For decades, filmmakers have been taking advantage of the stunning scenery, delicious food and all-around romance of Italy. Before heading off to your luxury Tuscan villa at Castello di Casole, we recommend picking up a couple of these films for the plane ride.
1. Death in Venice
To truly get into the spirit of Castello di Casole, be sure to rent Death in Venice, the most famous film directed by former Castello resident Luchino Visconti. In the 1971 film, composer Gustave Aschenbach (Dirk Bogarde) travels to Venice where he develops an obsession with an adolescent boy names Tadzio (Björn Andresen). In the 1960s, the property was purchased by Earl Edoardo Visconti whose brother Luchino’s parties there were legendary. Luchino’s spirit is kept alive at Castello di Casole by the elegant Bar Visconti, named in his honor.
2. La Dolce Vita
Curl up at your luxury hotel in Tuscany with the 1960 Fellini classic, La Dolce Vita — the story of a Roman journalist and playboy Marcello (Marcello Mastroianni) and the glamorous film star named Sylvia (Anita Ekberg) he falls head over heels for. And who can blame him? The famous scene of Sylvia wading through Rome’s Trevi Fountain is pure movie magic.
3. Roman Holiday
In 1953, Roman Holiday was the first American film to be shot entirely in Italy. Princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn) escapes from her guardians and is eventually joined by charming journalist Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) on a whirlwind sightseeing tour of Rome past The Spanish Steps, the “Mouth of Truth,” Trevi Fountain and the Coliseum.
4. Cinema Paradiso
In this critically acclaimed drama released in 1988, a filmmaker recalls his childhood, when he fell in love with the movies at his village’s theater and formed a deep friendship with the theater’s projectionist. Winner of the 1989 Cannes Film Festival coveted Palme d’Or and the 1989 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.
5. Under the Tuscan Sun
When Frances’ (Diane Lane) marriage ends and her life falls apart, she heads off on a bus tour through Tuscany to get out of her funk. She buys some real estate in Tuscany complete with a run-down villa on a whim and the process of bringing the house back to life brings Frances back to life as well. As wonderful as Diane Lane is, the real star of Under the Tuscan Sun is Italy itself. The villa is set in the town of Cortona in Tuscany but the film includes a multitude of breathtaking backdrops courtesy of Florence, Arezzo, Montepulciano, Positano and Salerno.
6. Eat, Pray, Love
Yet another recovering divorcee heads off on a trip to re-discover herself in Eat, Pray, Love. Italy is Liz Gilbert’s (Julia Roberts) first stop on her journey. In this case it’s not the scenery that steals the show, it’s the mouthwatering food. Gilbert eats her way through Italy from pasta at Santa Lucia in Rome to the famous pizza at Da Michele in Naples.