama film produced and directed by Clint Eastwood and written by Dorothy Blyskal, based on the autobiography The 15:17 to Paris. The True Story of a Terrorist, a Train, and Three American Heroes by Jeffrey E. Stern, Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler, and Alek Skarlatos.
Part of the vacation scenes were shot in Rome.
Looking for more inspiration on movies filmed in beautiful Italian Cities? See here