Tuscany has been chosen as the scenography for many films.
It’s not just romantic films and comedies that select the Tuscan panoramas as natural background, but also thriller, horror and action films can’t really drop the idea of shooting the film in the beautiful, hilly landscape of Tuscany.
The dramatic comedy Life is beautiful (1997) by Roberto Benigni awarded with 3 Oscars, the spy movie of 007 saga Quantum of solace (2008) by Marc Forster, the thriller The Stendhal Syndrome by the Italian director Dario Argento: what does these 3 films share?
The answer is: absolutely nothing; except for the set: Tuscany.
To me, some of films really grasp the meaning of my land better than others. For example, a flattering tribute to San Gimignano was the film by Franco Zeffirelli Tea with Mussolini (1999), that exhibit a great capacity in recreating a charming and unique atmosphere, that at the same time is similar to the Medieval town but adds something new.
Another film where, to me, the rolling hills panorama plays an active role is Stealing beauty (1996) by Bernardo Bertolucci.
In the last few years a film that really got Tuscany and its landscapes talked about is the romantic thriller New Moon (2009). The huge success received by this saga, made it necessary for tourist operator to put together tours, showing the sets where the film was shot and where the Vulturi clan was settled.
A lot of the stories told through the images of the Italian director Paolo Virzì take place in Tuscany, especially on the coast of Livorno, and, to me at least, they really show the region the way it is right now.
American production, choose quite often our territory for shooting, at least a part, of the film. Quantum of Solace was just an example, but there are many: Miracle at Sant’Anna (2008) by Spike Lee, Room with a view (both the film shot in 1983 and the one of 2007), Hannibal (2001) by Ridley Scott or Under the Tuscan sun (2003) by Audrey Wells.
But they’re not the only one. For example in 1983, the famous Russian director Andreij Tarkovskij, chose the mystic San Galgano Abbey and the town of San Quirico d’Orcia for his masterpiece Nostalghia. In 2010, it was the Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami that decided to set Certified Copy between Arezzo and Lucignano. Juliette Binoche, the star of this film, came in Tuscany for the production of another great success The English patient in 1996, that was set in the areas of Siena, Livorno and Pisa.
And how is it possible to forget the golden flourishing fields of The Gladiator (2003)? You may run up against them during the summer in the sorroundings of San Quirico d’Orcia!