Watching a movie should instantly teleport the audience to the core of the action. And the backdrop should always match the story, for a more powerful visual impact. Film locations in Italy come packed with telegenic landscapes. But how about movies using substitute locations? How can one tell the difference?

Genuine Film Locations In Italy

Rolling hills, mesmerizing Mediterranean coast, timeless architecture, all these elements define Italy. So, when filmmakers decide to shoot here, they know they can have both Alpine peaks and seaside angles. Film locations in Italy provide plenty of flexibility for videographers.

There is a consistent list of productions that highlight the country’s scenic spots. Just think of The Godfather (1972), Hannibal (2001), Bond movies, or The Tourist (2010). International filmmakers have often turned their cameras towards this southern European country. No regrets, as each corner, from Sicily to northern regions, looks equally good on film.

Among Italian film locations, Rome, Florence, or Venice are the favorites. Of course, with the help of an experienced location scout, areas like Tuscany or the Alps can become your set. The wide array of landscapes available here can match even the most exquisite taste. And even better than that, some locations can even be a great substitute.

The Alps region can be suitable for any story placed in Austria or Switzerland even. The southern coast has a lot in common with the Croatian seaside and not only. Throughout the decades, some productions have used the Italian landscape as a substitute. Materare placed Jerusalem in The Passion of the Christ (2004) or Mary Magdalene(2018).

From bridges and channels in Venice to olive groves, the picturesque scenery enchants. Film locations in Italy bring a lot of possibilities for filmmakers. Mysterious old abbeys and Roman ruins reminiscent of the past can be a great pick. Just imagine shooting here.

Substitute Backdrops For Italy

As all-encompassing as they are, film locations in Italy can be sometimes replaced. Yes, you read that right. There are movies with their action set in Italy, but shooting took place somewhere else. That comes as no surprise since filmmakers can be rather demanding. Or perhaps the desired location is not available at the time.

An impressive example of a substitute location is Malta’s Fort Ricasoli. It replaced Ancient Rome in Gladiator (2000). The crew shot several scenes in the fort but also built a replica of the Colosseum inside the walls. Of course, some computer-generated imagery was also involved in that grandiose set. One of the reasons why Malta was a better choice for this movie resides in its history as a military base. In other words, Malta has plenty of forts to spare. Obviously, Fort Ricasoli is the most cinematic one. It was even featured in Game of Thrones as well if you have doubts about how imposing it can look on film.

Replacing film locations may feel disappointing, but adapting is essential in filmmaking. Weather conditions, political or social conflicts, even a pandemic can force changing plans. Yet, do you think Italy’s landscapes can be easily replaced?