Veneto is the protagonist of some of the most beautiful and iconic movies in the history of cinema. With such a great history, which goes through the Serenissima Republic of Venice and the two World Wars, this Region is indeed the perfect setting for adventurous plots as well as super-romantic love stories.
So here it is a list of some of the coolest movies filmed in Veneto completed with the description of the locations of their cult scenes; special addresses to add to your agenda!
The James Bond Saga
The liaison between James Bond, the most famous spy in the world, and Venice is a truly never-ending story probably because there is no other city in the world able to evoke the same charm, luxury, and mystery. Here, in fact, have been shot five 007’s films: if in Casino Royale (2006) Mr. Bond visited the Hotel Belmond Cipriani, one of his favorite destinations, where he also stayed in Death is Forever (1992), and in For Your Eyes Only (1981) where he stopped to sip a coffee at the Caffè Florian, it is perhaps the Danieli Hotel that more than any other brand embodies the spirit of the Grand Hotels where the spy loves to stay. Hotel Danieli appears, in fact, in three films – Moonraker (1979), From Russia with Love (1963) and Casino Royale – to the point that its house cocktail is Vesper Martini dedicated to the homonym Bond Girl protagonist of the first 007’s book. Where would James Bond go today? Definitely for dinner at the Terrazza Danieli Restaurant or for a drink at the new Aman Venice Bar; two places of extraordinary beauty…and certainly with an excellent selection of Dom Pérignon and Bollinger, the champagnes loved by Bond!
The Tourist (2010)
The Tourist, which tells the adventurous love-story between Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, is certainly one of the movies that most embodies the ideal of romantic Venice. Again, the main location is the Hotel Danieli and the Doge Dandolo Royal Suite, a magnificent 150 squared-meter apartment with original 15th-century furnishings. Here Elise and Frank live the most romantic moments of the film (even if the interiors of the Doge Dandolo’s suite have been recreated inside Palazzo Pisani Moretta because of its splendid view on the Grand Canal). The Doge Dandolo Royal Suite, as well as the other three signature suites of the Hotel, refurbished in 2012 and dedicated to Greta Garbo, Maria Callas, and Grace Kelly, are truly the ideal setting to live a romantic weekend in the most beautiful city of the world. If Frank could have spent in Venice a few more hours with Elise, he would have certainly taken her to the Fondaco dei Tedeschi, a luxury department store, to choose an unforgettable gift and sip a cocktail at Amo, the cool bar&restaurant opened by the Alajmo family and designed by Philippe Stark.
The English Patient (1996)
Directed by Antony Minghella and awarded with 9 Oscars, this is one of the movies that best describes the feeling of love during the War period. The protagonist, Ralph Fiennes, is a fascinating aircraft pilot who, on behalf of the Royal British Society, arrives in the North of Africa and meets the woman of his life (Kristin Scott Thomas). Shot between Tunisia and Italy, the party scene set at the legendary Shepheard’s Hotel in Cairo have been actually filmed in Venice inside the fabulous Grand Hotel Des Bains. In Nervesa della Battaglia, few kilometers from Treviso, there is one of the most beautiful airfields in the world, home to the Jonathan Collection Foundation, where you can visit a remarkable fleet of historic planes, including the original Tiger Moth used in the movie. The protagonist of other legendary films such as Lawrence of Arabia and Out of Africa, in 1995 the aircraft was purchased by the pilot Pino Valenti, supervisor for all the aerial shots of The English Patient, with the purpose to shoot the Tunisia scenes. The vehicle was then handed over to a member of the Jonathan Foundation in order to keep its legend alive.
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
In this Stanley Kubrick‘s masterpiece, Tom Cruise is invited to join a mysterious masquerade ball, actually one of the most famous cult movie scenes of all time. The costume designer went to Venice in order to commission the masks for the protagonists of this iconic party scene. In particular, those used by Bill (played by Tom Cruise) and the model Mandy were made by Atelier Kartaruga, whilst the other masks were commissioned to other Venetian artisans such as Macanà shop. The party scene was shot in England at Elveden Hall, an impressive country mansion also used as a set location in Tomb Raider. If you fancy dressed up with the same style, in addition to Kartaruga, the spots to know are Atelier Pietro Longhi and Atelier Nicolao, a reference point among celebrities. Here you can find sumptuous 18th-century costumes just perfect to be worn at the most exclusive parties such as those held during the famous Venice Carnival; the perfect occasion to experience the unique sensation of “becoming” someone else, letting yourself go to a long, unforgettable night.
The Merchant of Venice (2004)
From the famous work of William Shakespeare, a film directed by Michael Radford was made with a stellar cast including Al Pacino (who plays one of the protagonists, the Jewish merchant Shylock) and Jeremy Irons. The story, set in the sixteenth century, is among the most fascinating that describe the Venice ruling the seas populated by skilled merchants and fascinating adventurers. The film is shot in various locations in the lagoon, including the Rialto Market and the ancient Squero dei Casal (workshop where the typical lagoon boats were built), now the headquarters of the Arzanà Association, which can be visited by appointment. To relive the magical atmosphere of the Venice of trade with the East, of the merchant Antonio and princes of distant lands, there are however two other locations that we suggest you visit. The first is the Ghetto of Venice where the Banco Rosso was recently restored and made accessible to the public after being closed for centuries, the first pawnshop in the world that William Shakespeare mentions in his work and where today it is set up a mini-museum. The second is Palazzo Mocenigo, a museum dedicated to the history of costume, where you can take a journey to discover the birth of perfume in Europe and get to know The Merchant of Venice up close, a luxury brand that today represents the Venetian perfumery art and draws inspiration. right to the trade of Venice with the East (it is from there that spices and other products, such as civet, styrax, benzolino, essential for the preparation of perfumes, came from).