Breath-taking seascapes, towering mountains, erupting volcanoes, Arcadian pastures, age-old mountain villages, burnished wheat fields, bustling metropoli, Greek theatres, ancient traditions and paradisiacal beaches...
...just some of the reasons why so many location managers and directors choose to film in Sicily.
Roberto Rossellini filmed Terra di Dio (1950) on Stromboli in the Aeolian Islands and also found the time to have an affair with the leading lady, Ingrid Bergman.
Visconti could hardly keep way, first filming The Earth Trembles (1952) in Aci Trezza and then large sections of his Palm d'Or-winning The Leopard (1963) in Palermo and elsewhere.
Zeffirelli evidently had a passion for Sicily: he filmed the final scene of his biographical film of Saint Francis of Assisi, Fratello Sole, Sorella Luna (1972), in Monreale Cathedral, and shot part of his film of Mascagni's opera Cavalleria Rusticana (1982), starring Placido Domingo, in Vizzini (southeast Sicily).
Francis Ford Coppola chose Sicily for extensive sections of his multi-Oscar-winning Godfather II (1974) and then again for Godfather III (1990). Some of the most famous scenes were filmed in Forza d'Agro, Savoca and in and around Palermo, most notably the dramatic final denouement at the Teatro Massimo.
If you’ve ever seen Tornatore’s wonderfully gentle, Oscar-winning film Nuovo Cinema Paradiso (1988), you might have noticed, amongst other places, Palazzo Adriano and Cefalù.
Oscar-winning director and actor Roberto Benigni spent time in Taormina making Il Piccolo Diavolo (1988) and in Letojanni and Palermo for Johnny Stecchino (1991).
Luc Besson filmed part of his 1988 film The Big Blue, starring Rosanna Arquette and Jean Reno, in and around Taormina and Messina.
Michael Radford's lovely movie Il Postino (1995), starring Massimo Troisi, Philippe Noiret and Maria Grazia Cucinotta, was made filmed on Salina. It received five Oscar nominations (including Best Film, Best Director and Best Leading Actor) and won the Academy Award for Best Music.
The final scenes of Ocean’s 12, starring Brad Pitt and George Clooney, were filmed at the Tonnara in Scopello.
Woody Allen decided that Taormina’s Greek-Roman theatre was the perfect setting for the Greek chorus and Cassandra in Mighty Aphrodite (1995), while at the other end of the cinematographic spectrum, Star Wars Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith (2005) used footage of Mount Etna’s 2002 eruption to help out with special effects.
One of the final scenes of Ocean’s 12 (2004), starring Brad Pitt and George Clooney, was filmed at the Tonnara in Scopello. Another Tonnara, this time the one in San Vito lo Capo, featured alongside Favignana, in Viola di Mare (2009), a film directed Donatella Maiorca and starring Valeria Solarino. Its story has many parallels with the history of our villa Zu Nillu, on Favignana.
Tornatore, a native Sicilian himself, returned twice to Sicily, first to film Malena (2001) with Monica Bellucci , then for Baaria (2009). The former was largely shot in Syracuse and Noto, while the latter takes its name from and was located in Bagheria.
Wim Wenders shot The Palermo Shooting (2008) in Palermo, while Luca Guadagnino brought Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes and Dakota Johnson to Panetelleria to make A Bigger Splash (2015).
Most recently, the Inspector Montalbano series have really put Sicily, bringing towns such as Ragusa Ibla, Scicli, Noto and Modica to millions of screens around the world.
Still closer to home, after painstaking research throughout Europe, The Walt Disney Company chose our villa, Rocca delle Tre Contrade, as one of the main locations for Tini - the New Life of Violetta (2016).
All those locations managers can’t be wrong! Why not come and see it all for yourself?
Villas in Sicily >>