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Italy

Italy Film & Photography Production Services

Are you a media company, brand, ad agency or production company looking for film / photography production support or shooting crew in Italy? We have fully vetted, locally based fixers, service producers, directors, DP’s, videographers, cameramen, photographers, sound operators, production drivers, and a range of other film crew. Contact us for referrals, questions, cost estimates and references.

Want to know more about shooting in Italy? See below for an introduction to Italy locations, permits, when to shoot, costs, talent, crews, equipment, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits, film friendly hotels, transport, communications and safety advice.

Italy Film Locations

Italy is one of the world’s most filmed countries. The birthplace of Western civilisation, Italy is famous for its rich history, diverse cultures and cuisine, as well as for its beautiful coast and mountains. Italy has more UNESCO World Heritage sites than any other country in the world.

Milan, Rome and Venice are the major production centres if you need local crews and equipment. 

Film locations of interest can be divided into the following regions:

North-West

Aosta Valley is a region of northwest Italy in the southwestern Alps. The region includes the Italian side of the Matterhorn and Mount Blanc. Ski resorts of note include Courmayeur, Cervinia, and Monterosa. Castles of note include Fénis and Verrès. Gran Paradiso National Park has beautiful natural film locations.

Local cuisines include carbonada, fontina cheese, and aosta valley wines.

Piedmont. Turin is the capital of Piedmont. Turin locations of note include the Basilica of Superga, Palace of Venaria, Mole Antonelliana, Castello del Valentino, Piazza Castello, Royal Palace of Turin, the Chapel of the Holy Shroud, and Fiat’s Lingotto Factory rooftop racetrack. Turin and surrounding areas have several sporting venues that hosted the 2006 Winter Olympics such as Sestriere. Just outside of Turin you can find Palazzina di caccia of Stupinigi, and the imposing mountaintop Sacra di San Michele.

Piedmont is home to Lake Orta and Lago Maggiore. The latter has the Borromean Islands including Isola Bella, Isola Madre, Isola dei Pescatori, and Isolino di San Giovanni.

Local foods include castelmagno cheese, alba truffles, barolo wines, and panna cotta.

Liguria is known as the Italian Riviera. The Cinque Terre includes the colorful fishing villages of Corniglia, Manarola, Monterosso al Mare, Riomaggiore, and Vernazza. Portofino and Santa Margherita Ligure are stylish coastal towns. Sanremo is a vintage casino resort. Balestrino is an abandoned mountainside villages.

Genoa is the capital of Liguria. Genoa locations of note include Via Garibaldi, Genoa Cathedral, Doge’s Palace of Genoa, and Piazza De Ferrari.

Local cuisine includes focaccia, pesto, and linguine pasta.

LombardyMilan is a global capital of fashion and finance.

Lombardy locations of interest to visiting productions include the Italian Alps, Lake Como, Lake Lugano, Villa Carlotta, Villa Olmo, Royal Villa of Monza, Santa Caterina del Sasso, Castelo Scaligero, and Certosa di Pavia. Gavia Pass is a high mountain pass in the Italian Alps. Brescia is a rich industrial city. Lombardy is home to Beretta firearms manufacturing.

Lombardy dishes of note include risotto, osso bucco, and cotoletta alla milanese.

North-East

Trentino – South Tyrol is known for its beautiful alpine locations. Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy. Other alpine lakes of note include Lago di Carezza, Lago di Tenno, Lago di Ledro, and Lago di Tovel. Pordoi Pass is in the Dolomites mountain range. Campanile di Curon bell tower sticks out of Lago di Resia. Ski resorts of note Madonna di Campiglio, Selva di Val Gardena, Alta Badia, and Brunico. The Messner Mountain Museum Corones is located on the summit plateau of Mount Kronplatz. Buonconsiglio Castle is a beautiful castle in Trento.

Local dishes have a distinctly German influence.

