“Life is Beautiful” was set right here in Arezzo, complete with all its nuances. This film won 3 Academy Awards and a tour of the locations of the film takes just about one hour. The tour itinerary starts in the heart of the historic center of Arezzo, along via Garibaldi at the Caserma Italia (former barracks), where you will recall the hilarious scene of the eggs in the hat of Rodolfo (Amerigo Fontani), Dora’s fiancé. Proceeding along via Garbaldi, you will reach via Porta Buia and the primary school, where Guido (Roberto Benigni), pretending to be the mayor of the town, makes you smile while jumping on the classroom desks. You will then arrive in piazza della Badia, where the famous “Good morning Princess!” scene, with the fateful encounter between Guido and Dora (Nicoletta Braschi), was shot. From here, you will follow via Cavour towards piazza San Francesco, with the famous Caffè dei Costanti, and see the Basilica di San Francesco, where the frescoes The Legend of the True Cross by Piero della Francesca are housed. At the corner of the square with via Guido Monaco, you will find yourself in front of the Petrarca Theatre, a 19th-century-jewel and unforgettable scenography of the show that Guido and Dora attend in the movie.
From here you’ll go uphill to Piazza Grande square, where “La Vita è Bella” resounds in every corner. It’s in this square that the most emblematic scene of the film was shot, with the image from the playbill with Guido, Dora and little Giosuè on the bicycle. Under the Logge Vasari you’ll relive Guido and Dora’s romantic walks as well as the funny night scene with Benigni shouting “Maria! Toss me the key!”
Continuing your tour to the upper part of Arezzo, you will come to the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Donatus. As if time had stopped, on the staircase of the church, you will relive the scene inside the vintage car during the storm and under the portico of the Palace of the Provincial Administration, sweet shelter for our Oscar-winning protagonists.
Enjoy this itinerary through the most beautiful places of the film, let yourself be carried away through a both ancient and modern Arezzo and choose if you prefer going uphill towards the High Arezzo or downhill from the Cathedral to the Caserma Italia, without losing the charm of this unforgettable experience.
Life is Beautiful brief Plot
Guido, a young Jew, arrives in Arezzo with his friend Ferruccio to find a job. He is hired as a waiter by his uncle Eliseo, who manages the Grand Hotel, and falls in love with Dora, a teacher already betrothed to the fascist Rodolfo. Guido does not give up and, with joy and tenacity, he manages to make her fall in love with himself and marry her. Six years later Guido is deported to a concentration camp with his uncle Eliseo and little Giosuè, his son. But Dora doesn’t let them go alone and decides to follow them, even though she is not Jewish. The tones of the comedy are increasingly mixed with the dramatic ones of the Shoah. Guido and Dora got separated in the concentration camp. Guido does everything to let Dora know that he is alive and that he loves her and to protect his son Giosuè, even pretending that the imprisonment is just a game. The tragicomic narrative ends with Guido’s sacrifice for the salvation of his family.
- Former barracks Italia, via Garibaldi n. 247
- Primary school G. Gamurrini, via Porta Buia
- Abbey of SS. Flora and Lucilla, piazza della Badia
- Petrarca Theatre, via Guido Monaco
- Basilica di S. Francesco and Caffè dei Costanti, piazza San Francesco
- Piazza Grande, Logge Vasari, Palazzo di Fraternita and Pieve di S. Maria
- Orefice’s bookshop, via Borgunto
- Cathedral, Bishop Palace, Palace of the Provincial Administration and City Hall
About 1 hour
For your Oscar tour we suggest:
- comfortable shoes
- a polaroid to capture every moment of the film
- hat for summer days
- a fan for summer days
- for oscar movies lovers
- for those who love walking, even uphill
- for lovers
- for families
- for art lovers