Hollywood Stars and Lake Como Villas, where reality gets better than fiction.Alessandro Barba
What have in commons the sequel of Ocean’s Eleven “Ocean’s Twelve” and the last episode of the James Bond movie “Casinò Royale” with the first movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock “The Garden of Pleasure” ?? And even more: What are sharing the second episode of Star Wars “The Attack of Clones” and the masterpiece of Luchino Visconti “Rocco & his Brothers” ?? After reading this article title, you might already know the answer.
If you rent a car and start travelling from our villa “La Dolce Vita” in Cremia following the street called Via della Regina (The Queen’s way in English) towards Menaggio, you will arrive in a small town called San Siro. If you stop there and ask for Villa “La Gaeta“, you will certanly recognise the location of the last scene of James Bond movie “Casino Royale” starring Daniel Craig, where James Bond shoots the leg of Mr.White, the evil enemy of that episode.
Then, move down towards Lenno and stopping in front of Villa Del Balbianello, you will arrive directly on the set of “Star Wars: The Attack Of Clones” where princess Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman) and Anakyn Skywalker (Hayden Cristensen) have their secret marriage. Always here, in Lenno, is where Dino Risi filmed Alberto Sordi and Aldo Fabrizi’s speech in the famous movie “Una Vita Difficile” (A difficult life); “un piccolo capolavoro” a small masterpiece of the “Commedia All’Italiana” (Italian Comedy) genre.
Following the Via Della Regina toward Como you will encounter the small village of Laglio where George Clooney is used to spend his free time far away from media’s attentions in his villa called “Villa Oleandra“.
Jump in the car again and move to Cernobbio, the last village before Como. Here is located “Villa Erba”, the place where the famous thief Night Fox (played by Vincent Cassel) challenges Ocean (George Clooney) in the movie “Ocean’s Twelve” the famous thiefs story starring George Clooney , Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Villa Erba was the holiday house of the italian director Luchino Visconti (The Leopard, Rocco And His Brothers, Death In Venice) who was used to spend the summer with his family and friends. Always in Cernobbio, at the luxury hotel resort “Villa D’Este” was also filmed “The Other Man”, starring Antonio Banderas and Liam Neeson, a story about an extramarital relationship between Liam Neeson’s wife, played by Laura Linney, and her colleague Antonio Banderas.
What makes this place attractive for film directors is also the birth of the Lombardia Film Commission, a non profit organization which provides assistance to all directors and filmmakers that want to face-off all the bureaucracy paperworks.
If you will book your holiday on July probably you will have the opportunity to participate to the newborn film film festival in Como named “Lake Como Film Festival”, a cinematographic exposition that wants to celebrate the artistic vocation of the lake. Three are the categories that compose the festival program ( Classic movies, new movies and documentaries). To help tourists finding the place of the movies set, the Chamber of Commerce of Como have create a short guide with the itinerary to follow if you want to visit all the place named before (Le Stelle del Lago, link below http://www.italiantouristoffice.se/sv/docs/1830.pdf)
The reason why Lake Como is so well known in Hollywood, should be researched on his unique landscapes that have inspired directors and attracted actors from all over the world throughout the years (even the Lumière’s brothers, the ones who have invented cinema, filmed some picture shows on the lake shores, in 1897).
Several famous actors are linked to this unique place, such as Kirk Douglas, Donald Sutherland, Gene Kelly, Clark Gable, Charles Bronson, Dennis Hopper, Bette Davis, Glenn Ford and many others probably because, as singer Robin Williams once said “When you look at the sky over Lake Como, it ‘s clear that god exists”.