Naples has inspired many great movie directors, and to this day continues to provide a backdrop for evocative stories
1 Feb 2021
Vittorio De Sica dubbed Naples the most cinematographic city in the world. Thanks to its natural scenery and spectacular sights, Naples has always been of great inspiration to moviemakers. Neapolitans are “theatrical” by nature too; indeed, they make perfect if unwitting actors, along with their hometown providing a perfect backdrop for storytelling. Come with us on this novel tour of locations from some of the most famous films shot in Naples.
Marriage Italian Style – 1964
We start with Vittorio de Sica and his famous love story Matrimonio all'italiana, starring Marcello Mastroianni (Domenico) and Sophia Loren (Filumena), the most fabulous couple in Italian cinema history. To experience Naples through Filumena’s eyes, head off to Piazza Bellini and Via Costantinopoli. This is where Filumena disconsolately emerges from the office of the lawyer who has annulled her marriage to Don Domenico. Seeing her image reflected in a shop window, Sophia Loren smiles as she pictures herself in the lady’s hat worn for the occasion, before taking it off and chucking it into a wastebasket.
The Talented Mr. Ripley – 1999
Matt Damon, Jude Law and... local actor Fiorello? Yes, they all appear in a famous scene from “The Talented Mr. Ripley”, Anthony Minghella’s thriller inspired by a Patricia Highsmith novel set partially in Naples. Young Tom Ripley meets the father of a rich, spoiled young man of Tom’s age called Dickie, who has set off for Italy without telling a soul. Dickie’s father hires Tom to track him down and do everything he can to bring him back. As soon as he arrives in Italy, Tom finds Dickie and his girlfriend Marge, joining them as they shuttle without a care between Capri and Ischia. The film’s locations include Ischia Ponte, Ischia Lido beach, Palazzo Malcovati, and Procida. Tom decides to ignore the purpose of his trip as he gradually enters Dickie’s life. A host of Italian actors co-starred in the film, from Sergio Rubini to Ivano Marescotti, Stefania Rocca and – of course – Fiorello, even if it was little more than a walk-on part for this well-known Italian entertainer, in a karaoke sing-song with Damon and Law of the Carosone song “Tu vo fa’ l’americano”, a moment that went down in Italian cinematographic history.
Passione – The Musical by John Turturro – 2010
John Turturro-directed film “Passione” is a musical about Neapolitan song. Originally conceived as a documentary, it is a journey of discovery of Naples through its songs, singers, musicians and poets, who are the real stars of this musical. The foreign (but not too foreign) eye of Italian-American John Turturro criss-crosses the city and its music, from the thirteenth-century “Canto delle lavandaie del Vomero” to Pino Daniele’s “Napul’è”, evoking distant stories and myths. Mina’s timeless class leads in to the disarming elegance of Pietra Montecorvino, while the experimental seductions of Raiz, Almamegretta and M’Barka Ben Taleb frame an emotional encounter between Massimo Ranieri with Lina Sastri.
A Napoli non piove mai - 2015
If you’re a fan of light comedy, look no further than “A Napoli non piove mai”, a light-hearted, sparkling cross-section of Neapolitan life directed by Sergio Assisi, in which three thirty-somethings turn a new leaf after their destinies become intertwined. The entire feature film was shot in and around the Naples area. Indeed, the movie was supported by the Regione Campania Film Commission to help promote the Region’s capital city and its hinterland. Locations include some of the most stunning areas of Naples, such as Mergellina, Avvocata, Montecalvario, Posillipo, San Giuseppe, Chiaia and the Vomero. The film’s soundtrack was written by Aluei, the stage name of top musician, composer, conductor, multi-instrumentalist and Neapolitan philosopher Louis Siciliano.
Naples in Veils – 2017
Napoli Velata is a Ferzan Ozpetek film shot entirely in Naples to great box office and critical acclaim. The story of passion and crime unfolds against the backdrop of a not-often-seen Naples. Madness and rationality jostle one another as mystery envelops Adriana, a woman overwhelmed not just by sudden love but violent crime. Most of the locations used in Napoli Velata are in the Chiaia district and the old town, including exceptional tourist destinations like the Cappella San Severo, the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, and the Farmacia degli Incurabili. The panoramic terrace tombola scene was shot at the Cloister of San Martino, in the Vomero district.
Where to stay in Naples
Looking for a film-worthy hotel? If you want to feel like a movie star, come stay at Gruppo UNA's UNAHOTELS Napoli. Housed in a historic building, the property is in an ideal location to fully enjoy authentic Neapolitan life. A stone’s throw from the city’s headline sights, it makes an excellent choice for full immersion in the true atmosphere of Naples.