Since the first decades of the 1900s, Viterbo has been the ideal location for cinematographic productions.
Over time, numerous film directors have chosen Viterbo: from the pioneer of silent movies Silvio Laurenti Rosa - born in Viterbo – who shot here some sequences of his anti-communist melodrama Katiuscia (1923), to the actor and film director George Clooney, who set several exterior scenes of the TV series Catch-22 (2019) in the city center.
Many different genres too: films about Fascism (Vecchia guardia, 1935, directed by Alessandro Blasetti), about war (Un pilota ritorna, 1942, directed by Roberto Rossellini and Piume al vento, 1950, directed by Ugo Amadoro) and films inspired by the lives of famous historical figures such as Michelangelo Buonarroti (The Agony and the Ecstasy, 1965, directed by Carol Reed), Saint Margaret of Cortona (Margaret of Cortona, 1950, directed by Mario Bonnard), El Greco (El Greco, 1965, directed by Luciano Salce), Lucrezia Borgia (The Nights of Lucretia Borgia, 1959, directed by Sergio Grieco), Martin Luther (Luther, 2003, directed by Eric Till) and the Medici family (Medici, a television series in three seasons, 2016-2019, by Sergio Mimica-Gezzan, Jon Cassar, Jan Maria Michelini and Christian Duguay).
The alleys and squares of Viterbo have also been the stage for the cinematographic adaptations of plays by Shakespeare (Othello, 1951, directed and interpreted by Orson Welles) and Machiavelli (La mandragola, 1965, directed by Alberto Lattuada), the ideal setting for Fellini’s masterpieces I vitelloni (1953) and 8 ½ (1963), the satirical film Il vigile (1960) directed by Luigi Zampa, the comedy Lucia's Grace (2018) directed by Gianni Zanasi, besides many other comedies (Grandi magazzini, 1986, directed by Castellano e Pipolo), fantasy movies (Freaks Out, 2021, by Gabriele Mainetti), dramas (Flight of the Innocent, 1992, directed by Carlo Carlei) and crime movies (Il senso della vertigine, 1990, directed by Paolo Bologna and The Stendhal Syndrome, 1995, directed by Dario Argento).Between the end of the 2oth century and the beginning of the third millennium, the city of Viterbo became popular again among filmmakers thanks to Giorgio Capitani, who filmed here many successful TV series, among which Il Maresciallo Rocca (1996-2005).
Photo: Piazza del Plebiscito (Viterbo), Christopher Abbott and Austin Stowell on the set of Catch-22 by George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Ellen Kuras (2019).
Photo by Philippe Antonello
Written by Franco Grattarola