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Visit the locations of your favourite films “Made in Tuscany”

Visit the locations of your favourite films “Made in Tuscany”

A wide range of award winning films have been made in Tuscany in the past 30 years, some romantic, some funny and some a little, perhaps, gruesome!
Here are some locations of three of my favourites for you to visit and retrace your hero’s footsteps during your visit here.
Life is beautiful by and with Roberto Benigni
This touching Academy award winning movie was filmed in Arezzo, 45 minutes south of Florence. With its origins dating back to the 9th century B.C., its history and culture can be felt as you wonder though its narrow streets and breath-taking piazzas. Entering Piazza Grande you will recognize where Guido, his Principessa and Giosué careered through the square on their bicycle to get to school on time! As well as Guido’s stationary shop and the Santi Pietro e Donato Cathedral where our hero and his signoras love grew, you can take the time to enjoy a quick espresso or a cappuccino at the historical Caffè dei Costanti, first opened in 1804. While in Arezzo a visit of the Basilica di San Francesco is a must, as it’s Bacci Chapel houses the wonderful cycle of frescoes by Piero della Francesca the Legend of the True Cross.

Inferno by Ron Howard with Tom Hanks
After Professor Langdon’s adventures in Paris and London, Inferno brings him to the Cradle of the Renaissance for his next investigations.
His Florentine adventure starts at one of Florences oldest churches, the Badia Fiorentina, dated 978. After a short spell in hospital Professor Langdon is chased from the Fontana dell’Oceano through the beautiful Boboli Gardens to the spectacular Grotta di Buontalenti. Like everyone he, of course, crossed the Ponte Vecchio and found himself searching for clues in the Salone dei 500 at the Palazzo della Signoria. A visit above this incredible hall is an unforgettable experience as you will see the techniques Vasari employed to create the amazing “box ceiling”. Another highlight of the movie was Langdon’s encounter in Il Battistero, Florences Baptistry since 1128. Whether it is to see Ghibertis masterpiece East Door, called the “Gate to Paradise” by none less than Michaelangelo or the incredible mosaics on the ceiling, a visit to Il Battistero will leave you touched and in awe.

Hannibal by Ridley Scott with Anthony Hopkins
I remember seeing this movie at a late showing at the cinema in Winter 2001/2002. When I left the cinema at around midnight it had snowed and the town was very quiet. I made my way to Piazza della Signoria and gazing up at the balcony, in the cold silence of a Florentine winter, couldn’t help reliving that scene!
You can enjoy a “nice Chianti” on the terrace of the historical Caffè Rivoire in Piazza della Signoria, surely one of the world’s most beautiful squares. A few souveniers can be picked up at the Mercato del Porcellino, where the thief unsuccessfully attempted to pickpocket Dr. Lector before taking a stroll down by the Arno. A visit to the historical Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, officially opened to the public in 1612, is a must. Considered the world’s oldest pharmacies, here you can purchase cremes, lotions and perfumes all made locally, many using antique recipes from centuries gone by. No visit to Florence is complete without a visit to the Palazzo della Signoria, home to and where the Medicis ruled from. The view from the tower, Il Torre di Arnolfo is breathtaking, each room is filled with historical treasures and from the Salone dei 500 there is, of course, that balcony!

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