San Gimignano, a small medieval town located in the heart of Tuscany, has a rich history and stunning architecture that have made it a popular destination for tourists and filmmakers alike. Over the years, many movies have been filmed in San Gimignano, showcasing its beauty and charm to the world. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most notable movies that have been filmed in this picturesque town.
The Gladiator (2000)
Starring Russell Crowe, The Gladiator is a historical epic set in ancient Rome during the reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius. San Gimignano’s medieval architecture was used to portray the city of Rome in several scenes in the film.
La Vita è Bella (1997)
Directed by and starring Roberto Benigni, La Vita è Bella (Life is Beautiful) is a poignant and heartwarming film about a Jewish father and son who are sent to a concentration camp during World War II. San Gimignano’s medieval architecture and scenic countryside provide a beautiful and haunting backdrop for several scenes in the film.
Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
Part of the Star Wars franchise, Solo: A Star Wars Story tells the origin story of the beloved character Han Solo. San Gimignano’s picturesque town square was transformed into a bustling marketplace for several scenes in the film.
Brothers Grimm (2005)
Directed by Terry Gilliam and starring Matt Damon and Heath Ledger, Brothers Grimm is a dark fantasy film that weaves together elements of fairy tales and historical fiction. San Gimignano’s medieval towers and winding streets provide the perfect backdrop for the film’s eerie and mystical atmosphere.
Portrait of a Lady (1996)
Directed by Jane Campion and starring Nicole Kidman, Portrait of a Lady is a period drama based on the novel by Henry James. San Gimignano’s historic streets and buildings provided a perfect backdrop for the film’s 19th-century setting.
Based on the bestselling novel by Dan Brown, Inferno follows the adventures of symbologist Robert Langdon as he tries to unravel a mystery involving Dante’s Inferno. Several scenes in the film were shot in San Gimignano, showcasing the town’s historic architecture and stunning countryside.
Tea with Mussolini (1999)
Tea with Mussolini is a semi-autobiographical film by Franco Zeffirelli that tells the story of his upbringing in Florence during World War II. The movie was partly filmed in San Gimignano, where the town’s medieval architecture served as a backdrop for the story’s timeless setting.
The English Patient (1996)
The English Patient, directed by Anthony Minghella, is a romantic war drama that was partly filmed in San Gimignano. The movie, which won nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture, showcases the town’s stunning scenery and historic buildings, including the Piazza della Cisterna and the Collegiate Church.
Tea with Dames (2018)
Tea with Dames is a documentary film that features four iconic British actresses, including Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, as they reminisce about their careers and lives. The film was partly shot in San Gimignano, where the actresses enjoyed a leisurely stroll through the town’s winding streets.
The Medici: Masters of Florence (2016)
A television series that chronicles the rise of the Medici family during the Italian Renaissance, The Medici: Masters of Florence features several scenes that were shot in San Gimignano. The town’s medieval architecture and rich history make it an ideal setting for the series’ portrayal of Renaissance Italy.
A Room with a View (1985)
A Room with a View, based on the novel by E.M. Forster, is a romantic period drama that was partly filmed in San Gimignano. The movie, which was directed by James Ivory and starred Helena Bonham Carter and Daniel Day-Lewis, features the town’s stunning views and historic buildings, including the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta.
The Invisible Boy (1957)
The Invisible Boy is a science fiction film that was partly filmed in San Gimignano. The movie tells the story of a young boy who gains superhuman powers, and the town’s medieval architecture served as a perfect backdrop for the futuristic story.
Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)
Under the Tuscan Sun, based on the memoir of the same name by Frances Mayes, is a romantic comedy-drama about a woman who buys a villa in Tuscany and starts a new life. The movie, starring Diane Lane and Sandra Oh, was partially filmed in San Gimignano, where some of the scenes were shot in the town’s beautiful countryside.
Stealing Beauty (1996)
Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, Stealing Beauty follows the story of a 19-year-old American girl who travels to Tuscany to reconnect with her deceased mother’s artistic community. San Gimignano features prominently in the film, with several scenes filmed in and around the town.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1999)
Based on the Shakespearean play of the same name, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a whimsical romantic comedy that was partly filmed in San Gimignano. The town’s medieval architecture and picturesque setting provide the perfect backdrop for this fairy-tale story.
In conclusion, San Gimignano has been a popular location for filmmakers for many years, thanks to its stunning scenery and rich history. From romantic dramas to science fiction films, the town has served as a backdrop for many iconic movies that have captured the imaginations of audiences around the world. So the next time you visit San Gimignano, keep an eye out for familiar locations that you may have seen on the big screen!