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Sicily in Movies

Land of an ancient tradition, Sicily has always provided new ideas and stories for cinema. As Leonardo Sciascia said, "Sicily is the cinema".

Many of the films shot in Sicily have made the history of cinema, which can be a good way to know and explore the island. In fact, all of Sicily is a natural set. Landscapes, villages and squares call to mind images of films that have made the history of cinema. In 1948 the towns of Aci Trezza and Capomulini, two beautiful fishing villages, today fervent tourist places, were the background where Luchino Visconti shot "La terra trema". The director, in 1963, chose Sicily again to shoot his masterpiece, "Il Gattopardo": if you wanted to retrace the places of the film, in addition to the city of Palermo, you should see the "Villa dei Salina" in Boscogrande, then the town of Ciminna and Cefalù, where the prince of Salina was looking for the the prostitute as well as the place of the final journey.

Il Gattopardo

The region is back in cinema thanks to the Tornatore's new film, "Baarìa", an Oscar nominee. The film is set in Bagheria, 15 kilometers from Palermo and director's hometown. No matters if Bagheria of the film is a fake: Tornatore wanted to rebuild it, with maniacal precision, in Tunisia, not far from the capital Tunis, where the climate and the colors reminded the Bagheria of fifty years ago. We find again the square with the mother church (the "Madrice"), the main course (the original one is 425 meters long, they have been reproduced 405), the cathedral, the shops, the houses and also the headquarters of the Communist Party.


Again Tornatore builds Giancaldo, the village of "Nuovo Cinema Paradiso", with a collage of Sicily: the town of Palazzo Adriano in the province of Palermo, the Castle of Ventimiglia in Castelbuono and the sea of Cefalù. The director is back in Sicily again for filming "Malena", with Monica Bellucci, shot on the island of Ortigia, in Syracuse, the film's main set, with the enchanting Piazza Duomo, which acts as the theater for the apparitions of Malena, Noto and the white cliff of Scala dei Turchi near Porto Empedocle (Agrigento).

Nuovo Cinema Paradiso
Last mention for the masterpiece saga of Coppola, "The Godfather". The story is set in Corleone (Palermo), but the scenes were shot in Forza d'Agrò (Messina), a medieval town close to Taormina and Mount Etna. Another important and recurrent place is he "Castello degli Schiavi", located in Fiumefreddo (Catania), where some of the main scenes of the film took place, such as the unforgettable explosion of the car after the wedding.There is still the "Bar Vitelli" in Savoca (Messina), where nothing has changed: the home furnishings, lounge style, remained the same and were added photos of the scenes of the film and some newspaper articles.

Il Padrino
Films are therefore an opportunity to explore our Territory and to review the places seen in the films. The masterpieces filmed in Sicily are so many, from "L'avventura" by Antonioni's to "I cento passi" by Marco Tullio Giordana, "Il postino" by Troisi, up to the most successful fiction such as "La piovra", "Il capo dei capi" and the legendary "Commissario Montalbano".

Il Commissario Montalbano

Check below the list of films shot in the Sicilian territory:

· Baarìa
· Malizia
· Malèna
· Paisà


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