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Film Locations in Italy - Holiday ideas for Florence
Film induced tourism is nothing new, for decades people have been visiting the film locations of their favourite movies but now its become big business. Just look on the internet for tours of New Zealand taking you wandering the sets of Lord of the Rings, or hop on the magical mystery tours around Harry Potters Britain. The world over they are clamouring to get cinema buffs walking the streets of the stars.
So if you are thus inclined let me heartily recommend Tuscany in Italy, for ages the filming community have been showing up in this picturesque province and using it as a backdrop for their films but the last 10 years have seen many classics of modern cinema use Tuscany as their base and Florence in particular. If you cross the River Arno at the Ponte Vecchio and walk towards the Giardino di Michaleangelo you climb a steep hill that is not for the feint hearted but once you reach the summit you are presented with one of the signiture views of Florence. This is where all the publicity shots come from. This is the film location for a view of the city. Here you are above it all, looking along the river and across it towards the centre, its well worth the climb.
While everyone will be familiar with sights of the Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria, the Duomo and St Croce Church. There are however some lovely little locations to track down which offer an excellent insight into Florence's film set lifestyle.
The scenes from Tea with Mussolini filmed in the English Cemetry in Piazza Donatello give a great insight into the typical British Cemetry in the centre of Florence. A perfect haven of peace and tranqulity amid the bustling streets.
You can also visit the market featured in the scene from Hannibal where Anthony Hopkins washes his bloodied hands in the Boars Fountain. Il Porcellino Fountain is inside the open air Mercato Nuovo
The Piazza Santissima Annunsiata is another one of those locations that once you go there you realise you have seen before. It's just north of the Duomo on Via del Servi, were you will also find the cafe used in Hannibal. It features in Room with a view, you get a lovely panaramic of the square with its statues and fountain.
While everyone knows the gorgeous Ponte Vecchio, if while here you look east towards the Uffici, on the left bank there is a rowing club and this part of the Arno's shore was used for a picnic in Room with a view, while the actual hotel can be seen by looking west along the Arno and it is situated on the left hand side.
Opposite the entrance to Florences main railway station is the church Maria Santa Novella after which the station is named. If you go around the back you can see the black and white banded brickwork that is used in Tea with Mussolini. Next to which is the school attended by the young Luca.
"Bastardino, vieni qua!", "come here you little bastard" she shouts.
If you travel down from the Ponte Vecchio along Lungarno Acciaiuoli to just past the next bridge you will find the British Consulate. Again this is used when a riot takes place outsidein Tea with Musso. Looking back across the river Arno you will see the Hotel degli Orafi, which has the view from a room.
Having come all this way you may as well travel to a few of the local towns where other well known films have been set.
Arrezzo - A Beautiful Life, The English Patient
Cortona - Under a Tuscan Sun
San Gimignano - Tea with Mussolini
Siena - Quantum of Solace, Brother Sun Sister Moon. My House in Umbria