Cinema in Abruzzo: List of Best Movies & Their Iconic Filming Set
Welcome to a cinematic journey through the heart of Italy, where the majestic landscapes of Abruzzo have played a pivotal role in the world of film. From the raw, unspoiled terrains that caught the eye of renowned directors to the charming medieval towns that provided the perfect backdrop for Hollywood stars, Abruzzo has silently become a star in its own right. In this blog post, we delve into the stories behind some of the most famous films shot in this enchanting region. Join us as we explore the scenic beauty and historical charm of Abruzzo through the lens of these iconic movies.
The American (2010)
In 2010, the film “The American,” directed by Anton Corbijn and starring George Clooney, brought the rugged beauty of Abruzzo to the silver screen. This production was not just a cinematic endeavor but a journey marked by resilience and a deep connection to the land.
Anton Corbijn, renowned for his photographic prowess, was captivated by Abruzzo’s raw, unfiltered landscapes. He chose this region for its honest and rugged terrain, a refreshing divergence from the typical Italian vistas often seen in films.
George Clooney, known for his humanitarian efforts, visited the earthquake-stricken L’Aquila, emphasizing the importance of bringing attention and aid to the region. He was instrumental in setting up a cinema tent in Sant’Eusanio Forconese, demonstrating a belief in the power of film to bring hope to the people of Abruzzo. His presence in Sulmona, warmly engaging with locals and fans, further highlighted his commitment to the area during this critical time.
The filming of the production in Abruzzo included several key locations: Castel del Monte, Sulmona, Castelvecchio Calvisio, Calascio, and Pacentro, each offering unique settings for various scenes. The river Aterno, particularly in the Valle di San Venanzio area, was also a significant location. The production team, including director Corbijn, specifically chose Castel Del Monte and Castelvecchio in the L’Aquila province for their quiet, almost deserted ambiance, which greatly enhanced the film’s mood and narrative. Corbijn described Castel Del Monte as a beautiful yet potentially dangerous setting, reflecting the film’s atmosphere.
Challenges and Commitment
The devastating earthquake of 2009, with its epicenter in L’Aquila, posed significant challenges to the production. Despite the initial jeopardy, Corbijn and his team were committed to filming in the region. They hoped that the film would not only highlight Abruzzo’s beauty but also stimulate economic recovery and tourism. The long-term benefits were also significant, with Corbijn expressing his love for Abruzzo, now his favorite region in Italy.
Where to Watch The American
Movie Duration: 1 h 44 min
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“The American” is more than a movie; it’s a testament to the resilience of Abruzzo and its people. The film not only showcased the stunning landscapes but also played a part in the region’s healing process. It stands as a reminder of the power of cinema to transcend entertainment and touch lives.
They Call Me Trinity (1970)
A wandering outlaw arrives in a small town, only to discover that his brother has assumed the role of the sheriff. In truth, his brother is a bandit who incapacitated the legitimate sheriff and took on the lawman’s identity as a cover. The two brothers join forces to confront a powerful landowner intent on driving Mormon settlers out of a valley he desires to control. This Spaghetti Western comedy, directed by Enzo Barboni, stars Terence Hill and Bud Spencer as Trinity and Bambino.
E.B. Clucher (Enzo Barboni)
The Campo Imperatore area provided the film with its expansive and authentic Wild West-like landscapes, crucial for this Spaghetti Western comedy.
Where to Watch They Call Me Trinity
Movie Duration 1 h 54 min
Amazon Prime Video, HD stream from 2,99$
Exclusive Backstage Footage video link
Trinity Is Still My Name (1971)
A direct sequel to “They Call Me Trinity,” this film, also starring Terence Hill and Bud Spencer, continues the adventures of the charming outlaw brothers, who attempt to honor their dying father’s wish for them to stay together and become successful outlaws. However, their kind-hearted nature often leads them to help the very family they initially target. Their adventures include humorous misadventures in a town and a local Spanish mission, where they are mistakenly believed to be federal agents, partly due to Trinity’s romantic involvement with the daughter of the family they helped.
E.B. Clucher (Enzo Barboni)
Like its predecessor, this sequel was extensively shot in Campo Imperatore in Abruzzo, further solidifying the region’s role as a convincing stand-in for the American West.
Behind the Scenes Insights: The film’s return to Abruzzo highlights the region’s importance and versatility in Spaghetti Western cinema, contributing to the sequel’s success.
Where to stream Trinity Is Still My Name
Duration 1 h 46 min
Amazon Prime Video, HD stream from 2,99$
Directed by Richard Donner, this fantasy film tells the tale of a young thief who becomes involved in the romance between a knight and a noblewoman cursed to be lovers in human and animal form at alternating times of the day.
Rocca Calascio Fortress
The film utilized the Apennine meadow of Campo Imperatore and the Rocca Calascio fortress. These locations provided a mystical and historical backdrop essential for the film’s romantic and magical narrative.
Where to Stream Ladyhawke
Duration: 2 hours
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This thriller film, directed by Pasquale Festa Campanile, follows a couple who encounter a dangerous hitchhiker while traveling. The tension and suspense escalate as their journey turns into a nightmare. The movie in Italian is called “Autostop Rosso Sangue”
Filmed in the mountains of Gran Sasso, around L’Aquila and Crognaleto, was chosen for its resemblance to Northern California. The filmmakers added American-like elements to the scenery to enhance the film’s authentic American feel.
Watch the Whole Movie in English
Movie duration: 1:32 hour
Tale of Tales (2015)
The movie is a visually striking anthology film directed by Matteo Garrone. It weaves together three stories drawn from Giambattista Basile’s fairy tales, each set against the stunning backdrops of historic Abruzzo. Starring Salma Hayek, Vincent Cassel, and Toby Jones, the film delves into themes of desire, power, and immortality with a surreal and occasionally grotesque flair. A must-see for its lush visuals and unique take on classic tales, “Tale of Tales” offers a captivating journey into the fantastical.
Stream Tale of Tales
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Experience the Magic of Movie Locations with Our Bespoke Tours in Abruzzo
As we reach the end of our cinematic exploration in the Abruzzi, it’s clear that this region’s charm is not just in its picturesque landscapes and historical sites, but also in the stories and memories created by the films that have been shot here. Abruzzo offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and cinematic history, making it an unmissable destination for movie enthusiasts and travelers alike.
But why stop at just reading about these locations? We invite you to step into the world of cinema and experience the magic of these sites firsthand with our bespoke tours. Our specially curated tours offer exclusive access to some of the most iconic film locations in Abruzzo. Imagine walking through the same streets as George Clooney in “The American” or experiencing the Wild West atmosphere of “They Call Me Trinity.”
Join us on a journey where you can not only see but also feel the essence of these movie settings. Whether you’re a film buff, a lover of Italian culture, or simply in search of a unique travel experience, our tours are designed to bring you closer to the cinematic wonders of Abruzzo.
Ready to be a part of the movie magic? Let’s create together a bespoke tours and transform your travel into an unforgettable cinematic adventure. Contact us today to reserve your place and explore Abruzzo like never before!