The Canal of the Angels (1934), dir. Francesco Pasinetti
The only feature film by Francesco Pasinetti, The Canal of the Angels tells the story of a worker in a Venice in full industrialization and his relationship with his wife and son. The director, a native of Venice, intentionally wanted the entire film to be set and shot in Venice, positioning it "above all else" as stated in an interview. Filming began in the summer of 1934 and the scenes were shot entirely in Murano, in particular in the San Pietro district.
Summer Madness (1955), dir. David Lean
Accompanied by the music of Gioacchino Rossini, Summer Madness tells of a woman (Katharine Hepburn) on a summer vacation alone in Venice. The film was completely shot between the canals, between the Fields, the bridges and the Calli of Serenissima, with the addition of scenes that reflect historical commercial places, such as the luxurious and romantic Gran Caffè Chioggia in Piazza San Marco, and an unmissable trip to the island of Burano.
The Anonymous Venetian (1970) dir. Enrico Maria Salerno
The story of a musician from the La Fenice Theater who invites his wife, from whom he has been separated for years, to spend a good time in Venice as in the past. The film includes a short journey on the Grand Canal, with an obligatory passage under the Rialto Bridge and at Ca' Foscari even if not normally present on the same path and direction. The locations include: San Samuele Pool, Campo Santo Stefano, Ponte Longo in Giudecca and the Casa dei Tre Oci. Some scenes resume activities still open today, such as the "Ai Gondolieri" pub at Fondamenta Ospedaleto and the Antica Locanda Montin, on the Fondamenta di Borgo.
Death in Venice (1971), dir. Luchino Visconti
Based on the novel by Thomas Mann, Death in Venice tells the story of a composer who stays at the Hotel des Bains fascinated by the forbidden beauty of a young man of Polish nationality. With the exception of some flashback scenes set in Austria and shot in Trentino, the film was completely shot in Venice: the main location was the over one hundred year old Hotel des Bains (where the author of the novel also stayed), both indoors and outdoors, while all the external scenes on the beach were recorded at the Alberoni Beach, located at the southern end of the island of Lido di Venezia.
Moonraker (1979), dir. Lewis Gilbert
The fourth film of the James Bond character played by Roger Moore, Moonraker continues the adventures of the most famous spy and secret agent in the world, always ready to escape dangers and to investigate. The scenes of the film were shot between different cities, such as Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, London, Paris including Venice. The scenes shoot the protagonist in a gondola in Piazza San Marco and among the locations we also find Palazzo Pisani in Santo Stefano.
Everyone Says I Love You (1996), dir. Woody Allen
The American director and protagonist Woody Allen, as he himself has repeatedly stated, has always considered the lagoon city as if it were his home, so much so as to contribute financially to the reconstruction of the Teatro La Fenice (following its destruction caused by a fire in January 1996) and to be considered as the place of his wedding. It therefore returns to the locations of Everyone Says I Love You together in New York and Paris. Vacation place where Woody Allen meets Julia Roberts, among the main locations we find The Gritti Palace in Campo Santa Maria del Giglio, the inevitable Grand Canal on which the latter overlooks, Campo Santo Stefano, Campiello Barbaro and the Rialto fish market.
Bread and Tulips (2000), dir. Silvio Soldini
Winner of nine David di Donatello, five Nastri d'Argento and three nominations for the European Film Awards, Bread and Tulips tells the story of a woman of Neapolitan origin living in Pescara who finds herself in Venice on "the run" due to a series of unfortunate events. The external locations are multiple and encompass all the districts of the Serenissima: from Fondamenta Santa Giustina to Calle Lunga San Barnaba and from Sacca della Misericordia to Campo San Francesco della Vigna. Filming was not only and exclusively shot in the historic center of Venice, but also in Mestre, in the Pertini district.
Casanova (2005), dir. Lasse Hallström
With Heath Ledger as the protagonist, the fictionalized version of the seducer Casanova is this time told by director Lasse Hallström. The film was completely shot in Giacomo Casanova's hometown, with the exception of some scenes shot in the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza. The main locations include Palazzetto Pisani, Palazzo Soranzo Van Axel, the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, an "eighteenth-century" Piazza San Marco crossed by horse-drawn carriages and crowded with over five hundred appearances, and an ending with the Grand Canal crossed by dozens of boats vintage.
The Tourist (2010), dir. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Played by Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, The Tourist starts with a Parisian setting and then moves its shots to the city of Venice. Among the locations of greater depth, in chronological order, the cast arrives at the Serenissima through the Venice Santa Lucia Station, and then crosses the Grand Canal to arrive at the Hotel Danieli with only the hall of Palazzo Dandolo in reality: the facade and the interiors are from Palazzo Pisani Moretta and the balcony from Palazzo Querini Benzon. The entire film is a journey through the city, with important shots of architectures such as the Marciana National Library and Piazza San Marco, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, the interior of Palazzo Loredan, Fontego dei Turchi and Villa F located on the Giudecca Island.
Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019), dir. Jon Watts
Spider-Man Homecoming sequel, Spider-Man: Far from Home continues the adventures of the superhero by Marvel, with special effects outside the box. On a school trip, Spider-Man will have to face a new threat to the canals of Venice: among the main locations for filming, we find Campo di Santa Maria Formosa and Rio di Sant'Anna in the Castello district, Piazza San Marco, Fondamente Nuove, the Rialto Bridge, the Grand Canal and the Arsenale Canal. The actors stayed at the Hotel Danieli, in Riva degli Schiavoni, where the very young fans waited for hours, especially on weekends, for a photo and an autograph with the main protagonists.
Dozens and dozens of films set and shot in Venice
These are just 10 of the multitude of films shot and set in Venice, which has hosted numerous dozens of other casts to set even a single scene, given the immense possibilities that the city offers. Among the many others, we remember Portrait of a Bourgeois in Black (1978) which takes up Palazzo Barbaro in Fondamenta Barbaro exactly as Everyone says I Love You; The English Patient (1996) winner of 9 Oscars shot some scenes at the Hotel des Bains; Giordano Bruno (1973), where compares Palazzo Soranzo Van Axel (come to Casanova) and the Monastery of San Giorgio Maggiore; The Wings of the Dove (1997) set in a Venice of 1910 where the squero di San Trovaso, the Ponte della Pescheria, Campo Santa Maria Formosa, the Ponte della Salute and Campo dei Frari appear, in front of the Basilica dei Frari; The Merchant of Venice (2004) set in the last years of 1500 between the ancient Venetian Villas of the province of Vicenza and Venice with scenes shot in the city; Inferno (2016) based on Dan Brown's bestselling novel featuring Piazza San Marco with the Basilica of the same name and once again Once upon a time in America (1984) with Robert De Niro, in which the dinner scene of Noodles and Deborah at the Hotel Excelsior was shot.