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"The Young Pope" and "Habemus Papam". The Vatican gardens of Villa Lante

Villa Lante is undoubtedly the most beautiful location in the area.

Designed in the early 1500s by Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola, Villa Lante is famous for its gardens, fountains (the main one – called Fontana dei Mori – is by the renowned sculptor Giambologna), waterworks, the Palazzina Gambara and the Palazzina Montalto.

Thanks to these features, Villa Lante has been the location of many films such as La maschera di Cesare Borgia (1941) directed by Duilio Coletti, Lucia di Lamermoor (1946) directed by Piero Ballerini, the melodramatic Cento piccole mamme (1952) by Léonide Moguy, the sentimental Le diciottenni (1955) directed by Mario Mattòli, the comedies I quattro moschettieri (1963) by Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia and Le voci bianche (1964) by Pasquale Festa Campanile and Massimo Franciosa, the musicarelli Nel sole (1967) by Aldo Grimaldi and Pensiero d’amore (1969) by Mario Amendola and the satirical All’onorevole piacciono le donne (1972) by Lucio Fulci and Senza famiglia nullatenenti cercano affetto (1972) directed by Vittorio Gassman.

In recent times, the gardens of Villa Lante became the Vatican Gardens in Habemus Papam (2011), directed by Nanni Moretti.  In a famous sequence filmed here, the newly elected Pope chances upon the swearing-in ceremony of the Swiss Guards. At the end of the movie, the unpredicted resignation of the Pope seems to prophetically predict Benedict XVI’s one, that happened a few years later (February 11th, 2013).

The TV series The Young Pope (2016) directed by Paolo Sorrentino – that tells the story of Lenny Belardo (Jude Law),  a young, nonconformist, American cardinal that becomes Pope with the name of Pius XIII – was largely filmed here as well.

It is worth mentioning also Bagnaia paese italiano (1949), a documentary dedicated to the ancient hamlet of Bagnaia by Francesco (Citto) Maselli.


Viterbo, Bagnaia