Milan & Monza
The 100 most beautiful movies filmed in Lombardia
Milan, the capital of Lombardy, has made its mark on the big screen with its incredible monuments like the Duomo and Palazzo Reale.
After the Second World War, the metropolis served as the backdrop in classics of Italian cinema like Rocco and His Brothers (1961) and Miracle in Milan (1951).
The much loved Pirelli Tower was used to portray the offices in the political thriller The International (2009) featuring Clive Owen, as well as the office of Luca Miniero's character in Benvenuti al Nord (2012). Meanwhile, you can catch the stunning backdrop of Velvet Hands (1979) at the Villa Reale, or The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1970) at the jaw-dropping Villa Litta Bolognini Modigliani in Monza.
Take a look at these films and their gorgeous sets in the region of Lombardy selected for the guide, "Lombardia Superstar. 100 films, 1 region."
- Place du Dôme à Milan avec le monument à Victor Emmanuel (1896-99) Milan The first film set in Milan dates back to the Lumière Brothers, just a few months after the invention of the cinema. In this 50 second clip, a man and woman climb aboard a tram in the foreground with the always imposing Duomo and Palazzo Reale in Milan in the background.
- Toto, Peppino, and the Hussy (1956) Milan The hilarious three Caponi brothers travel to Milan from Naples in order to convince their nephew to return to school. Mistaking the infamous Duomo for the city hall, they set the monument at the forefront, where it would remain as the symbol of Milan on the big screen.
- Rocco and His Brothers (1961) Milan We can't forget the infamous scene featuring Alain Delon and Annie Girardot walking amongst the gargoyles of the Duomo of Milan. The jaw-dropping views over the city from this vantage point make it a must to be experienced at least once in your lifetime.
- Miracle in Milan (1951) Milan The Neorealist masterpiece by De Sica was a milestone in the history of cinema and showcased the boundless imagination of the Italians. In the final scene of the film, our main characters take off flying, aiming higher than the Madonnina to arrive in an imaginary land with a real sense of justice.
- Time of the Gypsies (1988) Milan Milan is portrayed as the city of redemption in this spectacular film, which sees the uprising of Perhan, a young Slavic beggar who becomes a customer of a luxurious café in Duomo Plaza.
- Lo Svitato (1956) Milan, Basilica di San Lorenzo In "The Madman" we find a young Dario Fo who, due to a series of fortunate events, manages to climb up the social ladder and become a journalist. One of Milan's oldest churches, the Basilica of San Lorenzo, is quite visible in the film's background.
- Il vedovo (1959) Milan, Torre Velasca The tragedy of "the widower" takes place inside Milan's Velasca Tower. Alberto Nardi (Alberto Sordi), young Roman entrepreneur constantly at the brink of bankruptcy, tries to provoke an accident to get rid of his wealthy wife yet ends up being his own victim.
- Somewhere (2010) Milan, Hotel Principe di Savoia Sophia Coppola drew inspiration from personal experience when she wrote the screenplay for "Somewhere". Both protagonists are a father and daughter that arrive to Milan to collect the Telegatto, the main prize of the TV sorrisi & canzoni magazine. Some time prior Sophia and her father Francis Ford went to Milan to collect the exact same prize. The movie was filmed at the Principe di Savoia Hotel in the piazza della Repubblica square. Father and daughter stayed in a splendid 500 square meters suite equipped with a private pool.
- Rataplan (1979) Milan, Monte Stella Surreal movie by Maurizio Nichetti where the protagonist Colombo (starring Nichetti himself), a recently graduated engineer, tries to get by working as a bartender in a remote drinks kiosk in Monte Stella, QT8 district of Milan.
- Ho fatto splash (1980) Milan, Piccolo Teatro Another surreal film by Maurizio Nichetti where he plays the role of a young boy who remained dormant for twenty years in front of the TV, wakes up and makes his fortune by coming up with the advertising slogan for a brand of soft drinks. A few scenes were filmed at Milan's Piccolo Teatro.
- Boccaccio '70 (1962) Milan, Piscina Scarioni This anthology film talks about the important cultural and behavioral changes that took place in Italy during the sixties. A few scenes have been filmed at the Scarioni Swimming Center of via Valfurva, one of Milan's main summer swimming pools, frequented by the population when the heat rises.
