Movies in La Tuscia

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Movies in La Tuscia

Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet an Oscar Love in Tuscania !!

In 1968, Zeffirelli shot a film inspired by Shakespeare's famous tragedy, and for some important scenes he chose a place far from Verona: the church of San Pietro in Tuscania, about 30 min. away from our lodgings. It was not the first time and will not be the last one that a great film director chooses to shoot a movie in this beautiful Romanesque basilica. In this church , Zeffirelli set the secret marriage between Romeo and Juliet and the final scenes of the tragedy, those of the family tomb of Juliet, which will host the sad ending, were shot in the crypt of the church.


L:The secret marriage of Romeo and Juliet in Zeffirelli`s film
M:The Church of Saint Peter in Tuscania
R:Views near Tuscania

Fellini in La Tuscia

Unbelievable but true! The first scene of Fellini`s first film ‘Variety Lights', depicts the steeple of the church of Santa Maria in Capranica. The great film director will come again to shoot his famous movie “The Road” near Viterbo, a film that earned him an Oscar. "The bulls"by Federico Fellini (1953) also was shot in the town of Viterbo!


“Variety Lights” on the main street of Capranica


Some scenes of “The Bulls” in the main square of Viterbo

Hawks and the Sparrows

Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini in 1966 moved the original crew to shoot scenes in Tuscania, about 30 min. away from Capranica, medieval setting of the film. We recently had the opportunity to review the work restored on DVD and we have exciting images: it has been a great inspiration for us to see, the wonderful photography of familiar places, because we saw the same places with the eyes of a great poet. We have extracted some images that are recognizable sites of Tuscania 40 years ago:

Viterbo and Tuscania Orson Welles (Othello, 1952)

To shoot the colossal Othello, inspired by Shakespeare's play, the director Orson Welles chose, in 1949, Venice, Morocco, Tuscania and Viterbo. The film, uses a lot of fiction in places: apart from the scenes shot in Venice, the others do not meet at all the reality of Cyprus, which should be main theater of tragedy, represented by a castle on the coast of Morocco but also in Viterbo and Tuscania. The loggia of the Pope`s Palace is the first, unexpected surprise for those who know the Tuscia and did not expect to see associated with the city of Viterbo the sea!! Following the film you will be surprised with special effects that would be sensational for the time: through the thin columns of the same balcony of the Palace of the Popes, you can see the sea with a ship arriving!!


L:The Palace of the Popes in Viterbo with a view of the sea!
M,R:Other scenes from the Palace of the Popes, Viterbo

Saint Francis

Mickey Rourke in the Tuscia playing the role of Saint Francis. Liliana Cavani` s film is dedicated to the Saint of Assisi and was shot in 1989. Cavani, and this is unusual for a director, shot the movie repeatedly in 1966 and after in 1989 with Mickey Rourke's contribution at the height of his success. What concerns us is that some scenes in the film were shot in Tuscia, again in the church of Saint Peter in Tuscania and on the river Fiora, under the Bridge of the Abbey, in the territory of Canino. Another demonstration of the strong spiritual fascination that our lands inspired in great directors.


L:Francis meets with Pope Innocent III. Crypt of the church of Saint Peter in Tuscania
R:Francis symbolically stripped of his possessions. Inside the church of Saint Peter in Tuscania