If that old saying is true – “a picture is worth a thousand words,” then half a century of film archives must be priceless for telling the story and the beauty of Italy’s Campania region. Many of the old Hollywood classics portray southern Italy in a simpler time and the black and white images add to the romance of the love stories and the sinister nature of the tales involving crime and mystery.
The 1950s and 1960s yielded a treasure trove of films shot in Campania. Here is a handful to get you started on your journey through a different time:
Beat the Devil (1953) – How could you possibly go wrong with anything that stars Humphrey Bogart and Gina Lollobrigida? This has to be one of the best, most sinister and passionate plots. Bogart’s gang of thugs gets stranded in Italy (tough luck). Lolobrigida happens upon the scene to spice things up. The streets of Ravello and its Palazzo Ruffolo and Villa Cimbrone add just the right character. The one funny scene has Bogie sitting in a piazza and the waiter brings him a glass of milk. Bogie says “gracias” and NOT “grazie.” I guess director John Huston, as great as he was, wasn’t a stickler for authenticity here!
It Started in Naples (1960) – Another hot pairing was Clark Gable and Sophia Loren in a story which pits Gable as American lawyer, Mike Hamilton, traveling to Naples and Capri to settle his estranged brother’s estate. Hamilton doesn’t know that his brother is survived by a little boy who is being raised by his hot Italian Aunt Lucia (Sophia Loren). Sparks fly over life, love and values in a time that was both puritanical and rebellious. “If one must die, I too would choose the Bay of Naples on an autumn night,” has to be the best line in the whole film.
Marriage Italian Style (1964) – This film features the eponymous Italian couple of Marcello Mastroianni and Sophia Loren. He is the arrogant businessman from Naples and she is the prostitute who allegedly tricks him into marriage. The streets of Naples and the panoramic mountains are as much a part of the story as their on screen chemistry. Does anyone make a walk through a piazza as memorable as Loren? At one point she dances on air.
While Campania is alive with color, its films like these which preserve its colorful history.
Hotel Deals in Campania
Hotel Clorinda – Paestum, Capaccio
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Hotel Loreley – Sant’Angelo, Serrara Fontana
Stay 3 nights and save 10% on a double room or stay 4 nights and save 20% on a double room!
Check out more Hotel Deals in Campania!