Movies in Venice to Watch before your Trip

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Movies in Venice to Watch before your Trip

Take a trip to Venice through the movies!

Venice – tricky for filming as the boats, water, and tight spaces are notoriously unfriendly to camera equipment, but well worth the work to capture this gorgeous city. The Grand Canal provide wonderful boat chases in wooden boats and leisurely floats via gondola in the narrow can always. The architecture and palazzos of Venice also provide a rich backdrop for both period pieces and modern romances. You might even find the best hotel to stay in Venice through these movies as many of the palazzos of yesteryear are now grand hotels –  Hotel Danieli is a favorite of mine.

Enjoy the unique mystery and beauty of Venice, a city from the time of the European Grand Tour of past centuries and a city on most adventures to Europe today.

1

During an impromptu trip to Europe to mend a broken heart, community college math teacher Frank Tupelo (Johnny Depp) finds himself in an extraordinary situation when an alluring stranger, Elise (Angelina Jolie), places herself in his path on the train to Venice. What Frank doesn’t know about Elise: Elise is the lover of Alexander Pearce, a man who owes millions in taxes to England and who stole billions of dollars from a vicious mobster named Shaw. Elise got a letter from Pearce with explicit instructions to flirt with a stranger on the train and let those pursuing him believe that the strange is, in fact, Pearce. A seemingly innocent flirtation for Frank turns into a dangerous game of cat and mouse while various people try to capture the pair.

The scenery and costumes highlight the elegance of Venice.

Venice locations: Almost all of the movies takes place in Venice with views of the Grand Canal and the cityscape including Palazzo Pisani Moretta, Hotel Danieli, Peggy Gugenheim Museum, Rialto Market, Bibliotech Nazionale Marciana, Arsenale di Venezia and Scuola Grande di Santa Maria Della Misericordia (the Ball Feast scene).

2

With a reputation for seducing members of the opposite sex, regardless of their marital status, a notorious womanizer Casanova (Heath Ledger) discovers a beauty who seems impervious to his charms. However, as he continues to pursue the indifferent lady, he finds himself falling in love.

The film is loosely based on the life of Giacomo Casanova and will take you back in time to Venice in the 1700’s with colorful silk brocaded costumes and powdered wigs & masked balls.

Italy Location: Venice – quite impressive to film on location with boats, intermittently closing down the Grand Canal for shooting and having horses for key scenes.

3

This adaptation of Shakespeare’s play brings the Renaissance to life in Venice. In 16th-century Venice, Bassanio (Joseph Fiennes) hopes to wed Portia (Lynn Collins). But to have a chance at winning her hand in marriage, he needs to have a lot of money — a critical resource he lacks. Bassanio’s rich friend Antonio (Jeremy Irons) is unable to help, he’s forced to make a deadly deal with pitiless moneylender Shylock (Al Pacino).Venice Locations: Almost the entire film was shot in Venice including the former Benedictine monastery of San Giorgio Maggiore

4

In 16th century Venice, there were almost 12,000 sex workers in a population of around 100,000. Those who plied their trade near the Rialto Bridge were known as ‘honoured courtesans’ and were expected to stimulate their clients intellectually as well as intimately.

The film retells the story of Veronica Franco, one of Venice’s most famous cortigiane onorata who was well-read, wrote poetry and music and made a very successful living before she attracted the attention of the church, which thought her life of vice had brought plague upon the city. Accused of witchcraft, she relied on her intelligence to give a good account of herself during her inquisition and managed, with the help of one of her influential patrons, to escape punishment.

Dangerous Beauty is a fascinating look into Renaissance Venice, and the city looks even more romantic when accompanied with a cast in period costumes.

5

Rosalba (Licia Maglietta), a middle-aged woman on a bus trip to Venice with her husband and her sons, is left behind at a rest stop off of the highway. As the days go by with no word from her family, she settles into a room at a local hotel and takes a job at a flower shop. She does not really want to go back as her “found” as her husband is domineering and deceitful. She finds solace in Fernando Girasole and his peculiar bunch of friends and acquaintances.

When her husband and sons finally begin to miss her, they send a friend looking for her. “Bread and Tulips” is a warmhearted comedy about love, family, and friendship.

6

An American secretary Jane Hudson (Katherine Hepburn) travels from Ohio to Venice on a long dreamt of holiday. She meets handsome antique dealer Renato de Rossi (Rossano Brazzi) and after a bit of a rocky start, they have a brief, but passionate, affair. The movie follows her affair and romance with the man and Venice. A rare portrait of a woman who decides the love of a man isn’t necessary to make her whole…even in the 1950’s.

Filmed entirely in Venice. Check out this blog for some keen detective work on exact locations.

7

A childhood incident has convinced Faith Corvatch (Marisa Tomei) that her true love is a guy named “Damon Bradley,” but she has yet to meet him. Preparing to settle down and marry a foot doctor, Faith impulsively flies to Venice with her BFF (Bonnie Hunt) when it seems that she may be able to finally encounter the man of her dreams. Instead, she meets the charming Peter Wright (Robert Downey Jr.).

The movie is just good fun – the gorgeous scenery, a melodious score, and a romance-filled plot as it take you to some of the most popular spots in Italy.

Italy Locations: Venice (Hotel Danieli), San Gimignano, several locations in Rome including Piazza di Santa Maria, Trastevere and the Mouth of Truth in a recreating of the famous Roman Holiday scene, and the Amalfi Coast’s Portofino (Hotel Le Sirenuse

8

Adapted from Henry James’ novel by director Iain Softley, The Wings of the Dove shows Venice’s gondolas, palazzi and bridges of Venice are portrayed in lush period style as the backdrop to this story. Millie Theale, played by Alison Elliott, a terminally ill American heiress embarks on the Grand Tour in her final years. The impoverished British aristocrat Kate Croy, played by Helena Bonham Carter, hatches a plan to inherit Millie’s fortune. The story of deceit, irreconcilable love and tragic illness is given the perfect setting in a Venice of decaying beauty and aristocratic indulgence.

