Thursday, July 12, 2012

La Vita è Bella (Life is Beautiful)

(Photo courtesy of

Although I travel with an "eye for antiques and architecture," I'm also compelled to research the culture, history and politics of a country or town prior to a visit.  Knowing a country's history allows me to better understand the way its people live today. I've always thought you have to know the past to understand today and to envision tomorrow.

So while Arezzo, Italy will remain in my mind an Italian antique haven, you may have recognized the town's name for another reason. Arezzo is the Italian town where the movie La Vita è Bella was filmed. La Vita è Bella is Roberto Begnini's 1997 Academy Award winning Italian film that tells the story of a Jewish Italian, Guido Orefice, who uses his imagination to help his family keep their hope alive during their imprisonment in a Nazi concentration camp. The first half of the film, which depicts 1939 Italy, is filmed in beautiful Arezzo.

As you walk through the city centre of Arezzo you'll see colorful signs featuring pictures from the film placed at the actual locations of filming for the movie.

The standing, framed sign shown in the photo above details the specific scenes filmed in the Piazza Grande, shown below. Minus the numerous colorful shields on the various buildings, you may recognize this location, specifically the large stone post, center-right in the photo below.

While walking up and down the narrow, winding side streets that radiate from Piazza Grande, I couldn't help but remember scenes from the movie where the whole family of three, Guido, Dora and son, Giosue are flying through the streets on their bicycle. This is the part of the movie I love to remember! They were so happy.

By the way, it just occurred to me that you may begin to think I took this trip to Italy to visit movie locations! Not only do I have photos from Arezzo where Life is Beautiful was filmed, but I also have photos from Cortona where Under the Tuscan Sun was filmed and Montepulciano, where several scenes from the Twilight series movie, New Moon were filmed. I'll share these soon as well! Take care.

Au revoir, Mitty

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