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All eyes on Italy: Filming locations of Succession, The Morning Show and House of Gucci

La Foce, Tuscany HBO Go Succession

Italy must have been crawling with famous actors and film crews this year. From television series Succession and The Morning Show to the House of Gucci movie, Italy was the setting for several scenes on the small and big screens. While you may have vicariously been under the Tuscan sun and on a Roman holiday by watching this winter, here are the locations you can visit when restrictions are finally lifted.

Tuscany

The penultimate episode of HBO’s Succession season three sees the super rich Roy family on who the show centres, travel from New York to Italy. The aptly named Emily FitzRoy founder of exclusive travel company Bellini was enlisted to find locations. 

Firstly in Tuscany, or Chiantishire as the episode is called – the region’s portmanteau nickname in the 1990s referencing the red wine and the English home county “shires”. Logan Roy’s (Brian Cox) ex-wife and Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Shiv (Sarah Snook) and Roman’s (Kieran Culkin) mother, Caroline Collingwood (Harriet Walter), gets re married and the setting is two private estates that are available to rent in real life. 

La Foce between Florence and Rome and overlooking the bucolic Val d’Orcia is where Caroline’s al fresco drinks party takes place. These terraced, formal gardens are open to visitors on certain days from May to November. 

And the yellow hued Villa La Foce is where most of the Roy family stay (and is available to rent from 35,000 euros a week FitzRoy tells me). The estranged Kendall and his children stay at one of the estate’s other properties, Belvedere Piccolo, which includes *that* swimming pool which can be rented at around 1,650 euros a week.

HBO GO -SUCCESSION S3 – Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Mcfayden) at Villa Cetinale, Tuscany

The wedding takes place at 17th century, Villa Cetinale near Siena. The 13 bedroom Baroque style villa is available to rent also from 35,000 euros a week FitzRoy says. The spectacular gardens, where the reception takes place, are also open to visitors by appointment only when the villa is not let.

Caroline’s “bachelorette party” takes place in the pretty hilltop, walled town of Cortona. About an hour’s drive away in Pienza, the Roy siblings are filmed meeting at La Terrazza del Chiostro restaurant where the panoramic views from the terrace are main draw.

HBO GO – Succession S3 – Caroline (Harriet Walter) and Shiv (Sarah Snook) in Cortona, Tuscany

Lake Como

Tech tycoon Lukas Matsson’s (Alexander Skarsgard) luxurious lair is Villa La Cassinella on the western shore of Lake Como. Logan and Roman arrive by helicopter at the villa’s private landing pad and then take a boat across the lake to Cassinella. “They arrived as any guest would, you cannot arrive by car – the only other alternative is by sea plane,” FitzRoy tells me. Although it costs upwards of 130,000 euros a week to rent, Fitzroy says the property gets booked up years in advance.

Villa La Cassinella, Lake Como HBO GO Succession S3 Lukas Mattson (Alexander Skarsgard) and Roman Roy (Kieran Culkin)

Filming also took place along this stretch of Lake Como for Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci movie. Villa Balbiano built in the 16th century stands in for Aldo Gucci’s (Al Pacino) house. Fast forward to the 21st century and the waterside villa is available for private rental at 175,000 Euros per week. Inside are original frescoes, museum worthy antiques and six suites designed by fashionable hotel designer Jacques Garcia.

Don’t look for the villa from Apple TV+’s The Morning Show here though. In the second season shamed anchorman Mitch Kessler (Steve Carell) is seen hiding out in a grand villa that appears to be on the shores of Lake Como where Alex Levy (Jennifer Aniston) tracks him down. Filming actually took place at a private school in California however with drone shots of Lake Como added in.

Milan

In the House of Gucci, Rodolfo’s (Jeremy Irons) imagined home is the striking 1930s Villa Necchi Campiglio. Set in private gardens in the centre of Milan it is now a museum. 

On an early date in the film, Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver) and Patrizia Reggiana (Lady Gaga) visit the gloriously ornate Galleria Vittorio Emanuele 11 shopping arcade between the Duomo and Teatro alla Scala. The restaurant they pass there, Savini, which Reggiana says is “too expensive” has been a Milanese stalwart for composers and opera singers since 1867. When I visited a few years ago there was a quaintly named “Lunch for Ladies in Shopping” set menu and Savini’s website currently states, “an elegant dress code is appreciated”.

