What Famous Movies Are Set in Tuscany?

Tuscany has long been an ideal location for films of all genres. Its diverse settings, ranging from mountain to sea, can be the perfect setting for any scene. Indeed, this region has inspired – and continues to inspire – brilliant directors from all over the world.

Here are nine well-known films set in the gorgeous land of Tuscany, Italy.

A Room with a View (1985)

This is for individuals who enjoy classic movies; the film was released in 1985 and set in the magnificent city of Florence. The principal locations visible in the movie, which is based on E. M. Forster’s book of the same name, are the Duomo, Santa Croce, and Piazza della Signoria. The setting also includes Fiesole Hill, which reveals the splendor of the Tuscan countryside during a day trip taken by the main characters.

The Stendhal Syndrome (1996)

Stendhal syndrome is a psychological problem in which the presence of art causes a subject to enter a fugue state. Dario Argento, the director of the 1996 film, had this condition as a child and decided to transform his sentiments into a horror film after reading Graziella Magherini’s book on the syndrome that served as the film’s inspiration. His daughter Asia, a well-known Italian actress, plays the main character.

As a child, Argento claims he had Stendhal syndrome. Dario was ascending the stairs of the Parthenon with his parents when he was overtaken by a trance, forcing him to become separated from his parents for hours. Argento never forgot the incident, and when he stumbled upon Graziella Magherini’s book, he immediately remembered it.

Life Is Beautiful (1997)

This is one of Benigni’s most well-known flicks. The first section of this masterwork is set between Castiglion Fiorentino, Arezzo, Montevarchi, and Cortona, as the Tuscan filmmaker, comedian, and actor can’t forget his homeland. 

Life Is Beautiful received a staggering number of awards, including five Nastro d’Argento Awards in Italy, the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival in 1998, three Academy Awards (including Best Actor for Benigni and Best Foreign Language Film), two European Film Awards, and nine David di Donatello Awards (including Best Film).

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1999)

Tuscany cityscape, buildings, bridge, river, trees

Michael Hoffman directed the film, which was based on William Shakespeare’s famous play. This masterpiece was shot entirely in Italy, particularly in Lazio and Tuscany, and at the Cinecittà Studios in Rome. Some sequences were shot in Viterbo, while others were shot in Montepulciano and its vicinity. This film is a must-see after reading Shakespeare’s play!

Tea With Mussolini (1999)

Let’s take a trip to Florence in 1934. The film features an ensemble cast of English women during the Fascist era, with scenes staged in San Gimignano. The Tea With Mussolini depicts Tuscany during a pivotal historical moment for Italy and the world, capturing the city’s artistic treasures and beauty through visitors’ eyes.

The Gladiator (2000)

Everyone has seen The Gladiator at least once in their lives. The film, directed by Ridley Scott, stars Russell Crowe as Roman general Maximus Decimus Meridius, who’s been betrayed when Commodus, Emperor Marcus Aurelius’ ambitious son, murders his father and takes the throne. Maximus is sold into slavery and becomes a gladiator, climbing the battlefield ranks to avenge the assassinations of his emperor and family.

The Gladiator was shot in different settings, including Morocco, Rome, and of course, Tuscany. The house Maximus fantasizes about as a slave, which he also sees at the start of the film when he strokes the ear of corn, is a villa in Val D’Orcia, near Pienza.

Hannibal (2001)

Hannibal, directed by Ridley Scott in 2001 and based on Thomas Harris’ novel of the same name, is a well-known psychological thriller. It’s a follow-up to the 1991 Academy Award-winning picture The Silence of the Lambs. It stars Anthony Hopkins reprising his prominent role as serial killer Hannibal Lecter, pitted against Jodie Foster’s FBI Agent Clarice Starling.

The concept of this film is that Dr. Lecter’s lone surviving victim (Gary Oldman) is committed to capture, torture, and murder him ten years after the last one. Hannibal’s film locations vary between the United States and Italy (mostly Florence).

Tuscany in the Summer (2003)

Tuscany landscape, hills, trees, fence

The movie is all about a newly divorced writer who purchases a deserted villa in Tuscany during her vacation in Italy, based upon Frances Mayes’ 1996 memoir with the same name. Rome, Positano, Cortona, and Montepulciano are all featured in the film.

Inferno (2016)

This film is the final installment of Dan Brown’s book trilogy. Inferno, directed by Ron Howard, received a lot of flak but was a huge hit worldwide. It features Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon, Omar Sy, Felicity Jones, Irrfan Khan, Ben Foster, and Sidse Babett Knudsen. This film is for those who enjoy action and mystery!