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Film directors are forever seeking attractive locations that will look good as backdrops for their films; and, with its quaint Tuscany villas, sprawling green fields and rustic towns, Tuscany is a prime candidate for the role of background eye-candy. It comes as no surprise, therefore, to learn that the region has been featured in a number of relatively high-profile films for a number of decades, constituting a favourite for both Italian and international directors.
The region’s main form of accommodation, Tuscany villas, took centre stage in the recent adaptation of novel Under a Tuscan Sun, which centred around a relocated foreigner renovating one of the province’s typical houses. More significantly, Florence was one of the main backdrops for ‘Hannibal’, the high-profile sequel to the classic ‘The Silence Of The Lambs’. In that film, the fabled Dr. Hannibal Lecter spends most of his time in his residence in the ‘capital’ of Tuscany, then engages in a game of cat-and-mouse with Clarice Starling in the streets of the city, allowing the film-makers to display many of Florence’s personable features.
In what concerns home-grown cinema, perhaps Tuscany’s main claim to fame is as the birthplace of Roberto Benigni – he of ‘Life Is Beautiful’ fame and ‘Pinnochio’ infamy. However, many other Italian directors have sought to capture the charmingly rustic appeal of Tuscany villas, towns and countryside vistas on a film reel. Internationally acclaimed directors such as Franco Zeffireli, Federico Fellini and Marcello Mastroiani have included the region in some of their more famous pictures, therefore increasing Tuscany’s exposure to international audiences, and cementing the region’s presence in the world of cinema.
But perhaps Tuscany’s biggest claim to fame is having been featured in the cinematic adaptations of Stephenie Meyer’s hit Twilight book series. The saga’s second instalment, New Moon, took its protagonists – and its viewers – to Montepulciano, exposing this beautiful location to millions of eyes the world over.
In the end, Tuscany’s success as a movie location is not hard to understand: there is just so much natural beauty in this Northern Italian region, that no film director could resist the opportunity to feature it in one of their works!