Veneto is a northeastern Italian region stretching from the Dolomite Mountains to the Adriatic Sea. Venice is the region’s capital. The city is famous for its canals, Carnival celebrations, St Mark’s Square and Basilica, Doge’s Palace, the Bridge of Sighs, and Rialto Bridge. Venetian islands of note include San Giorgio Maggiore, Poveglia, and Burano. Isola di San Michele is a cemetery island surrounded by red walls.

Outside of Venice, Cortina d’Ampezzo offers snow skiing locations. In Verona you can find the Piazza delle Erbe, Piazza dei Signori, Torre dei Lamberti, Arena di Verona, and Castelvecchio Bridge. The Hotel Terme Millepini in Padua has a 40 metres (131 ft) deep diving pool; Y-40 The Deep Joy. Santuario Madonna della Corona is a cliffside church. Sacrario Militare del Monte Grappa is an imposing war memorial.

Local cuisine includes bigoli pasta, asiago cheese, grappa, tiramisu, and frittoles.

Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Trieste is the capital. The city is known for Piazza Unità d’Italia, Piazza della Borsa, and the Canal Grande. Outside of Trieste you can find Miramare Castle, Duino Castle, and the impressive fortress town of Palmanova.

See some local dishes of note here.

Emilia-Romagna is known for its medieval cities, rich gastronomy and seaside resorts. Bologna is the capital. The city is known for the Towers of Bologna, San Petronio Basilica, and Piazza Maggiore. Parma is known for its Cathederal and Baptistery.

Dishes of note include parmigiano reggiano, tortellini, prosciutto di parma, bolognese sauce, mortadella, and modena balsamic vinegar.

The autonomous state of San Marino is located in this part of Italy.

Centre

Tuscany is best known for its beautiful countryside, pecorino cheese, pappardelle pasta, steak alla fiorentina, and chianti wines.

Florence is the largest city in Tuscany. Film locations of interest in Florence include Renaissance architecture, the Uffizi Gallery, Michelangelo’s David, Palazzo Vecchio, the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, Boboli Garden, Giotto’s Campanile, and Pitti Palace.

Other Tuscan locations of interest to filmmakers and photographers include the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Siena’s Piazza del Campo, Sammezzano Castle, San Michele in Foro, Medieval skyscrapers of San Gimignano, Pietrasanta, island of Montecristo, the Colossus of Villa Demidoff, as well as several picturesque resort towns and cliffside village such as Pitigliano. Carrara is known for its spectacular marble quarries.

Umbria is known for its medieval hill towns, dense forests, green valleys, truffles and wines. Locations include Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, cathedral in Spoleto, Cascata delle Marmore, and La Scarzuola surrealist monastery. Orvieto has an impressive cathedral as well as the unique Pozzo di San Patrizio water well. Perugia is known for Piazza IV Novembre, and Palazzo dei Priori.

Marche. Locations of interest include Piazza del Popolo in Ascoli Piceno, Gradara Castle, Santa Maria della Piazza in Ancona, and Palazzo Pianetti in Jesi. Monti Sibillini National Park is a natural film location of note.

Examples of local cuisine includes fish soup with soft ascolane olives, and Funghetti di Offida.

LazioRome is Italy’s capital and home to many iconic film locations including, amongst others, the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Castel Sant’Angelo, Victor Emmanuel Monument, Spanish Steps, Catacombs, Roman piazzas, and Roman villas.

The Vatican City is an autonomous state that exists inside of Rome.

Outside of Rome you can find the ancient harbour city of Ostia, Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo, Monsters of Bomarzo, gardens of Villa Lante, and the picturesque cliffside villages of Civita Di Bagnoregio. Calcata is a hill town and hippie commune.

Dishes from Lazio include bruschetta, fettuccine alfredo, porchetta, spaghetti alla carbonara, and cacio e pepe.

South

Abruzzo is located east of Rome on the Adriatic Sea. National parks and nature reserves cover much of its rugged interior. Of note are Gran Sasso d’Italia, Sirente-Velino Regional Park, Camosciara Natural Reserve, and Lake Barrea.

Some local dishes of note include maccheroni alla chitarra, abruzzo pecorino, pizzette, and arrosticini.