Rome

Both Pacino and Gaga’s characters visit the real life Gucci store on Via Condotti, near the Spanish Steps, which is packed with designer boutiques. The Guccis opened their first shop outside their native Florence in Rome although the current day boutique is a few doors down from the original.

Also in Rome, the picturesque Church of Santa Maria in Portico in Campitelli is where the Maurizio and Patrizia wedding was filmed although in reality the couple were married in Milan.

Gressoney

Adam Driver and Lady Gaga as Maurizio and Patrizia Gucci in House of Gucci. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.

In the film Maurizio evades the police on his motorbike and crosses over the snowy Swiss border to St Moritz. Filming actually took place in the Italian Alps, at the Gressoney-Saint-Jean and Gressoney-La-Trinite in the Aosta Valley. Although scenic, the resorts are far less glitzy than St Moritz and the runs are for advanced skiers only being mainly red and black as well as off-piste.

Incidentally, founder of the fashion house, Guccio Gucci, was once a bell boy at The Savoy in London. Author of the book House of Gucci Sara Gay Forden says Guccio’s experience of handling The Savoy guests’ expensive luggage inspired him to create the Gucci fashion brand. The Savoy has temporarily restyled its Royal Suite in homage to the Gucci house.

What it’s like to sleep in the world’s most exclusive bed

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Bedroom in the Royal Suite at The Savoy, London

[UPDATE: To celebrate the house of Gucci’s one hundredth anniversary and in honour of founder Guccio Gucci once having worked as a bell boy at The Savoy, the hotel’s Royal Suite has been “Guccified”. It is thought that Guccio was inspired to create Gucci, originally a luxury luggage label, by handling the expensive baggage of the hotel’s guests. Savoy X Gucci sees the Royal Suite transformed with furniture, soft furnishings and objets from the Gucci Decor Collection.]

When it comes to sleeping I’m definitely in the Princess and the Pea camp, I tend to toss and turn throughout the night rarely getting a restful 8 hours. So I was intrigued to check into the Royal Suite at The Savoy, London where an exclusive handcrafted bed has been installed promising a superlative sleep.Befitting the vast suite (it takes up the entire river side of the fifth floor) decorated in an elegant Edwardian style, the bed itself looks straight out of a fairytale. And the ornate four poster king with draped canopy has added advantages in a handmade box spring base, mattress and topper valued around SG$150,000.

The Savoy Royal Suite Sitting Room .jpg Sitting room in The Savoy’s Royal Suite

As with all the best mattresses The Savoy’s are made with horse tail between pocket springs. The one in the Royal Suite also features a hand tufted topper made by yarn specialist Tengri from rare fur – hand combed once a year from yaks roaming the Khangai mountains of Mongolia. Their hair is softer than cashmere with exceptional temperature regulating properties so perfect for aiding sleep.It’s the creation of prestigious British brand Savoir which has been hand making beds for the hotel for over 100 years. When Richard D’Oyly Carte opened The Savoy in 1889 he set new standards for luxury hotels in London. He couldn’t find a bed maker that met his exacting criteria so Savoir was formed to create beds for The Savoy.

The Savoy entrance.jpg The Savoy hotel London

My first impression is that the mattress is surprisingly firm. But it also has just enough flexibility and I don’t feel any points of undue pressure – it’s just right, as Goldilocks would say. I close my eyes with the intention of a 20 minute afternoon nap and I wake up over an hour later.The true test though comes after supper in the suite’s dining room overlooking the Thames (the view that Claude Monet painted) and impeccably served by morning coated butlers. While I still wake up several times in the night as is my wont I immediately fall back to sleep each time. Even more remarkably the back pain I’d been feeling the day before had disappeared.

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Dining Room in the Royal Suite at The Savoy, London

Usually (and frustratingly) I’m not able to lie in, restless to get up by 7am, but here I found the opposite. The only thing that eventually tempts me out of bed is the thought of Omelette Arnold Bennett for breakfast: made with smoked haddock, hollandaise sauce and cheese, perfected for the writer while he stayed at The Savoy in 1920s. After a call to the butler I’m tucking into this moreish dish and taking in the marvellous London view. Did I feel I’d slept in a bed fit for a king or queen? A resounding yes.

https://www.thesavoylondon.com

[UPDATE: Savoir Beds is opening a store at the refurbished Raffles hotel in Singapore in August 2019.]

Savoir Beds Raffles Hotel Arcade #02-08, 328 North Bridge Road, Singapore 188719

Tel : +65 6261 2788

Singapore@savoirbeds.com

[This story was originally published in July 2019]

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