Lake Como movie locations
Lake Como is the third largest lake in Italy and consists of three branches between the provinces of Como and Lecco; it has a rich history and since Julius Caesar founded the city of Novum Comum it has been a retreat many outstanding cultural and political figures, artists, royalty and world leaders; nowadays the exquisite beauty of Lake Como is still frequented by many other prominent politicians, businessmen, art and culture athletes, besides starts and celebrities starting from George Clooney who bought a villa, in the tiny village of Laglio.
The link between cinema and Lake Como begins with nothing less than the Lumière brothers at the end of the 19th century. In fact the brothers who invented the Cinematograph mortalized beautiful Lake Como in some of their film shots, including a boat competition between boats and one of the first flight experiments of Enrico Forlanini with his hydroplane.
Alfred Hitchcock was so in love with Villa d’Este that he spent every summer there. In fact, he filmed his first movie, “The Pleasure Garden” on the hotel grounds in 1925. He thought it was the most beautiful place on earth. Scenes were also filmed in Isola Comacina and in the tiny village of Nesso.
The Italian director Mario Soldati chose Lake Como for his film “Piccolo Mondo Antico” in 1941, and in particular Villa Balbianello in Lenno, historic mansion and ideal movie set for some of the most popular movies thanks to its particular beauty.
The year after he came back to Lake Como to film Malombra, based on the novel from Antonio Fogazzaro and set in Villa Pliniana in Torno.
Most of the unforgettable film Rocco and his Brothers, 1960, is set in a neo-realistic Milan, but some scenes are set in Bellagio too. The film director Luchino Visconti often spent his summer holidays on Lake Como, as Villa Erba in Cernobbio had belonged to his family, this villa was also the location for his film Ludwig in 1973.
In 1961 Dino Risi filmed Una vita difficile, starring Alberto Sordi. He chose Lenno as the main location, but some romantic scenes were filmed on the mountains of Cerano d’Intelvi, with lake view.
Sidney Pollack’s film starring Al Pacino and Marthe Keller opens in Switzerland but the action soon moves to Italy. Memorable scenes from the film include the drive down the hills to the lake with the Bellagio headland in the distance clearly separating the two branches of the lake and the ferry ride from Tremezzo to Bellagio.
In the eighties several Italian commedies films were set in Lake Como, from Villa Olmo (Castellano e Pipolo, 1981), to Villa Belinzaghi in Cernobbio (Mani di fata di Steno, 1983) to the city of Como (I figli di Annibale di Ferrario, 1998).
In 1984 Once Upon a Time in America starring Robert De Niro and James Wood was shot on the rivers of Bellagio.
Over the years, Lake Como become a popular film location and in the 21st Century a number of featured films have still used Lake Como for location shooting. Worth to be mentioned are the Italian films: La peggior settimana della mia vita (Alessandro Genovesi, 2011) starring Cristiana Capotondi and Fabio De luigi; Il mio miglior nemico (Carlo Verdone, 2006) set in Menaggio; and Il capitale umano (Paolo Virzì, 2014) starring Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and Fabrizio Bentivoglio.
The lake has also served as spectacular international film locations for the James Bond movie Casino Royale and the three Star Wars prequels. All of the filming locations of Star Wars: Attack of Clones were located in or near Lake Como. George Lucas fell in love with the gardens of Lake Como; he found in Villa Balbianello, the plain of Rogaro and Tremezzo the perfect settings for natural scenes full of special effects.
George Clooney filmed parts of his blockbuster movie “Oceans Twelve” at Villa Oleandra, while James Bond 007 – Casino Royale (2006) starring Daniel Craig, features scenes set at Villa Balbianello and the last scene at Villa la Gaeta, when Bond shoots and meets Mr. White, and utters the famous words “Bond… James Bond”.
Film tourism at Lake Como – Where to stay
On the website VacanzeLago.com you can book a atay at Lake Como choosing different types of accommodations, for example you’ll find holiday rentals in Lenno, close to the enchanting Villa Balbianello where Star Wars e Casino Royal were set.