Connect with Firenze Made in Tuscany

Sign up our newsletter

Get more inspiration, tips and exclusive itineraries in Florence

Giunti Odeon Libreria e Cinema

text Gianluca Guzzo

January 12, 2024

Gianluca Guzzo of MYmovies

Our interview with the co-founder and CEO of the cinema website that revolutionised the entire industry in Italy

I’m someone who thrives on great passions. I discovered a career on the stages of France in the 1990s and then with technological innovation in 2000 in Florence. After studying and working as a professional dancer, I founded Mymovies in Florence with Luciano Belli and Mario Mancini, driven by my other great passion for technology. We wanted to build a bridge between the art of film and new technologies.

Gianluca Guzzo (ph. Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images Entertainment)

Our first office was in a small apartment building in the suburbs of Rifredi, with the servers all lined up outside on the balcony so they wouldn’t overheat. That seems like a lifetime ago! In just a few years, our project grew to become the top movie website by number of visitors and the largest online resource on cinema in Italy. We are a streaming platform now too, competing with the Silicon Valley giants. They focus on big numbers and the massive use of artificial intelligence, while we do everything we can to bring the art, cinema and culture of film festivals into everyday life. Tired of an algorithm deciding for them, many viewers enjoy browsing an assortment of films by the directors of prestigious festivals.

The view on Florence from the Convent of San Francesco in Fiesole (ph. Lorenzo Cotrozzi)

For many years I lived in the historic centre of Florence, in Piazza della Repubblica, then in nearby Fiesole in a house with an incredible view of Florence. For the past year, I have been dividing my time between Florence and Berlin. I like living both in a large international metropolis and in the centre of gravity of the humanities, art and culture... And I sense this extraordinary quality of Florence now more than ever. Florence is like a global comfort zone, a place that offers such a complete sense of fulfilment that you lose the desire to explore anywhere else. Its ability to engage and enchant has pushed me to spend part of my life outside its borders. I did it to challenge myself, so I wouldn’t get stuck in the complacency created by its unquestionable beauty, to find a balance in the contrast between the familiarity of home and the unknown of the outside world.


  • Amici Miei by Mario Monicelli (1975)

One of the most famous pranks in this legendary film takes place at the Santa Maria Novella train station, where ‘gypsies’ have the habit of slapping defenceless passengers.

Amici Miei
  • Hannibal by Ridley Scott (2001)

Based on the sequel to the book The Silence of the Lambs this film was shot in the heart of Florence. In the scene where Lecter is followed through the arcade of Piazza della Repubblica, a poster for Gladiator can be seen: Ridley Scott got free publicity. 

  • Inferno by Ron Howard (2016)

Some of the scenes in this movie were shot in the Salone dei Cinquecento (inside Palazzo Vecchio) where there is a large fresco of the Marciano Battle with the clue “cerca trova” and whose ceiling (not open) it is held a fierce pursuit.

  • Money Heist Season 3

In a flashback of his life, the ‘Professor’ travels back in his mind to Piazza del Duomo in Florence.

La Casa di Carta Stagione 3
  • Paisà by Roberto Rossellini (1946)

This film recounts, in six episodes, the advance of the Allied troops in Italy, from the landing of the Anglo-American fleet in Sicily in 1943 to the winter of 1944 on the Po delta a few months before the end of the war. Exactly halfway through the film, the Vasari Corridor appears in the Florentine episode, which together with the episode set in Polesine is the most visually thrilling.



  • Cinemas

I like to go to Cinema La Compagnia for the 50 Giorni di Cinema a Firenze (50 Days of Cinema in Florence) festivals and to Cinema Astra, which Michele Crocchiola of the Stensend Foundation bravely reopened in January 2023. I also love Cinema Al Teatro in Fiesole, which shows one film a week, curated by local volunteers.

Cinema Astra
  • Cafés

For me there is only one place for coffee: Gilli in Piazza della Repubblica, where I make it a ritual to go every Sunday morning. I feel at home here because for years I lived almost next door to this historic café, and the Mymovies headquarters is just a few steps away on Via dei Vecchietti.  It is a place that makes me feel like I fully belong to this city.

  • Museums

The Medici Chapels museum is definitely one of my favourites in Florence. Here I feel connected to the magnificent history of a city that reached the pinnacle of art and culture through the ingenuity and skill of its artists. Each time I visit the Medici Chapels, they inspire me and renew my appreciation for the artistic legacy left to us.

Museo delle Cappelle Medicee
  • A tour

From the Convent of San Domenico (at San Domenico), take Via Vecchia Fiesolana, continuing along Via Fontelucente, then turn right onto Via Giovanni Dupré and follow it all the way to Piazza di Fiesole. From here, if you take Via del Cimitero or Via di San Francesco, you arrive at the Convent of San Francesco. This is the most beautiful and (perhaps) least known view of Florence.

The sunset from the Gianluca Guzzo’s hause in Fieseole
  • Bookshops

Giunti Odeon - Bookshop and Cinema opened very recently, and it reflects my vision of a world where different forms of art come together and enrich each other. I can always find a good book and a good film here.

Giunti Odeon Libreria e Cinema
  • Aperitif

I go to Manifattura in Piazza di San Pancrazio for all-Italian ingredients and Dorsoduro in Via San Gallo for a real Venetian spritz with Select.

Dorsoduro 3821
  • Restaurants

Piatti e Fagotti in San Domenico di Fiesole, where they make a buffalo cheese stuffed with ricotta cheese and pistachios and served with grilled and marinated vegetables. It’s to die for!


Connect with Firenze Made in Tuscany