Under The Tuscan Sun movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was Under The Tuscan Sun filmed?

2003

About Under The Tuscan Sun

Under The Tuscan Sun is an American romantic drama produced, directed, and written by Audrey Wells in 2003. The movie is based on the memoir by the same name written by author Frances Mayes (who is also the main character in the film adaptation). It is based on the storyline of a recently divorced woman who visits Italy and buys a villa in Tuscany on the whim that she wants to stop being afraid of attracting good things in her life.

The movie was nominated for the Art Directors Guild Excellence in Production Design Award, and the film's main protagonist, who plays Frances Mayes, Diane Lane, got a Golden Globe Award Nomination for her contribution to the success of the critically acclaimed film.

The film starts with San Francisco writer Frances Mayes (Diane Lane) finding out that her husband cheated on her with another woman. The husband files for divorce and wants alimony and her house. Since he had not been working, she supported him, ironically allowing him to petition for maintenance. Getting disgusted by the whole sordid affair, she gives everything up, gets depressed, and visits her friend Patti (Sandra Oh) and her partner Grace (Kate Walsh), who announce that they are pregnant. Seeing how the doctor told Patti she could not travel, they give their prebooked ticket to Frances and ask her to go on their gay Italy tour and have some fun.

When she reaches Italy, Frances realizes she has fallen in love with Villa Bramasole and purchases it on a whim. Once she buys the house, she befriends the Polish contractors and starts treating them like family. She also makes friends with an eccentric aging British actress Katherine (Lindsay Duncan), who has the beauty of an Italian film star.

As Frances meets new people, has a new love interest, and starts enjoying her life once more, she realizes it's best to stop looking for love; instead, love will find you when you least expect it

City Locations

Arezzo, Cortona, Rome, San Biagio, Amalfi Coast, Italy, San Francisco, California, United States

Location Types

Architectural, Apartment, Artsy, Cabins, Italian, House, Mediterranean, NatureScapes, Rustic, Banks, Galleries, Religious, Restaurant, Retail, Theatres

Location Styles

Bungalow, Bus, Classic Car, Classic Truck, Mediterranean, Pick-Up, Plane, Scooter, Van

Under The Tuscan Sun Locations

Most scenes in Under The Tuscan Sun are shot in Italy. The film begins with shots of Frances with her American colleagues and friends, eventually leading to a divorce, and then the apartment bits with her friends Patti and Grace. These film shoot locations are all in San Francisco. However, once the film shifts to Tuscany, all the shooting is done in Italy at various locations chosen for their strategic historical significance, beauty, and immense character.

These places are Arezzo, Cortona, Rome, San Biagio, and Amalfi Coast, in Italy. Several other places are also used in the filming, with almost all the geographical locations kept intact (like in the book). The production team did a fabulous job maintaining the book's integrity with the movie, so readers and viewers were not disappointed with the cinematic experience.

The surrounding landmarks were particularly interesting to people who had visited Rome and Cortona earlier and could identify the various Piazzas, churches, fountains, and more from the film.

Teaser: The famous flag-waving show is held at the Montepulciano in Tuscany, Italy. Visitors wishing to participate can check the dates and times in advance to avoid missing the spectacular experience.

Fun fact:

Under The Tuscan Sun had a budget of $18 million and grossed at $59 million globally.

Frances talks to a man on the terrace scene in Under the Tuscan Sun

Piazza Pescharia (near Via Passerini), 52044 Cortona Arezzo, Italy

Frances Mayes (Diane Lane) meets fellow bus traveler Rodney (Dan Bucatinsky) on a terrace near the marketplace after she strolls around and purchases some grapes. Rodney seems to be having difficulty articulating his Italy trip in the postcards in his hand. He wants to send a postcard home but doesn't know where to begin.

Frances smiles and says, "Well, if you have a pen, I could write it for you." Rodney asks her, "Are you a good writer?" She shrugs and replies, "I used to be." He agrees and gives her a choice of postcards to choose from. Frances picks one, and Rodney tells her, "To my mom." Frances starts writing while thinking out loud, "Dear Mom. It's market day in Cortona. The piazza is an ongoing party, and everyone is invited."

This filming location of Under The Tuscan Sun is the scenic Piazza Pescharia, near the Via Passerini in Cortona. Cortona is one of the main artistic and cultural hubs in the Val di Chiana area after Arezzo. For tourists, getting here is straightforward via the LS6. Hop off at the Cortona Piazza Mercato stop, and walk for approximately 6 minutes to reach Piazza Pescharia.

Frances walks the streets of Rome and runs into Katherine scene in Under The Tuscan Sun

Via dei Cappellari / Vicolo del Bollo, 00186 Rome, Italy

While looking around, Frances passes people selling their wares, fruit sellers, and marketplaces and eventually comes in front of a real estate sign that lists houses for sale. Here, she comes across a listing for Villa Bramasole for the first time. She's instantly captivated by the picture of the historic Italian home.

Frances' musings are suddenly interrupted by the blonde-haired woman she had seen in the marketplace earlier. The lady, Katherine (Lindsay Duncan), says, "Bramasole. It's a nice little villa. Rather run-down, but redeemable. Are you going to buy it?" Frances laughs and says, "No, no, no. I'm just a tourist here for the day." The lady asks her, "So?" Frances responds, "Well, who wouldn't want to buy a villa in Tuscany? But the way my life's been going, that would be a terrible idea."

