I love travelling, and as a big movie and TV fan it can also be good fun to go and check out some of the real-life locations where iconic scenes from my favourite shows and movies have been filmed.
For instance, I’ve been to visit the Diner from Seinfeld (Tom’s Restaurant, 2880 Broadway, New York) and the real life Winchester pub from the movie Shaun of the Dead (The Duke of Albany in New Cross, London before they converted it into flats). When it comes to European locations there are dozens of cool places to visit, here are just a few of my favourites.
TV – Game of Thrones, Šibenik Croatia
The epic Game of Thrones was filmed in a number of different stunning locations. For example, the bulk of the indoor sets were in Ireland and while some of the filming was done in Northern Ireland, Spain and Iceland, a large amount of the filming since series 2 has been in done in Croatia.
The beautiful old town of Šibenik with its stone-walled alleyways and plazas was chosen as a perfect setting for Arya Stark’s Braavos explorations and Trsteno Arboretum; approximately 25 minutes north of Dubrovnik was home to Olenna Tyrell, and the King’s Landing Palace Gardens.
Just like when Star Wars filmed in isolated parts of Northern Scotland, the attention has been really good for tourism in the country. Embarking on a walking holiday in Croatia might just take you to some of those iconic spots.
Movie – La Dolce Vita, Rome
Directed by Italian legend, Federico Fellini, in 1960 and starring Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg, almost all of the movie except the last scene where the monster fish is pulled out of the sea, (which was shot on location at Passo Oscuro a small town on the coast) was filmed in the Italian capital of Rome. Probably the most memorable scene is where Ekberg coerces Mastroianni into one of Rome’s most famous landmarks, the Trevi Fountain.
According to the director, the filming took place in Winter and Ekberg spent hours in the cold water while the less-hardened Mastroianni, who wore a wetsuit under his clothes and drank a bottle of vodka, was completely drunk by the end of the shoot.
TV Series – Inspector Montalbano, Sicily
TV series, Inspector Montalbano was written by Andrea Camilleri and is based on his hometown of Porto Empedocle, near Agrigento. In the books and later in the TV series the fictional location was called Vigata, and filmed further south in Sicily. Fans of the show will testify that the beautiful scenery is a big part of its appeal and the towns of Scicli and Ragusa are home to many locations including the police station and the bus stop where Montalbano often picks up his girlfriend, Livia from.
Film – Amelie, Montmartre, Paris, France
One of my favourite French films is Ameli, and again, it’s just as much a love letter to Paris as it is a heartwarming movie. Starring Audrey Tautou and directed by legendary French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, it features the Café des Deux Moulins in Montmartre where Amelie works as a waitress in the movie. Other scenes in the movie are filmed close to Sacré-Coeur and a number of other locations. For more info, visit this website to find a map of every Paris location in the movie.
Film – Chocolat, Flavigny-sur-Ozerain, Côte d’Or
Released in the year 2000, Chocolat is another great movie filmed in France. It was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and is set in the beautiful French village of Flavigny-sur-Ozerain in the Côte d’Or.
If you get a chance to visit, head to Rue du Four. This is where Juliette Binoche’s chocolate shop was. You can also find the Mayor’s house and the main square was also used as a filming location. I’m sure there is a chocolate shop there too!
Film – Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Barcelona
When Woody Allen went on his European movie tour, taking on London with Match Point, France (Midnight in Paris) and Italy (To Rome with Love), he also found time to make Vicky Cristina Barcelona in several Spanish locations including, you guessed it, Barcelona.
One to look out for is The Basilica of La Sagrada Familia and Park Güell which features in a scene with Javier Bardem and Rebecca Hall and shot at the lizard-shaped fountain. Other places in the movie include the Joan Miró Foundation, the Catalonia National Art Museum and Barcelona Airport with its mural by Miró.
All in all there are lots of cool movie locations in virtually every city you visit in Europe. All you have to do is look for them.