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8 movies set in Tuscany you need to watch

Posted by GLflorence on April 14, 2020

Tuscany has always been the perfect setting for movies of every genre. Its wide variety of landscapes browse from nature to art, from mountain to sea and can be the ideal location for any scene. Here’s a virtual trip to Tuscany through some of the most famous movies set in our beautiful land.

1. La Vita è Bella (1997)

This is one of the most famous Benigni films. The Tuscan actor, comedian and director can't forget his land, and sets the first part of this masterpiece between Arezzo, Castiglion Fiorentino, Cortona and Montevarchi. Life is Beautiful won a crazy amount of awards, such as the Grand Prix at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival, nine David di Donatello Awards (including Best Film), five Nastro d'Argento Awards in Italy, two European Film Awards, and three Academy Awards (including Best Foreign Language Film and Best Actor for Benigni).

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2. A Room with a View (1985)

If you like old movies, this one is for you: A Room with a View is a 1985’s film set in the beautiful Florence. Piazza della Signoria, Santa Croce and the Duomo are the main locations visible in the movie, which is based on the book of the same name by E. M. Forster. Fiesole hill is also part of the setting, revealing the beauty of the Tuscan countryside in a day trip made by the main characters. 

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3. Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)

Based on Frances Mayes' 1996 memoir of the same name, the film is about a recently divorced writer who buys an abandoned villa in Tuscany during her holidays in Italy. The movie is set in Cortona, Montepulciano, Rome and Positano.

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4. La Sindrome di Stendhal (1996)

The Stendhal sindrome is an illness first diagnosed in Florence by a namesake French author who described it as

a sort of ecstasy, from the idea of being in Florence, close to the great men whose tombs I had seen. Absorbed in the contemplation of sublime beauty ... I reached the point where one encounters celestial sensations ... Everything spoke so vividly to my soul. Ah, if I could only forget. I had palpitations of the heart, what in Berlin they call 'nerves'. Life was drained from me. I walked with the fear of falling. (Naples and Florence: A Journey from Milan to Reggio)

Dario Argento, the director of 1996’s movie, suffered from this affliction when he was a child, and decided to turn his feelings into a horror movie after reading Graziella Magherini's book about the syndrome, which would become the basis for the movie. The main character is interpreted by his daughter Asia, a famous Italian actress.

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5. Il Gladiatore (2000)

Anyone has watched The Gladiator at least once in lifetime. Directed by Ridley Scott, the movie stars Russell Crowe portraying the Roman general Maximus Decimus Meridius, who is betrayed when Commodus, the ambitious son of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, murders his father and seizes the throne. Reduced to slavery, Maximus becomes a gladiator and rises through the ranks of the arena to avenge the murders of his family and his emperor. The movie was set in different places including Rome, Morocco and… Tuscany! The house Maximus dreams about while he’s a slave, which is also found at the beginning of the film, when he caresses the ear of corn, is actually a villa in Val D’Orcia, close to the small town of Pienza.

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6. Un Tè con Mussolini (1999)

Let's now travel to Florence, back in 1934. The movie deals with a group of English women and their lives during Fascism, with scenes set in San Gimignano too. A Tea with Mussolini shows Tuscany during a crucial historic period for Italy and the world, representing the beauty and the artistic treasures of the city through the eyes of foreigners.

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7. A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999)

Based on the famous play by William Shakespeare, the movie was directed by Michael Hoffman. This masterpiece was all filmed in Italy, especially in Lazio, Tuscany and at Cinecittà Studios, Rome. Some scenes were indeed filmed close to Viterbo, while some others show Montepulciano and its surroundings. After reading Shakespeare’s play, this movie cannot be missed!

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8. Inferno (2016)

This is the third and final movie that represents Dan Bown’s book sequel. Directed by Ron Howard, Inferno was long criticised but had a great success all over the world. It stars Tom Hanks reprising Robert Langdon, alongside Felicity Jones, Omar Sy, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Ben Foster, and Irrfan Khan. If you like mistery and action, this movie is for you!

Would you like to follow Dan Brown's footsteps? Join our Tour and find out all the secrets of Palazzo Vecchio!

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