Tuscany has always been one of the favorite locations as regards films of all times. In fact this territory inspired - and still keeps on inspiring nowadays - great directors from all around the world.
"Tea with Mussolini" is a 1999 British-Italian film directed by Franco Zeffirelli, featuring Maggie Smith and Cher. It tells the story of a young Italian boy raised among a circle of British and American women living in Italy before and during the Second World War. Florence and San Gimignano are the main locations, other than the Cinecittà Studios in Rome (Latium).
"Life Is Beautiful" (original title: La Vita è bella) is a 1997 Italian film shot in Arezzo and surroundings which tells the story of a Jewish man, Guido Orefice (played by Roberto Benigni, who also directed and co-wrote the film), who wants to help his family with the help of his immagination during their internment in a Nazi concentration camp. At the 71st Academy Awards in 1999, Benigni won the Academy Award for Best Actor and the film won both the Oscar for the Best Original Drama Score and for the Best Foreign Language Film.
"Under the Tuscan Sun" by Audrey Wells (2003) is a "rom com" that tells the story of Frances Mayes (Diane Lane) who, leaving from San Francisco, moves to Tuscany after her sudden divorce and decides to buy an old house in Cortona. In a trip to Rome she meets Marcello (Raoul Bova) and it's up to you to see what happens next.
"The best of youth" (original title: La meglio gioventù), is a 2003 Italian film directed by Marco Tullio Giordana. Originally planned as a four-part series, it was presented at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival where it won the prestigious "Un Certain Regard" award. The Best of Youth is a family saga set in Italy in the period that goes from 1966 to 2003. It focuses primarily on two brothers on their journey from their adolescence in the mid-1960s, to parenthood and retirement in the early 2000s.
The film aims to show the strong interaction between the story of the nation and the personal events of the single individuals of the tail. Some scenes are set in Florence to recreate the bad times of the big flood in 1966.
"Stealing Beauty" (original title: Io ballo da sola) is a 1996 drama film directed and written by Academy Awarded filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci, with Liv Tyler, Jeremy Irons, and Rachel Weisz. Lucy, an American teenage girl, is sent to Italy by her widow father after the loss of her mother. Here, she stays with a couple of family friends in a farmhouse in the surroundings of Siena. Her arrival will upset the balance of the hosts and she soon understands that this trip is going to change her life and make her grow.
"Hannibal" is a famous psychological thriller directed in 2001 by Ridley Scott and adapted from the Thomas Harris's novel bearing the same name. It is a sequel to the 1991 Academy Awarded film The Silence of the Lambs that features the return of the great Anthony Hopkins to his iconic role as the serial killer Hannibal Lecter, face to face with Jodie Foster in the role of the FBI Agent Clarice Starling.
Set ten years after the previous one, the premise is that Dr. Lecter's only survived victim (acted by Gary Oldman) is determined to capture, torture, and kill him. The film locations of Hannibal alternate Italy (mainly in Florence) with the U.S.
"The English Patient" is a 1996 romantic-dramatic film based on the novel by the Sri Lankan-Canadian writer Michael Ondaatje. The film, written for the screen and directed by Anthony Minghella, won nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The Tuscan locations are in Arezzo and Pienza.
In the last days of the Italian campaign of World War II, a French-Canadian nurse (interpreted by Juliette Binoche) works and lives in a safe Italian monastery. She looks after a critically burned man (Ralph Finnes) who speaks English but cannot remember his name, that's why she calls him the English Patient.
"A Room with a view" is a 1985 British drama film directed by James Ivory. The film is a close adaptation (but different in the ending part) of E. M. Forster's novel bearing the same name.
Set in England and Italy (Florence), the movie is about a young woman named Lucy Honeychurch (Helena Bonham Carter) in the restrictive culture of the Edwardian Era in England and about her developing love for free-spirited young George Emerson.
"Gladiator" is an historical epic film directed in 2000 by Ridley Scott, starring Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix.
The Roman general Maximus Decimus Meridius is betrayed and his family murdered by an emperor's corrupt son, so he comes to Rome as a gladiator to seek revenge.
It was a box office success, receiving generally positive reviews. The film was multi awarded (five Academy Awards, including Best Picture). Although there have been talks of both a prequel and sequel, but no production have begun. Some scenes of The Gladiator were filmed near Pienza.
"The Twilight Saga" is a series of 5 American romance fantasy film started in 2008 and based on Stephenie Meyer's 2006 vampire novel "New Moon". Directed by Chris Weitz with the stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, in the roles as Bella Swan and Edward Cullen. Some important scenes of the second episode (called like the novel) were setted in Volterra, within the streets and alleys of its fourteenth century historical center.
Volterra has always been influenced by the Legend of the Volturi, which has been passed down over generations and recently representented in this famous Saga.
Of course, this is just a short list of movies set in Tuscany and we are waiting for more to come.
Check out our Tuscany as a movie section for itineraries and ideas. The film locations can be great starting points to organize you next vacation!