Florence: a movie set at every turn

Cinema history made on Florentine streets

In over 100 years of cinema, the city of Florence has been used by numerous directors as a movie set. This phenomenon is due to the beauty of its landscapes as well as the architectural perfection of its buildings. The streets, the piazzas and the palazzi of the city evoke an illustrious past and are able to give viewers unique “visual emotions”. Walking through the city center, one cannot help but recall some of the most beautiful cinematic moments in film history. Beginning with Piazza della Signoria, we remember David Niven in the film “The Statue”, Joseph cotton walking with Joan Fontana in “September Affair”. Alberto Sordi filmed here twice, as did Gassman in “Arcidiavolo”, with Claudine Auger and Mikey Rooney directed by Ettore Scola. We also remember Marcello Mastroianni in “Così come sei” and Anthony Hopkins in “Hannibal”.

Ponte Vecchio, the symbol of Florence, has been crossed by numerous stars including Alida Valli, Ornella Muti, Tony Musante, Nastassja Kinsky and Asia Argento. 
The Santa Maria Novella train station has witnessed—besides the unforgettable scenes of “Amici Miei”--Ornella Muti's sentimental travails in “Eutanasia di un amore”Facing the city from the Piazzale Michelangelo, we find Franco Nero, Vanessa Redgrave and Ursula Andress. Sidney Pollack used Florence as a backdrop in his “Bobby Deerfield” with Al Pacino and Marthe Keller on via Tornabuoni. Dario Argento, in his 1996 film “La sindrome di Stendhal”, depicted a dark and sinister Florence very different from its stereotype, as did Brian de Palma in “Complesso di colpa” or the Taviani Brothers in “Il prato” and “Fiorile”.

The church of San Miniato was used by De Palma in “La donna che visse due volte”, where it became an obsessive image. And of course we remember James Ivory magnificent film “A Room with a View” filmed in a historic palazzo on via dei Bardi. 
The last great Florentine set was Ridley Scott's 2001 film, “Hannibal”. The genius killer played by Anthony Hopkins chooses perfumes in the Farmacia di Santa Maria Novella and lives in Palazzo Capponi (even if when Hannibal goes to the window we see Piazza Santissima Annunziata!). These are only a few of the cinema streets, but every corner of Florence could potentially be the set of a film.