Molise is a mountainous region on the Adriatic Sea. Locations of note include Matese Regional Park and Monte Miletto.

See examples of traditional regional cuisine here.

Campania is known for its ancient ruins and dramatic coastline. Naples is the capital. Locations of note include Naples Harbour, Palazzo Reale, Castel Nuovo, Piazza del Plebiscito, Naples Cathedral, and Castel Sant’Elmo.

The Amalfi Coast is famous for its colourful towns such as Positano. Sant’Agata de’ Goti and Calitri are picturesque cliffside villages. Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii are located in Campania. Castles and palaces of note include the Palace of Caserta, Aragonese Castle, Royal Palace of Naples, and Castel dell’Ovo. Other locations of note in Campania include the Sorrento peninsula, the island of Capri, Amalfi Cathedral, and Zaha Hadid’s Salerno Maritime Terminal.

Regional dishes of note include pizza, lasagne, buffalo mozzarella, and calzone.

Puglia. Bari is the capital of Puglia. Locations of note in Bari include Basilica di San Nicola, Castello Normanno-Svevo, and Palazzo Mincuzzi.

Lecce is known for its baroque architecture including Basilica di Santa Croce, and Lecce Cathedral. Other Lecce locations include the Castle of Charles V and the Roman Amphitheatre.

Trani is known for its castle and cathedral.

Ostuni is a beautiful whitewashed city.

Other towns of interest include Alberobello, Otranto, Locorotondo, Gallipoli, and Corigliano d’Otranto.

Castel del Monte is in Andria.

The Tremiti Islands are known for the Fortress of San Nicola.

The Nardo Ring is Porsche’s High Speed Test Track in Italy.

Puglia is famous for its wine, olive oil and traditional dishes such as orecchiette.

Basilicata is a region of forests and mountains in southern Italy. Sassi di Matera is known for its ancient cave dwellings. Other film locations of note include Pollino National Park, Parco della Murgia Materana, Val d’Agri – Lagonegrese National Park, Melfi Castle, and the abandoned village of Craco.

See regional dishes of note here.

Calabria is a sun-baked region of rugged mountains, old-fashioned villages and dramatic coastline. Sila National Park has beautiful natural locations. The cliffside coastal town of Tropea is known for Santa Maria dell’Isola Monastery. Hilltop towns of note include Morano Calabro, Altomonte, Civita, and Belmonte Calabro.

Regional dishes include stocco alla mammolese, pipi chini, and zippuli.

Islands

Sardinia. Sardinia is known for its sandy beaches and mountainous interior. Cagliari is the region’s capital.

Local cuisine of note includes pane carasau, malloreddus, sa fregula, and sebadas.

Sicily is known for its relaxed atmosphere and delicious cuisine including the regional dishes of caponata, cannelloni, veal marsala, and cannoli.

Locations of interest to filmmakers and photographers include Mt Etna, Palermo, Syracuse, Greek temples, Norman churches, Baroque palazzos and undiscovered beaches. The Aegadian Islands include the islands of Levanzo, Favignana, and Marettimo. The Aeolian Islands include the volcanically active islands of Stromboli and Vulcano. Strombolicchio lighthouse is an interesting location in the Aeolian Islands.

Sicily has played host to films including The Godfather Trilogy, Cinema Paradiso and Malena.

Agricultural looks of interest throughout Italy include vineyards, corn fields, olive groves and citrus orchards.

Italy Film Location Permits

Most permitting is done on the local level. Timing and costs vary greatly depending on the location and the size and scope of the project. In Italy’s cities, such as Milan, permits are required once you set up a tripod to film a scene. It’s possible to get away without permits if you are filming handheld b-roll without any setups that disrupt public access to locations.

Taking Rome as an example, permits are required for each location you plan to film in. The process generally takes about 2 weeks. If you are looking to film several Roman locations our fixer is able to offer a comprehensive plan to ensure a cost efficient, hassle free experience. Exclusive filming of the Colosseum is possible outside of public viewing times but only a limited amount of equipment is permitted on location. The location fee is generally around 3000 Euros per day. Filming on church property must be cleared with the church.

