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F for Feuilleton

Sighs and drawn-out expectation. These are the basic ingredients of the serialized novels known as feuilleton. Their settings ancient or with a vintage feel where unlucky lovers are destined to live out cruel twists of destiny or suffer the conspiracies of an ill-wisher enviously trying to come between them. On the other hand, while this genre doesn’t lack pain and suffering, it does at least (often) lead to a happy ending.

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The locations

Flavian Amphitheatre in Pozzuoli
Region: Campania Type: Anfiteatro Territory: centro storico, città
Bassano del Grappa
Region: Veneto Type: Borgo storico Territory: montagna
Cinecittà Studios
Region: Lazio Type: Studio di produzione Territory: città, periferia
Glurns - Glorenza
Region: Alto Adige Type: Borgo storico Territory: borgo, centro storico
Poli Distilleries
Region: Veneto Type: Distilleria Territory: pianura
Civic museum of Bassano del Grappa
Region: Veneto Type: Museo Territory: centro storico
Archaeological Park of Campi Flegrei
Region: Campania Type: Sito archeologico Territory: collina, mare
Piazza Libertà – Bassano del Grappa
Region: Veneto Type: Piazza Territory: centro storico, città
Region: Campania Type: Paese Territory: centro storico, cittadina, lago, mare, paese

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Lake Anterselva

Sliding doors and unlucky lovers

Grand Hotel is a crime thriller interwoven with a love story and set against the backdrop of the Belle Époque, when it was still difficult for an aristocratic woman (Adele) and a man of humble origins (Pietro) to achieve their dream of being together. Filming took place in Alto Adige, in Mareta, Glurns, Stava-Naturns and Tarces. The Hotel which lends its name to the title of the series is the central location in the story. It is referred to as “Paradise” and is typical of luxury Alpine hotels from the early 20th century: the external shots were taken in Castel Wolfsthurn, which sits on a hill overlooking Mareta, near Vipiteno in Eisack Valley. The Baroque building has been home, since 1996, to the provincial Hunting and Fishing Museum. In the series, there is a lake in front of the hotel, where in reality there’s actually a large expanse of grass. The lake used for the series was Lake Anterselva (Antholzer See in German), an Alpine lake located 1,642 metres above sea level in the valley of the same name. A lot of the external shots were taken in one of the “most beautiful villages in Italy”, or rather Glurns, a small town 907 metres above sea level located in the middle of the Vinschgau Valley, which is characterised by its perfectly preserved Medieval walls. 

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Cinecittà Studios – Rome

Oscar winners are born and she was (modestly) born thus

News of Sophia Loren’s Oscar victory reaches her mother Romilda Villani, who visits her to congratulate her at her home in piazza d’Ara Coeli in Rome. A flashback to 30 years earlier takes us to Pozzuoli (NA), when young Romilda had ambitions to make it big in Hollywood, but came up against her parents’ refusal. This is the opening of La mia casa è piena di specchi (My House is Full of Mirrors) a drama based on the book written by Maria Scicolone, younger sister of the actress Sofia. The film was partly shot in Nettuno (RM), a Medieval town that was transformed into 1950s and 1960s Pozzuoli for the film. Romilda turns her unsatisfied ambitions onto her daughter Sofia when, while sitting on the beach on the Phlegraean Coast in Pozzuoli, she sees in a newspaper that the production team for Quo Vadis is looking for extras. At first times are hard, and the two women stay in a boarding house in porta Maggiore, taking the tram every day to Cinecittà studios, waiting for their big break. In the background, their mother Romilda struggles as she attempts to have her second daughter recognised by her father. The epilogue takes place where it all started, in Pozzuoli: Romilda looks out of the window of her family home, reflecting on the last 30 years. Outside we can see the Flavian amipitheatre.

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Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – Milan

The temple of fashion

Based on Émile Zola’s book, the series Il Paradiso delle Signore (The Ladies' Paradise) tells the story of Teresia Iorio, who escapes from Sicily, where she has been promised to Salvo, to work in her uncle’s shop, in Milan. Here she becomes one of the “Venuses” of the “Ladies’ Paradise”, a revolutionary department store where fashion is within everyone’s reach, and falls in love with the owner Pietro Mori. Still in production, the series increasingly takes on the characteristics of a soap opera and guides us through the elegant and sophisticated settings of the 1950s fashion world with forty or so sets located above all in Milan, where filming took place in piazza Duomo, the Navigli, Milan Central station, near La Scala theatre, in the galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, near the arch of Peace, and inside and outside Sforza Castle.

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Ponte Vecchio – Bassano del Grappa

Dynasties and alembics

Set between 1958 and 1985, Di padre in figlia centres around the affairs of two families of distillers in Bassano del Grappa (VI). The Poli Distillerie made its artisan facilities and the offices available for filming while The Distillerie Sartori, opened by Enrico Sartori after falling out with his former business partner Franza, was reconstructed at the Distillerie Schiavo, which is located in Costabissara, near Vicenza. Both distilleries are open to the public, and the latter is home to a small museum dedicated to the production of grappa. A number of locations in Bassano del Grappa are recognisable, starting with the Ponte Vecchio in the opening sequence, a well-known monument of the city which is covered in wood. The bus stop was set up in piazza Terraglio, in the centre of Bassano and piazza Libertà is home to the “Cose Belle” tailor’s, which is owned by Pina.

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