santo stefano di sessanio

A new kind of holiday in the Gran Sasso region

On the trail of film locations

If you’ve ever been watching a film and have asked yourself where it was shot, where that beautiful castle was, well, the chances are that it was …. in Abruzzo!
The land of wolves, of woods and castles, land of craftsmen and shepherds, wild and humble landscape, with the goodness of bread and ferocity of a bear: Abruzzo has always been a favourite with Italian filmmakers for its landscapes and fortified villages and more. The Gran Sasso National Park and the areas around it have been the favourite location of great international directors and actors and for Italian well-known and lesser known directors alike.
The genres that lend themselves best to the landscapes here are definitely fantasy, epic dramas and thrillers, but also Italian romantic comedy has found that right scenery, and settings in this part of provincial Italy.

The film that has impacted and influenced the latest generation the most is without doubt the blockbuster LadyHawke, starring Rutger Hauer, Michelle Pfeiffer and Matthew Broderick, a romantic tale that finds the ideal outdoor settings in the Park and perfect interiors in the castles and country houses of Rocca Calascio and Castel Monte.

Campo Imperatore stands out as being the most popular of the fortified towns. There has been no shortage of international films shot here, not least the film ‘King David’ starring Richard Gere in the lead role.
Towns more recently discovered by the film world include Castelvecchio di Calvisio, that can be seen in all its glory and simplicity in the film ‘The American’. George Clooney played the title role and was actually our guest along with all the cast during the shooting of the film.
Our Santo Stefano in Sessanio was once chosen by the great director Giuseppe Tornatore for his film ‘Una pura formalità” (A mere formality), a surreal crime drama starring Gerard Depardieu and Roman Polanski.

The beauty and simplicity of these places have bewitched many of the great masters of the visual arts, so why not come and see for yourself the fortified towns of the Gran Sasso. We guarantee you a holiday full of magic and charm where you’ll be in the starring role.


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