Drone filming requires special permits and a licensed drone operator. See here for rules.

Please contact us for location specific information.

When To Shoot?

Italy has a largely temperate climate with regional variations. The northern mountain regions get heavy snowfalls in winter and are warm with occasional rainfall in the summer. The central regions are humid. The south is dry and hot. The warmest and most reliable weather is from April to June. Shooting from July to August is best avoided as this is when most Italians go on holiday. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Italians love a celebration. Virtually every town in Italy has a festival at some point in the year. Examples of interesting cultural events include:

• Venice Carnival in February
• Calendimaggio Festival in May
• Corsa dei Ceri in May
• U Festino Santa Rosalia in July
• Festa della Bruna in July
• Palio di Siena in July and again in August
• Serie A Football runs from August to May.
• Italian Formula One Grand Prix in Monza in September.
• The Venice Biennale is held every two years from May to November.

Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Italy.

Costs & Tax Incentives

Costs. Italy trades in the Euro and as such it can be a relatively expensive place to shoot. That said, our locally based fixers and service producers will negotiate deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget. See here for the current VAT rate.

Tax Incentives. At present there are no tax incentives for foreign commercials shooting in Italy. 25% of qualified production expenditures at a CAP of 10 million Euros per company is available for international feature films. See here for more information.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Italy has a very long and rich history of internationally celebrated directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Italy has a good depth of non-union, experienced, English speaking crews.

Contact us if you are looking for a Milan, Rome, Florence, Venice, Naples or Palermo based director, DP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, or any other film crew in Italy.

Italy is home to a diversity of film industry specialists including companies like TNT Film Consulting which offer military technical advisor services.

Talent is non-union and buyouts are negotiable. As a multicultural country and fashion centre, Italy is home to a variety of locally based talent ranging from supermodels to background extras. Its close proximity to other major European production centres allows easy access to those pools of talent should you need to look further.

Italy Film Equipment

Equipment. Italy has a range of standard and specialized camera, lighting and grip equipment available locally. Milan and Rome are the main hubs for equipment rental. For local gear rental check out Kevin Granahan TV Production. For productions looking to bring in film equipment Italy is an ATA carnet country.

Communication. Web posted casting, scouting and videoconferencing.

Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production

Art department is of the highest standard. Set construction is very good but on the expensive side compared to what can be achieved for the same money in Eastern Europe. Examples of the standard of set design can be seen in films shot in Italy such as Ben Hur, Cleopatra, The Godfather Trilogy, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and The Talented Mr Ripley.

Studios and backlots. World class facilities exist. Cinecitta Studios facilities include 22 sound stages, 300 dressing rooms and offices, and a large exterior water tank. Cinecitta Studios also own thousands of ancient Rome set dec pieces they rent out all over the world.

Post Production. Italy has all the standard facilities.

Visas & Work Permits

Italy is a Schengen Area member state. Entry is subject to regulations from country of origin. Visiting US film crews can enter visa-free for a period of up to 90 days. Contact your local Italian embassy or representative for more information.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. Roads are up to international standards. Italy is extensively serviced by both budget and international airlines.

Accommodation. Contact us for recommended film friendly hotels in Italy’s two main film production centres, Milan and Rome. For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments. Hotels of note include:

Zash Country Boutique Hotel, Sicily
Eremito Hotelito del Alma, Umbria

Final Notes

Safety. Italy is a very safe and reliable place for foreign productions to visit. See here for up to date travel advice.

Down Time. From ancient sites to Serie A football games, from Sicilian cuisine to Tuscan wines, Italy has a lot to offer all visiting productions.

Projects. For an example of TV commercials, stills campaigns, online content, corporate videos, virtual reality 360 content, feature films, TV series and documentaries shot in Italy, please see below:

Hire Italy Production Support & Shooting Crew

If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Italy, please contact us.

If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Italy, such as a director, DoP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, please contact us.

We are able to provide you with answers, references and bids quickly.