Producers and directors have always had an extraordinary range of choice when their shooting requirements include a noble palace, given that Italy is covered with them, from North to South. These historical residences have always enriched their scenes.
The great ball in Palazzo Valguarnera Gangi
Luchino Visconti’s Il Gattopardo (The Leopard), describes the decadence of the aristocracy enclosed in their palaces, while outside the bourgeoisie takes advantage of the events that will lead to the Unification of Italy. The intersection of these two classes is summarized in the memorable scene where the beautiful Angelica (Claudia Cardinale) and Don Fabrizio Salina (Burt Lancaster) waltz together in the Sala degli Specchi at Palazzo Valguarnera Gangi in Palermo.
Romantic Palazzo Chigi di Ariccia
The Summer Dining Room of Palazzo Chigi in Ariccia not only provided interiors for the Salinas’ summer residence of Donnafugata in the aforementioned The Leopard, but also the pharmacy of superstitious Prince Uzeda in Roberta Faenza’s I Viceré (The Viceroys). In Giovanni Veronesi’s Moschettieri del Re, the palace apartments are the setting for plots against King Louis XIV.
Intrepid musketeers at the Palazzo Reale of Genova
Years after their legendary deeds, D’Artagnan is farming cattle, Athos is the libidinous governor of a castle, Aramis is a monk in debt and Porthos a drunken innkeeper. The four Moschettieri del Re are summoned to duty by the Queen: they cross the sumptuous Galleria degli Specchi in the Palazzo Reale of Genova.
The kingdom of Selvascura at the Castle of Sammezzano
Dating to the 1800s, the Castle of Sammezzano in Regello, about 30 km from Florence, is a rare example of Moorish architecture in Italy. Many will remember it as the residence of the rulers of Selvascura in the episode entitled La Regina, where Salma Hayek plays the titular role of a queen willing to do anything to have a child, in Matteo Garrone’s Il Racconto dei Racconti (Tale of Tales).
The Sforza court in Palazzo Te
The sumptuous palace in Mantova built by the Gonzaga family was used as the Sforza court in Milan for the Rai TV drama I Medici (Medici: The Magnificent). When Lorenzo the Magnificent is obliged to make a deal with Duke Galeazzo Maria Sforza to save his bank, he goes to Milan. The location used here is Porta Imperiale in Sabbionetta and the glimpse of Mantova’s Castle of San Giorgio behind its walls is thanks to the magic of post-production. The interiors used for scenes of the Milanese court are those of Palazzo Te.
credits: Italy For Movies