- The International (2009) Milan, Pirelli Skyscraper In The International, director Tom Tykwer gets us inside one of Milan's main landmarks for the first time. The Pirelli Skyscraper is the where the office of a rising right-wing politician is located and assassinated during a political rally. The protagonists, Louis Salinger and Eleanor Withman travel from Berlin to Milan in search of evidence linking an international bank with terrorist activities that take place all over the world.
- Nothing underneath – The last shot (1985) Milan The plot revolves around an open investigation about a few homicides involving models within Milan's fashion scene. The brother of one of the murdered models arrives to the Milano Scala Hotel, which gets framed in a couple scenes while investigating on the disappearence of the character's sister.
- La notte (1961) Milan Michelangelo Antonioni's famous film is one of the most important productions in Italian Cinema history during the sixties. It won both the David di Donatello and the Berlin Film Festival's Golden Bear. It tells the story of a day in the life of troubled couple. The movie begins with a panoramic shot of Milan, mirrored on the windows of the Pirelli Skyscraper.
- La vita agra (1964) Milan The Pirelli Skyscraper is once again the protagonist in "La vita agra". Luciano Bianchi (Ugo Tognazzi) contemplates in blowing it up in order to get even with the company that had fired him.
- Benvenuti al Nord (2012) Milan In the movie "Benvenuti al Nord", the Pirelli skyscraper serves as the offices for the mega-manager of the Italian Post Office Giorgio Palmisan (Paolo Rossi), who has great plans to make the company more efficiente. Two amusing protagonists Mattia Volpe (Alessandro Siani) and Alberto Colombo (Claudio Bisio), who were already in the prequel "Benvenuti al Sud".
- Il mio domani (2011) Milan, Porta Nuova Marina Spada's filmmaking puts on the silver screen the transformation of the Porta Nuova and Isola districts during the remodeling period in occasion of Expo 2015. The protagonist is a female 45 years old manager who is single and has an affair with his boss. She chooses to jeopardize such precarious balance and transform herself, just like the city she lives in.
- Milano calibro 9 (1972) Milan, Navigli district "The best Italian thriller of all time" according to Quentin Taranrtino takes us to one of Milan's most characteristic quarters: the Navigli district with its distinct houses, the awe-inspiring darsena canal in Viale Gorizia, nowadays completely restored and turned into the ideal place to take a walk, the Naviglio Grande and the Naviglio Pavese.
- Yesterday, today and tomorrow (1963) Milan The second part of "yesterday, today and tomorrow" is a harsh criticism of bourgeois society where a rich Milanese begins a relationship with a man of a considerably lower income (Marcello Mastroianni). This beautiful couple, perhaps the most acclaimed one in Italian cinema, goes around Milan and the Ticino river in a sumptuous Rolls Royce, showing us the Scala and Suca d'Aosta squares, the Central Station, Porta Ticinese and the Naviglio Grande.
- L'albero degli zoccoli (1978) Milan, Navigli district Palm d'Or at the 31st Cannes Festival, this movie by Ermanno Olmi tells the the story of five rural families that live, love and suffer in the Bergamo countryside. Two youngsters get married and travel to Milan on boat for their honeymoon. It is possible to take a tourist boat to follow the same path until reaching the towns of Robecco and Castelletto di Cuggiono.
- Eccezzziunale….veramente (1982) Milan, San Siro Stadium An eighties cult movie, it showcases Diego Abatantuono in three simultaneous roles: Donato, head of the Milan F.C. fanbase; Felice a.k.a. Tirzan, truck driver fan of Juventus; Franco, car salesman and Inter fan. The movie is known for putting the Meazza San Siro Stadium on the silver screen, which until then was only seen on TV. The San Siro Museum is located inside it and tells the story of both Inter and Milan Soccer Clubs.
- Marrakech Express (1989) Milan, Indro Montanelli public garden It is at the Indro Montanelli public garden that the four protagonists of the movie Marrakech Express decide to travel to Morocco to help their friend Rudy. The Palestro public gardens are widely appreciated by locals who go there to jog, take a walk and relax.
- Eccezzziunale…veramente. Capitolo secondo me.. (2006) Milan Sequel of the 1983 feature film, made twenty years later by Carlo Vanzina. It tells how the lives of the three protagonists, Donato, Felice and Franco, have gone on since then. Another success for Diego Abatantuono, still loved by generations of fans in Milan and beyond.
