A guide to Florence for film lovers!
Guided Tours of Florence
Guided Tours of Florence
Guided Tours of Florence
Guided Tours of Florence
Guided Tours of Florence

A guide to Florence for film lovers!


Loved by directors from all over the world, Florence has been the film set of numerous films, which celebrate the transfiguring beauty of its squares and churches. Get ready to retrace these places!


With the help of your guide you could also do a fun guided tour in the Florence of cinema walking through the streets and the squares of the city which were immortalized by the greatest film directors! Here are some ideas!


When we think about Florence, we think about the place where Renaissance was born, the place where the brightest minds met and where beauty is tangible everywhere. And yet the cradle of Renaissance also has a certain equivocal charm: there is a subtle tension that pervades the labyrinthine Florentine streets, the statues in  Signoria Square depicting numerous acts of violence, the severe public buildings. Although at first sight Florence is the city of art , the city of the sun, there is also another Florence, illuminated by a gloomy light.


This cruel and fascinating Florence is the protagonist of Ridley Scott's "Hannibal", filmed in 2001 as a sequel to 'The Silence of the Lambs'.


In this famous film we meet the cultured and refined doctor Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) under a false identity, while walking in the Florentine streets, in Piazza SS.Annunziata, in the courtyard of Palazzo Vecchio, in the perfumery of Santa Maria Novella and in the Loggiato del Porcellino. In Florence, Dr. Lecter plays the role of custodian of an important library that preserves precious manuscripts, but this does not exempt him from committing acts of heinous violence. Commissioner Francesco de 'Pazzi is convinced that he can capture the ferocious cannibal and coincidentally he is the descendant of a cursed house that tried to assassinate two members of the Medici family, managing to kill one, Giuliano, and injuring the other, Lorenzo the Magnificent . The commissioner will share his ancestors’ destiny, ending up quartered and hanged in Signoria Square!


In 1976, film director Brian De Palma chose Florence for his psychological thriller entitled “Obsession”.


It is the story of a New Orleans businessman who tragically lost his nine-year-old wife and daughter. Ten years later he goes to Florence for work and in front of the Church of San Miniato al Monte he meets a woman who looks incredibly like his dead wife ... In the film you can see the beautiful façade of the San Miniato church (for the scenes inside they had to turn to another church because they didn't get permission to turn inside the building) but also Ponte Vecchio and obviously the seductive Signoria Square.

Michael Caine instead orders a Fernet Branca sitting at the tables of the Café La Loggia in Michelangelo Square and there he meets Christian Bale in the third chapter on the birth, death and resurrection of Batman "The Dark Knight Returns" directed by Christopher Nolan. A small, but successful Florence cameo!


Among the most famous films shot in Florence there is undoubtedly Ron Howard's "Inferno", with Tom Hanks in the role of Dr. Langdon, out of the pen of the writer Dan Brown.


In 2015 the shooting involved many symbolic places in Florence! You can easily recognise the unmistakable Florentine skyline with Brunelleschi's Dome. The protagonist runs chased by the police to the Boboli Gardens and then enters the Vasari Corridor, a passage that was built in 1565 for the exclusive use of the Medici family, and always thanks to this corridor, our hero arrives in Palazzo Vecchio (with a good dose of imagination of course!). If you want to retrace the steps of Robert Langdon you will also have to cross the Ponte Vecchio and reach Duomo Square, where you will enter the Baptistery, the place where our protagonist goes in search of the lost mortuary mask of Dante Alighieri.

For lovers of adrenaline-fueled films, "6 Underground" directed by Michael Bay, is a 2019 film shot in the Florentine streets among chases of cars, souvenir kiosks that blow up and amazing special effects!


But let's get to more 'classic' films. A film not to be missed is "Tea with Mussolini" by Franco Zeffirelli, an elegant film with a splendid cast that boasts Maggie Smith, Judy Dench and Cher.


The film explores the life of some English ladies living in Florence because they fell in love with its art and history. Their days slip away between visits to museums and churches in the city, painting sessions, chats and obviously, tea. But we are in 1940 and when Mussolini declares war to England and France, these ladies suddenly become enemies, thus they are placed in custody and transferred to a barracks in San Gimignano, in the Sienese countryside. The film shows the main Florentine streets, the English Cemetery, the Santa Maria Novella station and the Gianfigliazzi Palace on Lungarno Corsini. But above all " Tea with Mussolini" shows us Florence seen through the eyes of foreigners, enchanted by its uniqueness and speaks to us of a historical moment that was really critical for many foreigners then residing in Florence, but it does so without losing composure and lightness.


One of the most famous movie filmed in Florence is "A Room with a View" with Maggie Smith , Judy Dench and Helena Bonam Carter.


The film, directed by James Ivory in 1985, is a cinematographic transposition of the novel by E.M.Forster and tells the journey of the young Englishwoman Lucy Honeychurch to Florence, in the company of her older cousin in the guise of chaperons. Here she will fall in love with a fellow countryman, also visiting Florence, a free thinker and rebel. We are in 1907 and we are witnessing the transformation of the young protagonist hitherto educated according to very rigid conventions and principles, which discovers in sensual Florence, that there is also an alternative! To retrace Lucy's steps you should start from Signoria Square with its Loggia full of fascinating sculptures and then continue to Santa Croce Square, enter Santa Croce church and see Giotto's frescoes and then stroll to Piazza SS. Annunziata. The 'room with a view' of the novel's title was room 22 of the Pensione Quisisana and had a terrace overlooking the Arno. Unfortunately, it no longer exists as it was destroyed during the mafia attack on Via dei Georgofili in 1993. The Hotel degli Orafi is now in its place. However few people know that the kiss scene between Lucy and George with Florence in the background was not shot in that pension, but in the Villa di Maiano a few kilometers from Florence!


"Portrait of a Lady" with Nicole Kidman and John Malkovich, was directed in 1996 by Jane Champion, based on Henry James' beautiful novel.


As well as “A Room with a View”, this film talks about female freedom and conventions through the history of the rich and beautiful Isabel who arrives in Florence from the United States. In Florence she falls into the arms of Osmond, an apparently refined gentleman, who will reveal false and domineering. The Duomo Square is the place where Osmond seduces Isabel! A curiosity: the Florentine palace of Osmond is actually Palazzo Pfanner, located in the city of Lucca!

Finally, an unmissable Italian film, "The best youth" by Marco Tullio Giordana (2003) which traces the history of a family from the 60s to nowadays and which begins in 1966 with the protagonists who come to Florence to help the city hit by the floods. Despite the mud and military vehicles, the Uffizi courtyard is easily recognizable!