As Frances looks around, the Under The Tuscan Sun filming location is the Via dei Cappellari. This picturesque place looks exactly like something out of a quaint picture postcard. To get to the Via Dei Cappellari, hop onto bus number 23, get off at the Palazzo Faconieri – Uroboro, and walk for 4 to 5 minutes.

Frances arrives at her new home scene in Under The Tuscan Sun

Villa Laura, Case Sparse Le Contesse, 207, 52044 Campaccio Arezzo, Italy

Frances is on the tour bus with the rest of her tour mates when there is a hold-up on the road because of some sheep. While the bus is waiting, Frances looks out the window and sees that the bus has halted outside Villa Bramasole. Thinking it could be a sign, she yells as the bus starts, "Stop the bus! Stop the bus!" and gets off with her luggage. Rodney keeps looking at her asking her what she's up to, but she walks towards the villa as if in a trance.

When she sees the slightly run-down house, she breathes a sigh of relief and enters the home while saying, "Hello?" and startling the pigeons.

This Under The Tuscan Sun film scene was filmed at the 17th century Villa Laura which stood in for the Villa Bramasole. While it has been updated and renovated with modern amenities, the villa still maintains its quaint Italian charm. Tourists can book the place for their vacation and enjoy the Tuscan experience. Hop onto bus number SU5, get off at SP 34 Umbro Casentinese – Torrino and walk for approximately 10 minutes to reach Villa Laura.

Frances and Katherine stroll after a meal scene in Under The Tuscan Sun

Piazza della Repubblica, 27 Cortona

The olive-picking neighbor, Placido (Roberto Nobile), invites Frances over for a meal, where she runs into Katherine. The latter was the blonde lady Frances met at the market before purchasing the villa. During the dinner, Frances gets hit on by another man, and Katherine realizes that Frances wasn't expecting it. After the meal, she and Frances go out for a stroll, where Katherine tells Frances, "Don't be embarrassed. Flirting is a ritual in Italy. Just enjoy it. Taste this. It's gorgeous," offering her an ice cream cone.

Frances asks Katherine, "How do you do it?" Katherine replies, "Well, hats make me happy. And ice cream. Ice cream changed my fate. It was because of ice cream that my beloved Fefe discovered me. Il Maestro. Federico, darling."

While not one of the best scenes in Under The Tuscan Sun, the picturesque Piazza Della Repubblica features prominently in the background as the ladies take a stroll. This gorgeous place is in the heart of Rome and is quite popular with tourists. Getting here is easiest via the metro. Catch the metro and hop off at the Repubblica stop. From here, the walk is approximately a minute.

Frances and her construction worker go to watch a movie in the theatre

Teatro Signorelli, Piazza Luca Signorelli, Cortona

While Frances is getting the work on her house done with all the restorations, she becomes friendly with all the workers. She treats them like family and befriends them, even learning Italian with them and, in turn, learning a few Polish sentences too.

Eventually, she and young worker Pawel (Pawel Szajda) go for an Italian screening of George of the Jungle since they both are trying to speak Italian and want to learn to be fluent. At the theatre, Pawel sees Placido's daughter, whom he fancies. Frances asks Pawel, "Have you talked to her yet?" He replies shyly, "Si, I have talked to her." She asks him, "Why don't you go sit next to her? Go on." He looks pleased and agrees to change seats in the theatre.

For the theatre scene, the Under The Tuscan Sun production team chose the quaint setting of Teatro Signorelli at Piazza Luca Signorelli in Cortona. While you may probably not be able to watch an Italian version of George of the Jungle, you can definitely go see if something else is playing. Getting here is fastest via bus number SU5 to Cortona Piazza Garibaldi. From this stop, the walk to the theatre is 5 minutes.

Frances clings onto a stranger in chase scene in Under The Tuscan Sun

Piazza di San Simone, Rome, Italy

When Frances is sightseeing, she loses her way and comes across three rowdy men who start chasing her through the streets. She picks up her steps and tries to lose them, but they keep catcalling and following her everywhere, saying, "Excuse me, signorina. You are American? English? Irish?"

Realizing things are getting out of hand, she grabs hold of the first man she sees nearby and says in English, "There you are. I've been looking everywhere for you. You said you were going to meet me. I've been looking for you for 20 minutes. What am I gonna do with you?"

The gentleman is shocked when she starts walking away and says to him, "I'm sorry. Mi scusi. Thank you." He says, "Wait! You just kissed me, and now you're going?" She smiles, "Yes," and crosses the road again, searching for directions while he stands at the corner and just smiles at her.

Considering the many Under The Tuscan Sun locations, this one is the Piazza di San Simone. It is a picturesque place with plenty of spots to visit, so visitors won't get bored with the beauty. Catch bus number 280 and get off at Lgt Tor Di Nona/ Zanardelli. The walk to the Piazza di San Simone is approximately 2 minutes from here.

Conclusion

Under The Tuscan Sun was a breath of fresh air in a time when most movies were still actively trying to find their footing in the changing cinematic scenario. Of all the pretty things in the film, the parts that audiences loved the most were the depictions of idyllic Italian living, the people, love, and comfort Frances receives at each step.

Barring a few instances where Frances is catcalled and harassed (which also shows the reality that tourists sometimes face), the film was incredibly serene and peaceful with emotional ups and downs. While there aren't any Under The Tuscan Sun action scenes, there are bits with the wall falling down that audiences relate to quite easily.

The storyline, subplot with Pawel and the pretty neighbor, Frances' love interest, her growing friendship with Katherine, and the visit from Patti all bring about a beautiful symbiosis in the life of a single, ready-to-look toward-life woman in her thirties.