Venice Locations: This is largely filmed in Venice and depicts the city as it was in the early 20th century when it was still part of the ‘Grand Tour’ for British and American aristocrats with wistful scenes especially in the canal near the Bridge of Sighs.

9

Befriended by aristocrat Sebastian Flyte (Ben Whishaw), Oxford student Charles Ryder (Matthew Goode) finds that the power and privilege experienced by the family is seductive. On a visit to Brideshead, the ancestral home, he falls in love with his friend’s sister, Julia (Hayley Atwell). However, as Charles’ ties to Sebastian and family deepen, he finds himself at odds with their strong Roman Catholicism. The movie takes place in the 1930-40’s of a time gone by of British aristocracy.

Venice Locations: The movie largely takes place at Castle Howard in Yorkshire, Oxford and London. Scenes in Venice were filmed at the 15th century Palazzo Contarini Polignac on Canal Grande and Campo Castelforte, San Rocco.

10

One Chance is based on the true story of unlikely car phone salesman Paul Potts, who dreamed of becoming an opera singer. He won the 2007 first season of “Britain’s Got Talent” with his powerful rendition of the Puccini aria “Nessun Dorma.” 

The YouTube clip of the shy, portly Potts walking on stage for his audition and blowing the judges away with his enormous tenor voice, including the notoriously hard-to-impress Simon Cowell, has more than 3.6 million views.  

The movie takes us from Potts upbringing in a small Welsh town where he was routinely bullied to his journey. A feel good movie with shots on Venice’s Grand Canal starring James Corden as Potts.

11

After a heist in Venice, Steve (Edward Norton) turns on his partners in crime, killing safecracker John Bridger (Donald Sutherland) and keeping all the gold for himself. The rest of the team, including leader Charlie Corker (Mark Wahlberg), driver Handsome Rob (Jason Statham), explosives man Left Ear (Mos Def) and tech geek Lyle (Seth Green), vows revenge. They enlist the help of Bridger’s daughter, Stella (Charlize Theron), and plot to recover the gold from Steve’s Los Angeles mansion.Venice Locations: St. Mark’s Square, Campo San Barnaba, Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute and the boat chase on the canal past Accademia Bridge, The Grand Canal and Freedom Bridge

12

The third movie in the Indiana Jones series, Indiana sets out to rescue his father, a medieval expert who has vanished while searching for the Holy Grail. Following clues in the father’s notebook, Indy arrives in Venice, where he enlists the help of a beautiful academic, but they are not the only ones who are on the trail, and some sinister old enemies soon come out of the woodwork.Venice Locations: Church of San Barnaba

13

The third movie based on the novels by Dan Brown, Inferno tells the story of famous symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) as he follows a trail of clues tied to Dante, the great medieval poet from Florence. When Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), a doctor he hopes will help him recover his memories. Together, they race across Europe and against the clock to stop a madman (Ben Foster) from unleashing a virus that could wipe out half of the world’s population.

The movie takes place largely in Florence before moving on to Venice and Istanbul.

Venice Locations: St. Mark’s Basilica.

14

James Bond makes several visits to Italy and Venice throughout the 007 Films

In Casino Royale, after receiving a license to kill, British Secret Service agent James Bond (Daniel Craig) heads to Madagascar, where he uncovers a link to Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen), a man who finances terrorist organizations. Learning that Le Chiffre plans to raise money in a high-stakes poker game, MI6 sends Bond to play against him, gambling that their newest “00” operative will topple the man’s organization.

Venice location: Bond tries to rescue doomed love Vesper Lynd from a collapsing building (Lion Morosini Palace Hotel)

Lake Como Location:  Bond recovers on the shores of Lake Como at the Villa del Balbianello

14

Agent 007 (Roger Moore) blasts into orbit in this action-packed adventure that takes him to Venice, Rio De Janeiro and outer space. When Bond investigates the hijacking of an American space shuttle, he and beautiful CIA agent Holly Goodhead (Lois Chiles) are soon locked in a life-or-death struggle against Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale), a power-mad industrialist whose horrific scheme may destroy all human life on earth.

Venice Location:  Piazza San Marco 

15

Agent 007 (Sean Connery’s second go as James Bond) is back, this time battling a secret crime organization known as SPECTRE.

Russians Rosa Klebb (Lotte Lenya) and Kronsteen are out to snatch a decoding device known as the Lektor, using the ravishing Tatiana (Daniela Bianchi) to lure Bond into helping them. Bond willingly travels to meet Tatiana in Istanbul, where he must rely on his wits to escape with his life in a series of deadly encounters with the enemy.

Venice Locations: Bridge of Sighs, Piazza San Marco

16

When a secret marriage is planned between Othello (Orson Welles), a Moorish general, and Desdemona (Suzanne Cloutier), the daughter of Senator Brabantio (Hilton Edwards), her old suitor Roderigo (Robert Coote) takes it hard. He allies himself with Iago (Micheál MacLiammóir), who has his own grudge against Othello, and the two conspire to bring Othello down. When their first plan, to have him accused of witchcraft, fails, they plant evidence intended to make him believe Desdemona is unfaithful.

Venice locations: Palazzo Contarini Fasano, Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo (Spiral Staircase), Santa Maria dei Miracoli (Wedding), Ca’ d’Oro, Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) courtyard, Piazzetta San Marco by the Palazzo Ducale, Ponte della Paglia

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