Tuscany... where nature and landscape are a film set

Some places just seem born to be a wonderful film set. Charming villas to rent in Tuscany wait for you: have a great stay and taste the magic It might be the incredible beauty of the landscape, it might be the splendor of the art that gleams at every corner, or maybe the perfect fusion between antique atmosphere and the vitality of the present. Anyhow, places like Chianti, Val dOrcia, and many more have always attracted the most famous Italian and international film directors. Looking for villas to rent in Tuscany? Movie sets can be your new inspiration. Cult movie lovers have probably seen the powerful, mesmerizing psychological thriller Obsession, filmed in 1976 in Florence by the film-maker and screenwriter Brian de Palma. Some scenes were shot in the fascinating Church of San Miniato al Monte, above the city. When the great James Ivory directed the refined A Room with a View, in 1985, based on the famous novel by E.M. Forster, he was able to perfectly recreate the historical Edwardian context and to depict the unforgettable characters of the book. This marvellous movie won 3 Oscars and enchanted audience and critics not only thanks to the calculated mix of subtle irony and romanticism, but also thanks to the stunning views it immortalized. The first scenes couldnt even exist if not in Florence, and when the main character, Lucy, unfortunately sees a scene of shocking violence, the contrast between the brutality of the event and the harmonious splendour of Piazza della Signoria makes the sequence even more hypnotic for the viewer. Needless to say, the first kiss between the two protagonists takes place in the poetic countryside near Florence: the blooming nature becomes the correlative of the passion between the two young lovers. The acclaimed director and star of the stage Kenneth Branagh directed Much ado about nothing in 1993, in the magnificent Villa Vignamaggio, just outside the village of Greve in Chianti. And what location could be more fitting for the graceful comedy of Shakespeare? In 1996 the Tuscany nature has a prominent role in the movie The English Patient, directed by Anthony Minghella. The majority of scenes were filmed in the amazing Val dOrcia, in southern Tuscany. Do not miss the Monastery of SantAnna in Camprena, near the beautiful Pienza, where Juliette Binoche takes care of Ralph Fiennes. Same year, different movie, but Tuscany again: The Portrait of a Lady, based on the fascinating novel by Henry James, starred the two Hollywood stars Nicole Kidman and John Malkovic, but the third star is definitely Tuscany, and especially Florence and Lucca. But Tuscany is not only a prerogative of Brits and Americans film-makers and authors who fell in love with it: 1997 is the year of Life is Beautiful La vita bella, filmed by the popular Italian actor and director Roberto Benigni. The film was awarded with three Oscars, and one of the most important locations is Villa Masini in Montevarchi Arezzo, an excellent example of Art Nouveau and Art Deco style, but a lot of scenes were filmed in the historical centre of the charming Arezzo, with its quaint Piazza Grande. Legendary cinematographer Ridley Scott, in 2000, filmed the loved and hated Gladiator: some of the scenes with Russel Crowe were filmed in the above mentioned Val dOrcia. In 2006, also James Bond arrived, thanks to Casino Royale, filmed by Martin Campbell. The chase scene at the beginning of the film was shot in the mountains near Carrara, in the north of Tuscany. Adrenaline junkies might want to try a tour by jeep through the marble mines... Finally, some impressive scenes of New Moon, the third film of the Twilight saga, were shot in 2009 in Piazza Grande in Montepulciano not in Volterra, as some might think: it had been the first choice and then discarded. The crew were looking for a magical location, suspended in time and they found it in the beautiful Montepulciano, in the province of Siena. So, if you want to feel like in a movie, spend your holiday in Tuscany: rent a villa and discover this exceptional region.

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