Italians on Italians
Beyond Toscano

Tuscan towns in the movies

One of the most memorable things about Tuscany are the iconic medieval towns that cling to some often perilous mountain rock-faces. The views across vineyards and valleys can be stunning, so it’s no wonder that they’ve featured in several big Hollywood movies. The charming hill-town of Cortona played host to the adaptation of Under the Tuscan Sun, where romance found the protagonist and also starred, alongside Arezzo, in Oscar Roberto Benigni’s classic ‘Life is Beautiful’. 

Slightly less pleasant, but just as magical, were the events that unfolded in Chianti in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, or Twilight’s New Moon, where the vampires gathered by the ramparts of remote Volterra…or at least, they did in the book. The movie itself was shot in (equally beautiful) Montepulciano, which is generally more famous for free-flowing wine than blood. Finally, for a more traditional snapshot of Tuscan life, head to Pienza and track down the abandoned monastery that played a pivotal role in The English Patient, Florence for the rooftops featured in ‘A Room with a View’.