The fascination exercised by the the architecture and urbanism of San Gimignano could not remain indifferent to the filmmakers. They were many, in fact, who found the small Tuscan village as the perfect setting for their films. Here is a short list of six major films fimed in San Gimignano
“Il Fu Mattia Pascal” Marcel L’Herbier (1925)
This movie was the first feature film that was filmed in the town of San Gimignano to represent, on the big screen, one of the most important novels of Italian literature of the ‘900. After this film, were more than 30 films that were set in the medieval village.
“Il principe delle volpi (Prince of Foxes)” – Henry King
The film starring Tyrone Power and Orson Welles, tells the story of Andrea Orsini and his resistance to Cesare Borgia. The shooting of the film took place in San Gimignano and many other Tuscan cities such as Siena and Monteriggioni.
“Fratello sole, sorella luna” – Franco Zeffirelli (1971)
This was the first film directed by Franco Zeffirelli made in San Gimignano. The film tells the story Saint Francis of Assisi. The protagonists are two young Graham Faulkner Judi Bowker in the role of Clara.
“Il prato” – Fratelli Taviani (1979)
This film brought in San Gimignano the beautiful Isabella Rossellini. The village was chosen as a means to represent the crisis of the new generation, disillusioned and tormented. In the cast, besides the Rossellini, in the role of Eugenia a young Michele Placido, in the role of Enzo.
“Un tè con Mussolini” – Franco Zeffirelli (1999)
Captivated by the landscape of the Tuscan village, Zeffirelli decided to return to San Gimignano in 1999 to shoot a new film. “Tea with Mussolini” is set in 1935 and tells the story (semi-biographical) of a group of English ladies who have decided to live in Italy, fascinated by its culture and life style. Their lives will go through the experience of war and the subsequent release.
Romantic movie mainly filmed in Siena and surroundings with some parts in San Gimignano. The main idea was to export a product to promote tourism, but the film was not very successful in Italy. Vittorio Gassman plays the part of a decadute prince while Diana Dors plays a comely American tourist.