Florence, the birthplace of Leonardo Da Vinci and the hotbed of the Renaissance period, is historically significant. This is putting it lightly for the city has been a bustling hub for trade, commerce, and arts in equal measures. Author Dan Brown has expressed his love for the medieval city in a few of his best-selling novels like Angels and Demons, The Da Vinci Code, and Inferno.
The movie adaptations of these titles show the splendor Florence is to the audience worldwide. Besides books, the romantic city has been famous even in celluloid with scores of noted directors opting for this city to be the backdrop for their films.
Movies Filmed in Florence in Italy
I have talked about books and novels set in Florence, but as a movie buff, we now get to watch the city of Florence and its amazing architecture that had the touch of the Masters in arts like Michaelangelo and others superbly.
Several Hollywood and other foreign language films featured Florence for its authentic Italian skyline and for enhancing the touch of opulence. Oozing of traditional art forms, the unmissable touch of Florence has also influenced the film’s Italian touch in a clear-cut way. Let’s check the best movies that were set in Florence.
If you haven’t seen any of these movies yet, many of them are available to rent on Amazon Prime Video, which is also currently offering Prime Video 30-day trials.
Movies That Take Place In Florence
What makes Florence so special is the way the modern cities have grown around the ancient architectural hubs. The Palazzo Vecchio Museum and tower is a hugely popular site for tourists from around the world. The Piazzale Michaelangelo and the Piazza Della Signoria, along with the Piazza San Marco, are the great spots displaying the best in art. Climb up to the dome of the Duomo and get a panoramic view of the city.
Don’t miss out on the Cathedral or the Santa Novella Church, among other places. The city is full of several such extraordinary monuments and many others, all of which leave a significant impact on the visitors and viewers alike. Here, we have compiled a list of some memorable movies that have featured the city of Florence at its best.
Tea with Mussolini
Set during the times of the World War, the Tea with Mussolini is a remarkable movie set in Florence. The story takes us through the lives of people during the World War and the times leading to it. Starring Cher, Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Claudio Spadaro, and others, the film is about how a young boy is tutored about life and pursuing life’s passion through these difficult times. Director Franco Zeffirelli has made this semi-autobiographical movie taking home many awards and nominations.
The Dark Knight Rises
The last of the Batman The Dark Knight trilogy, the director weaved magic with this movie in 2012. Christopher Nolan gave us Batman and his nemesis Bane and his relentless mission to blow up Gotham City with a nuclear bomb. The movie stars Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne, or Batman and Tom Hardy as Bane and a powerful set of an ensemble cast like Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, and others.
Towards the end of the film, Bruce Wayne’s associate cum butler, Alfred, is seen holidaying in Florence now that he has inherited Bruce Wayne’s property. Here he learns of Bruce Wayne or Batman to be alive and in relationship with Kyle. This is one of the biggest hit films from the DC universe.
The Devil in Love
The 1966 Italian fantasy comedy film stars Vittorio Gassman, Gabriele Ferzetti, and Claudine Auger and a host of other prominent actors. Directed by Ettore Scola is based on the novel by Jacques Cazotte. It revolves around the story of a devil that comes to earth to stop the marriage of an aristocrat and a Spanish woman set in Florence.
Victoria & Abdul
A 2017 British film is based on the relationship that the Queen of England, Victoria, shares with a clerk by the name of Abdul. Director Stephen Frears has used the landscape of Florence effectively in the film just as he has used the other such stuff, including the ensemble cast comprising of the talents like Judi Dench, Ali Fazal, Michael Gambon, and more. The film was nominated for the best actress in a Motion Picture and the best costume designs at the Academy Awards. The movie is an adaptation of the novel by Shrabani Basu.
This is a romantic comedy film directed by David Leland. It stars Hayden Christensen, Tim Roth, Mischa Barton, and others. The film is set in Florence during the time of the Black Death. Moreover, the film is based upon Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron. The film title “Decameron Pie” is an ode to the American Pie and hence, has these characters go through several sexual adventures before they get the love of their lives.
Light in the Piazza
This is a 1962 American film directed by Guy Green. It stars Olivia de Havilland, Rossano Brazzi, Yvette Mimeux, and others. The film is shot in Florence and Rome. The film begins in Florence, where a young girl, an American, meets an Italian guy. The film is about this mentally ill girl falling in love with the hero, and whether they have a happy future or not. The film takes us to Florence and Rome, and it did good business in the US. Florence is more than just a location, and it is a unique spot where falling in love is as natural irrespective of being from different worlds.
This is a 2019 action thriller movie starring Ryan Reynolds, Melanie Laurent, and others. The film is directed by Michael Bay and features the city of Florence. In this movie, a team of assassins and contract agents has to go on a mission to kill. The film goes through the city of Florence as well as in Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, among other such places. In Florence mainly, there was an adrenaline-pumping car chase sequence by a 500-year old obelisk. Likewise, parkour stunts are happening in the historic city that are mind-numbing.
The sequel to the 1991 Academy Award movie Hannibal stars Anthony Hopkins, who returns to his role as a serial killer. Julianne Moore is the co-star. When FBI Special Agent, Clarice Starling, is hired by a wealthy Mason Verger to survive Hannibal Lector, little did she know what was in store for her! Lector is back at kidnapping, torturing people again this time disguised as a doctor.
Clarice Starling has to get him back behind bars. There are scenes shot in Palazzo Vecchio, the Pharmacy of Santa Novella, the Cathedral, and Palazzo Capponi, where Hannibal runs his clinic. The film uses the location as being a silent spectator and being a different aspect of the cruelty that Hannibal poses to society.
A Room with a View (1985)
Based on the novel by EM Forster, the film is directed by James Ivory. The film begins at Florence, where a young English girl and her cousin stay at a hotel. However, the hotel does not have a view of their choice. They meet a few men at the hotel who agree to exchange their rooms.
The group travels through the Plazza Della Signoria and the countryside before developing feelings towards each other. Events unfold, and the beauty of Florence and the countryside only add to it. The film uses Florence as being one of the cruces for the plot to develop and not just be the location for the film.
Peabody & Sherman
This is a 2014 American animation movie directed by Rob Minkoff. Mr. Peabody is a rich anthropomorphic dog, who lives in a posh penthouse with his adopted son, a human, Sherman. Sherman is a seven-year-old boy who accidentally presses a button of his father, Mr. Peabody’s WABAC time machine and travels back in time with his school friend, Penny.
They visit Versailles during the French Revolution period. They also go to Florence during the Renaissance period, where they meet Leonardo da Vinci, who is getting a beautiful Lisa del Giocondo to pose as Mona Lisa. The film displays the rich countryside of Florence in such a beautiful way that it is mesmerizing. It also takes us through the study and attic of Leonardo da Vinci and shows how brilliant he was in his times! The film was a hit and did win the hearts of children and adults alike because the message is delivered.
With this film list, you are now spoilt for choice. Florence is on every director and artist’s wish list, and the reasons are the touch of history it proudly boasts of today! From the Romans to the Italians, the city has witnessed the greats in history like no other. The city, with its ancient obelisks, sculptures, and detailed artwork across all the columns and promenades, is romantic. Tracing history back to ancient times, Florence is only the best place to be for those who appreciate art. The films here pay great homage to this Italian city and portray its best plazas and town center points in its most authentic beauty.
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