Tuscany, a region known for Renaissance art, breathtaking landscapes, world-renowned wines and culinary delights, has also carved a niche for itself in the cinematic world. Many acclaimed films have been shot in Tuscany, using its natural beauty for the backdrops of some classic movies.

In this article, we will delve into the iconic films set in Tuscany, and for those inspired by its cinematic charm, Lucca Apartments and Villas offer the perfect home base for all who come wanting to explore the very sites immortalized on screen.

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Top Films Shot in Tuscany

Tuscany, with its rolling hills, ancient architecture, and romantic feel, has long been a favoured destination for filmmakers wanting to capture the essence of Italy. As we explore a range of classic films, each with varied plots and storylines, the one thing that they all have in common is that Tuscany is the silent star. Here are our top picks for movies filmed in Tuscany.

Life Is Beautiful (La Vita è Bella)

Perhaps one of the most acclaimed films of all time, Roberto Benigni’s masterpiece, “Life Is Beautiful,” was released in 1997 and filmed in the Tuscan town of Arezzo. Benigni not only directed but also starred in the film depicting the story of an Italian Jew during World War Two. His real-life wife, played his wife in the film as it follows the couple and their young son to a Nazi concentration camp. Life is Beautiful is sad, but it also highlights the power of human resilience, love and hope.

Today, you can visit Arezzo and even take a guided tour of the movie’s main filming locations. Some specific locations include:

  • Piazza Grande: A historic square surrounded by medieval buildings, is the main location for many scenes in the first half of the film.
  • The Cathedral of San Donato: Is featured in a very memorable scene where the main character, Guido proclaims his love for his wife, Dora.
  • The streets of Arezzo: There are many familiar street corners and storefronts that are captured throughout the film. Discover them as you stroll down the alleys.

Under the Tuscan Sun

A fan favourite, based on Frances Mayes’ memoir, this film is perhaps every single woman’s dream. Set in the charming town of Cortona, the film is about Frances, a recently divorced writer who spontaneously decides to buy a rundown Tuscan villa while on holiday. As Frances begins to refurbish her new home, she meets Marcello and a romance unfolds. The film is fun, and uplifting and perfectly captures the romance of Tuscany.

It was shot in various locations throughout Tuscany, including Cortona, and Florence. You can visit some of the movie’s locations, however, the villa Bramasole (the home that she purchases in the film) is a private residence and does not offer tours, however, you will find many fans visiting the exterior of the villa.


A Room with a View

Set in both England and Italy, A Room with a View puts Florence on the main stage, highlighting the city’s enchanting streets and the iconic Piazza della Signoria and the Arno River. It stars Helena Bonham Carter as Lucy, Julian Sands as George, Maggie Smith as Charlotte, and Daniel Day-Lewis as Cecil. It depicts early 20th-century Edwardian society and newfound life in Italy. In short, the main characters swap rooms in their Florentine hotel, and as they explore the city together, Lucy and George begin to fall in love. After Lucy witnesses a murder in Florence, things begin to unravel and upon returning to England, Lucy and Geroge find each other again accidentally.

There are walking tours available in Florence that take you to the exact locations where scenes were filmed.



One of the more modern films on our list, Dan Brown’s thrilling novel comes to life in Florence. The main character, Robert Langdon uncovers a mystery intertwined with Dante’s Inferno. The city’s historic sites, such as the Palazzo Vecchio and the Boboli Gardens, become the main setting for the film’s storyline. Although some scenes were also shot in Venice and Istanbul, Florence was the main filming location. Some notable scenes take place at:

  • Palazzo Vecchio: The town hall of Florence, this is a historic fortress-palace, and is a central location in the film.
  • Boboli Gardens: Attached to the Pitti Palace, these gardens serve as the backdrop for several scenes in the film.
  • Baptistery of San Giovanni: The Florence Baptistery, famous for its bronze doors, is another key filming location.
  • Vasari Corridor: Running over the shops of the Ponte Vecchio, this is an enclosed passageway that connects the Palazzo Vecchio with the Palazzo Pitti and is an integral part of the film’s plot.

The Portrait of a Lady

The 1996 film tells the story of Isabel Archer, a young American woman who inherits a large amount of money and moves to Europe. As she rejects the idea of marriage and the traditional roles set out for women, she later falls in love and marries Gilbert Osmond, an American expatriat living in Italy. When she finds out that he is only interested in her money, Isabel begins to struggle with staying in a loveless marriage.

The movie was filmed in various locations including Florence, Lucca and Rome. Visit the Palazzo Pfanner in Lucca, a historic palace and gardens that served as Gilbert’s home in the film.


Tea With Mussolini

This film follows a boy named Luca, living in Florence during the 1930s and World War Two and how the impact of a group of British and American women, called the “Scorpioni” shapes Luca’s upbringing. The film stars Cher, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright, Maggie Smith, and Lily Tomlin, a group of lively women who continue with their afternoon tea and gossip despite living under fascist rule.

It was filmed in many towns throughout Tuscany, such as Florence, San Gimignano and Pienza.


Cinematic Wonderas in Tuscany with Lucca Apartments and Villa Rentals

As the richness of Tuscan art expands past marble statues and oil paintings, many beloved films have Tuscany to thank for providing their beautiful backdrop. For any movie buff wanting to see where their favourite films were shot, staying at Lucca Apartments and Villas, puts you in the centre of it all.

Book your stay at one of our many charming accommodations and discover the magic of Hollywood in Tuscany.