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From "Vecchia guardia" to "Troppa grazia". The cinema in the heart of Viterbo

The Medieval quarter of San Pellegrino, with its charming alleys and ancient buildings, has always been one of Viterbo’s most sought-after locations for shooting movies. In the 1930s, the film director Alessandro Blasetti filmed in San Pellegrino and in the adjacent Piazza del Gesù and Piazza della Morte many sequences of his Vecchia guardia (1935), a movie that celebrates the actions of the Fascist squads.

After the end of the Second World War, many costume dramas were set in this area: Lucia di Lammermoor (1946) by Piero Ballerini, Lucrèce Borgia (1953) by Christian-Jacque and Le notti di Lucrezia Borgia (1959) by Sergio Grieco, as well as a series licentious films - inspired by Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Il Decameron (1971) - among which Boccaccio (1972) by Bruno Corbucci and Decameron n.4 - Le più belle novelle del Boccaccio (1972) directed by Paolo Bianchini.

With the support of important production companies, more costume dramas brought to central Viterbo famous film directors and actors: La mandragola (1965, based on the comedy by Niccolò Macchiavelli that bears the same title), interpreted by Philippe Leroy, Rosanna Schiaffino and Totò  and directed by Alberto Lattuada; El Greco (1965), interpreted by Mel Ferrer and directed by Luciano Salce; In nome del popolo sovrano (1990), starring the great Italian actors Nino Manfredi and Alberto Sordi and directed by Luigi Magni; Luther (2003, based on the life of Martin Luther) interpreted by Joseph Fiennes and starring also Peter Ustinov and Bruno Ganz.

It is worth mentioning also the fantasy film Die Todesstrahlen des Dr. Mabuse (1968) directed by Hugo Fregonese – who shot some sequences in San Pellegrino, Piazza San Lorenzo and the nearby area – and the thriller La sindrome di Stendhal (1995) by Dario Argento, largely filmed in San Pellegrino, Piazza del Plebiscito and Piazza Della Vite (Viterbo is explicitly mentioned in this movie).  

Piazza del Gesù 01100 Viterbo