People have been shooting films in Padua for more than 80 years. From Castelli in aria (1939), directed by Augusto Genina and starring Vittorio De Sica, to Alle mie Spalle(2020), directed by Antonio Belluco, there have been around forty films shot in Padua and the surrounding area. The number bears witness to all that this city has to offer, with a range of beautiful locations and historical monuments that date from over a numbers of centuries and can thus meet all sorts of cinematic needs.
Perhaps the most famous film shot in the city was the 1971 La Moglie del Prete, directed by Dino Risi and starring Sofia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni – a film which made ample use of the location possibilities offered by Prato della Valle.
Padua-born film directors include: Carlo Mazzacurati, whose films include Notte Italiana (1987), La lingua del Santo (1999) and La giusta distanza (2007), his tenth film; Salvatore Samperi, whose first film Grazie zia (1968, with Lisa Gastoni and Lou Castel, and set in Bresseo) was followed by the likes of Casta e pura (with Laura Antonelli).
Other films set in Padua include Antonio guerriero di Dio (1995), directed by Antonello Belluco, whose Sulle mie Spalle is released in 2020. This new story concerns various decades in the life of two Padua families at the time of St. Leopold, who plays a part in the life ‘from above’. Nor should one forget the 2013 film Sole a catinelle, whose director Checco Zalone joyfully turned the old city centre upside down during the making of the film.
The sheer number and quality of the films, directors and actors linked with Padua is remarkable for a city that is far from being a metropolis. Joseph Losey’s 1979 Don Giovanni, was shot in the area to the north of Padua; Carlo Verdone’s 1994 Perdiamoci di vista and 1995 Viaggi di Nozze were both set in Padua, as were Liliana Cavani’s 2002 Il gioco di Ripley and Mauro Bolognini’s 1973 Libera, amore mio (which starred Claudia Cardinale).
Learn more about Padova Film Commission.