- Leonardo Chi (2010) Milano This production goes among the places in Milan where artist and inventor Leonardo Da Vinci went to and drew inspiration from: the Sforza Castle, the Last Supper in Santa Maria delle Grazie, the Ambrosian Library, the Da Vinci Science and Technology Museum and the Leonardo Ecomuseum.
- Mani di velluto (1979) Monza, Royal Villa Gardens and Monza Park Monza's splendid Royal Villa Gardens were the background of Castellano and Pipolo's amusing film "Velvet Hands", in which Adriano Celentano plays a rich engineer who invented an indestructible anti-heist glass (Guido Quiller). He falls in love with the fascinating Eleonora Giorgi who, in the movie, is a professional cat burglar (Tilli). As an excuse to be with her, he helps her organize several robberies while surreptitiously paying the victims back.
- Il Giardino dei Finzi Contini (1970) Villa Litta Bolognini Modigliani, Vedano al Lambro (MB) The splendid Villa Finzi Contini where the children of the owners (Micol and Alberto) play alongside their friends is actually Villa Lotta Bolognini in Vedanl al Lambro in Brianza. The Finzi Contini were a rich Jewish family from Ferrara who had to get used to the racial laws of 1938, which included among other things, to be excluded from the city tennis club.
- Made in Milan (1990) Milan, Quadrilatero della Moda Stylist Giorgio Armani talks about himself in this documentary about fashion, his family and his love for Milan, international fashion capital along with Paris, New York and London.
- Catwalk (1995) Milan This film by Robert Leacock follows model Christy Turlingtom during the spring fashion parades of Milan, Paris and New York. A unique occasion to get an inside look of Milanese fashion and its catwalks.
- The bethroded (1941) Lecco Alessandro Manzoni's famous novel has inspired plenty of films but perhaps Mario Camerini's 1941 production was the most faithful one. It featured two great actors starring as Renzo and Lucia: Gino Cervi and Dina Sassoli. The places mentioned in the book appear as a background in the movie: Lecco's Pescarenico district, Villa Manzoni, the church of the Saints Materno and Lucia.
- Grand Prix (1966) Monza, National Autodrome The plot revolves around four Formula 1 pilots' training and personal lives while they get ready to race in the Monza Grand Prix. It is possible to live every september the thrill of being at the Monza Autodrome, where the best pilots and vehicles compete for almost 100 years.
- Amanti (1968) Monza, National Autodrome Una scena del romantico film Amanti, che narra la storia d'amore tra il giovane ed allegro Valerio (Marcello Mastroianni) e la nobildonna A scene of the romantic film Lovers, which tells the story of young and energetic Valerio (Marcello Mastroianni) and a noblewoman (Faye Dunaway), who suffers from an incurable disease, has been filmed at the Monza National Autodrome, where Valerio tests race cars.
- Love in Milan (2014) Milan Love in Milan is the first Chinese production to be filmed in Lombardy. Its main subject ia fashion and love towards Italy. From Piazza Castello to the Duomo, Milan offers an exceptional location, although there were some scenes filmed at the Como Lake.
- Only you (2014) Milan A remake of a renowned romantic comedy where the search for a soulmate begins in China until getting to the most beautiful corners of Italy. Only You was produced by Huayi Brothers, one of the largest Chinese filmmaking studios.
- Rossini! Rossini! (1991) Milan, Scala Theater Rossini narrates his life and love with the assistance of his wife and friends, talking about meeting notorious soprano Isabella Colbran during a tourneé at the Scala in Milan and then Domenico Barbaja, who convinced him to go to Napoli together and work at the San Carlo, beginning a successful carreer.
- Giuseppe Verdi (1938) Milano, Scala Theater The film narrates the life of the great musician among his successes and failures, from the time when he left Busseto to study in the Milan Conservatory until his debut at the Scala in Milan, Lyrical temple that is famous around the world.
- Chiedimi se sono felice (2000) Milan, Scala - Cremona, Ponchielli Teather Comedians Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo attemp to break into teather by putting "Cyrano de Bergerac" on stage. A few scenes were filmed in front of the entrance of the Scala Teather in Milan, while stage scenes are performed at the Ponchielli Teather in Cremona.