Film directors and producers are reaping the benefits of going outside of their comfort zones and taking their crews to Italy. Hit TV shows like White Lotus and Succession are taking viewers on trips to the Bel Paese and giving inspiration for the travel itineraries.
“We believe that the success of one member is the success of all members,” says Cristina Priarone, President of the Italian Film Commissions. The commission created a website to help producers search by region within Italy and discover diverse filming locations as well as available regional funds for production.
Producers are branching out into the “unknown” parts of Italy. Campania, Basilicata, and Piedmont are seeing increased traffic by production companies as many are looking to find scenes “never before seen.” However, for many years Italy was a place without infrastructure, poor services, and a complicated bureaucratic system for film production. But in recent years, the country has made a turn around and film crews are flocking to Italy.
“What Italy can offer has no limits: history and modernity, uncontaminated places and urban centers, mountainous landscapes, and splendid beaches,” said Antonio Parente, head of the Apulia Film Commission. The commission has been supporting films in Puglia and has awarded close to $18 million for 74 productions.
“Co-productions between European countries are encouraged, as they obtain a higher score in the evaluation process. For non-European producers, there is a requirement to sign up with a European production partner in order to apply,” Parente Continued.
Succession and White Lotus may be two of the most talked about and widely known streaming shows set in Italy, but now movies are paving their way for air time. Here is a short list of recent films set in Italy:
Some films have used Italy as the backdrop to mimic other locations. In “The Swarm”, a 2023 Eco-thriller, Vento turned into the Vancouver Islands, Puglia doubled as France, and Rome became South Africa.
In regard to the influx of film productions throughout Italy, the general manager of the Roma Lazio Film Commission said, “These kinds of productions give our country a promotional boost, but our objective is to make sure this wave continues. And lasts! We are working hard, but it’s important to work harder, even when they are not here.”
Assistant Editor for America Domani, AJ Forrisi is a Brooklyn-based writer and photographer. His work focuses on food, travel, sports, landscapes, and urban scenes. You can find him on Instagram @aj.photo.works.