The Inferno in Florence
Florence, protagonist in the shooting of Inferno by Ron Howard
The mayor Dario Nardella, in jeans and sports shirt, in the role of tour guide in the Salone dei Cinquecento, is intent on explaining the Vasari frescoes to a young couple of tourists. Next to him Tom Hanks - yes him, the American star who won two Oscars for his roles in Philadelphia and Forrest Gump – taking a break from filming, approaches and congratulates him on the beauty of Florence and the incredible cleanliness of the city.
We are on the film set for Inferno, a new chapter in the Professor Robert Langdon trilogy adapted from the best-selling novel by Dan Brown.
Here we find the professor who, after waking up in an Italian hospital, suffering from amnesia, starts to escape with Sienna Brooks, a doctor he hopes will help him recover his memory so that he can prevent a madman from seriously harming humanity.
This escape brings the protagonist to Florence, making it almost a character, thanks to the careful descriptions of the city and its beauty.
The director is Ron Howard, the former Richie Cunningham from Happy Days, today a director of Hollywood blockbusters. The cast includes, in addition to Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones and Omar Sy.
Not since Hannibal by Ridley Scott, in 2011, has Florence been the star of a big Hollywood production, though it is very active in the international film world.
And if the mayor has decided to celebrate the event by giving Ron Howard the keys to the city, the reason is obvious.
The film, produced by a major company, has made the city a Hollywood set for eleven days, attracting attention from industry insiders, enthusiasts, tourists, and also many curious onlookers.
Spotted near Hotel Lungarno, on the Ponte Vecchio, the actors were working to a tight schedule. Filming began at seven in the morning, while for industry insiders as well as the many extras involved who came from all over Italy to take part in the film, the call was in the middle of the night.
Where? To maintain maximum privacy, the locations have been top secret. No official statement has been released by production until the last minute.
Today we learnt that one of the main locations was the Salone dei Cinquecento in Palazzo Vecchio with its beautiful frescoes, Piazza della Signoria, the Uffizi Gallery and the Vasari Corridor, which was closed to the public for a few hours during the shooting.
The Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens are also being used as sets, as well as Via della Spada and Via della Vigna Nuova, where shops were closed for a day (with substantial compensation from the production).
At the end of the shooting, there was a big party at Colle Bereto, heavily guarded, with the full cast.
But to see Florence on the big screen, we will have to wait until October 14, 2016 (preview October 8 in Florence), the release date of the film in Italian cinemas, distributed by Warner Bros Entertainment.