Cinema in Emilia-Romagna

From Rimini to Piacenza, starting from the end of WWII, Emilia Romagna has been used as a filming location

The beauty of Italian landscapes and towns has always been displayed on the screen. Some locations have become iconic and become part of collective memory. Who has never seen the “Roman Holiday” sequence where Gregory Peck and Audry Hepburn speed across Roma’s traffic on a Vespa?

Beyond the well-known filming locations across our country, the Emilia-Romagna region impressed some directors, that picked it as the setting for their movies. From Rimini to Piacenza, starting from the end of WWII, Emilia Romagna has been used as a filming location. A long list of movies has been produced across this region, representing as well the history of Italy.

During the last decade, Italy is living a renaissance of its seventh art, catching the interest of filmmakers and fans. Emilia Romagna like many other Italian cities has returned to the worldwide screens. Here you have a good selection of movies filmed across our region, from east to west, and from the most recent to the vintage ones.

Volevo nascondermi 1

Giorgio Dritti on the movie's set "Volevo nascondermi" - photo by Artdigiland


Enzo Ferrari

Did you know that the cities of Modena and Reggio Emilia have been under the spotlight of the cinema industry all summer long?

Maybe you’ve been one of the intrepid fans looking for a selfie with one of the stars’ Academy acting in this brand new movie that has brought the international film industry back to Emilia Romagna. The Hollywood director Micheal Mann worldwide known for successful movies such as “Miami Vice” and the “The last of the Mohicans”, has picked Reggio Emilia and Modena as filming locations for the new biopic of Enzo Ferrari, the genius and the man behind the Ferrari empire. Despite the heatwave and the upcoming holidays, many citizens came along the “via Emilia”, the ancient road built by the Romans to connect Piacenza with Rimini, looking for a chance to see Penelope Cruz or Adam Driver, both of them starring in the upcoming movie, that will be released in

Enzo Ferrari

A photo from the set of Micheal Mann’s movie about Enzo Ferrarry - photo by Cinema Rosebud (Reggio Emilia)

Volevo Nascondermi

Reggio Emilia is not the first time that ended up under the cinema spotlight. In 2018 the Italian director Giorgio Dritti, captured some images of Reggio Emilia and its remarkable countryside. The movie “Hidden Away” (Volevo Nascondermi), released in 2020 tells the story of Antonio Ligabue, one of the most-loved painters of the 20th century. Despite his gruff character and his psychosocial disorders, Ligabue is considered one of the fathers of naive painters and his works continue to enchant tens of thousands of people. The movie represents intimately the relationship between the artist and the hidden beauty of “la Bassa”, the vast flatland that stretches from Reggio Emilia to the Po river, the longest in Italy.

Various scenes are also a vivid document of the countryside lifestyle back in the ‘50s and ’60s, where most of the families were living together in the “cascine” (farmhouses). 

It is also possible to trace back the life of Antonio Ligabue and the places he loved, taking a day-tour trip to Gualtieri. The “Casa Museo Ligabue” offers a unique experience to see some of Ligabue’s paintings in one of the houses where he used to live. One of the family members that hosted Ligabue will introduce you to intimate storytelling of his life in Gualtieri.

Volevo nascondermi 2

One scene of the movie settled on the Po river - photo by Artdigiland


From the heart of the Emilia, we’ll move east towards the coast. In Rimini we’ll meet Federico Fellini, one of the most important Italian directors, an icon of Italian neorealism. Fellini’s movies are a remarkable testimony, with a bit of sarcasm and fantasy, of the social and political changes that Italy faced from the 50s to the 70s. “Amarcord” is probably Fellini’s most famous work. The movie, which title means “I remember” by using the local dialect, is also a journey into Fellini’s teen’ memories. The movie is settled back in the 30s and tells the year’s highlights of a community living in the neighbourhood of Rimini. From the summer festivals to the arrival of the first cruise ship in the harbour, and all the anecdotes of this small community living in Rimini. By watching the movie you’ll be filled with a sense of melancholy for those light-hearted times, but various scenes will ensure you also have a genuine laugh. The movie, released in 1973, was a worldwide success, which earned Fellini the oscar for the best-foreign picture


An archive photo of Amarcord's filming with Federico Fellini on the set - photo by Il Cinema Ritrovato

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis was directed by Vittorio De Sica, one of the Italian masters of neorealism. The movie is an adaptation of the semi-autobiographical novel by Giorgio Bassani. The story tells about the lives of an upper-class Jewish family in Ferrara during the Fascist era. De Sica’s movie won the ​​1972 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Most of the filming locations are on the city’s main course, Corso I d’Este, which will bring you towards Estense’s castle. As we said, both the film and the books are half-fictional, which means that not all the locations are real. In front of the Prosperini palace, there’s an enclosed garden, which could be the one mentioned in the book. Beyond the castle, you'll see the medieval part of Ferrara, where you’ll find the charming street “Via delle volte”. This street was also part of the Jewish ghetto during the Middle Age.

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis

An alley in Ferrara, part of the walking itinerary through Giorgio Bassani’s location - Photo by Italy Magazine

Are you eager to discover more movies filmed in Emilia Romagna? Have a look at the page Cinemeturismo, promoted by the Cineteca di Bologna, one of the most important Italian cinema archives.

On the page Cineturismo, you'll find hundreds of movies geolocalized in every corner of the region. 

Are you ready to plan your next trip to Emilia and discover the most iconic filming locations?

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