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 Academy Award winner Paolo Sorrentino, who set several outdoor scenes of his TV series The Young Pope (2016) in the gardens of Villa Lante.
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 (Il tormento e l’estasi, 1965, directed by Carol Reed), Santa Margherita da Cortona (Margherita da Cortona, 1950, directed by Mario Bonnard), El Greco (El Greco, 1965, directed by Luciano Salce), Lucrezia Borgia (Le notti di Lucrezia Borgia, 1959, directed by Sergio Grieco) and Martin Luther (Luther, 2003, directed by Eric Till).
The alleys and squares of Viterbo have also been the stage for the cinematographic adaptations of plays by Shakespeare (Otello, 1951, directed and interpreted by Orson Welles) and Machiavelli (La mandragola, 1965, directed by Alberto Lattuada) and the ideal setting for Fellini’s masterpiece I vitelloni (1953), the satirical film Il vigile (1960) directed by Luigi Zampa, the comedy Troppa grazia (2018) directed by Gianni Zanasi, besides many other comedy (Grandi magazzini, 1986, directed by Castellano e Pipolo), drama (La corsa dell’innocente, 1992, directed by Carlo Carlei and Sotto la luna, 1998, directed by Franco Bernini) and crime movies (Il senso della vertigine, 1990, directed by Paolo Bologna and La sindrome di Stendhal, 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 film makers thanks to Giorgio Capitani, who filmed here many successful TV series like – just to name one - Il Maresciallo Rocca (1996-2005).