Ischia in celluloid postcards

Ischia-San-Pancrazio-Villa-Amalia

Ischia island of image, as well as island of image. Some real, some fake, sometimes still postcards. Irresistible. But as often happens in postcards, with risk of straying too far from reality while trying to represent it. What do we mean, then, when we write than seventy years of film locations of Ischia? We would be naive if we believe that, under the brand “Ischia”, hide what was uniformity of views, suggestions or coincidence of concordance atmospheres.

What have they in common Vittorio De Sica and René Clement, Billy Wilder and Mario Camerini, Anthony Minghella and Leonardo Pieraccioni? Probably only the air, which at different times have breathed all. Perhaps the need for an energy that starts the story, the rhythm of a place, maybe the intensity of a color or the special beauty of light. This is a particular route, a journey through time and imagination of great filmmakers who have fixed forever on film the beautiful scenery of the island of Ischia. Postcards of celluloid that sometimes we would do well to look again. To understand how places have changed and how we have changed.
The list can only be partial.

O.K. Agostina (Campane a Martello 1948)

Even prostitutes have a soul. Gina Lollobrigida sends her savings to the parish priest of the village because he keeps them to them. When the priest dies, it will replace by Eduardo De Filippo, who, unaware, uses the savings of the woman to build an orphanage. To Lollo gave quite a turn. She gets angry, screaming but then redeems herself. There is an English version of the film shot by Zampa in conjunction with the Italian one. Same story, same location: Ischia Ponte and above all Forio, the narrow streets of the historic center of the square, still beautiful, and the Church of Soccorso. Scenarios that now look towards Punta Caruso, now in the direction of Punta Imperatore. On the final tearful, a must of the film departures on the green island: the Aragonese Square, with the old buildings of the village were almost identical. Postcard in black and white..

  O.K. Agostina part 1 - O.K. Agostina part 2

The Crimson Pirate by Robert Siodmak (1952)

Bold and Gascon, Burt Lancaster is a pirate of the Caribbean islands who helps the rebels to fight against the Spaniards. Their leader dies, but the pirate frees the island. Jewel of Hollywood action movies with acrobatic sequences on the roofs of Ischia Ponte. A kaleidoscope of colors that immortalize the Castle, the village of Celsa and the beautiful nature of the Ischia coast passes for the big dream machine of Hollywood. Cartolina piratesca.

  The Crimson Pirate  

Vacanze a Ischia by Mario Camerini (1957

It is the cinema of the 50s. Film commissioned by 'cumenda' Angelo Rizzoli to launch the island’s tourist image internationally. Stories of Italian comedy vacationer where Ischia becomes a character like any other. The presence on the screen is total: the frenzy (yet sustainable) of Ischia Porto to the Spa of Cava Scura, from the beach of San Montano (captured in its primitive beauty), to the country paths of Ciglio, from the viewpoint of Serrara Fontana to the carefree jet set that animated the Grand Hotel Regina Isabella. The same 'genre' will be part of 'Diciottenni al sole' (1962), 'Ischia operazione amore' (1966), up to the symbolic apotheosis of 'Il Paradiso all'improvviso' (2003), box-office hit of a few seasons ago. Nomen omen: holiday postcard..

  Vacanze ad Ischia il FilmVacanze ad Ischia the most beautiful scenes.

PLEIN SOLEIL BY RENE CLEMENT (1960)

Each man kills the things he loves. Each man kills the things he loves. Tom Ripley, vampire of souls, dreams and fortunes, is one of the most magnetic characters came out of the literary talent of Patricia Highsmith. He kills his victims and he replaces them. Alain Delon, at the height of beauty, weaving its murderous plots moving in the streets and among the ancient palaces of Ischia Ponte. Silence, light and shade, suspended and threatening atmosphere. One of the corpses emerges on the right bank of the port, while the capture of Ripley (wanted to meet the moralism of that time) is all filmed on the magnificent beach of Maronti. Years later, with the face of Matt Damon, the same character will do away with in the remake of Anthony Minghella's "The Talented Mr. Ripley". Thriller Postcard

  Plein Soleil, Ischia shot - Scene of Feast of San Giovan Giuseppe Ischia 1960 
The Talented Mr. Ripley

CLEOPATRA by Joseph L. Mankiewicz (1963)

The most expensive movie (for that time) in the history of cinema sees the movie star Elizabeth Taylor transformed into the Queen of Egypt while she goes across the screen with ways of Californian matron for the modest fee of one million dollars. The real film takes place off the set: it is the love between Liz Taylor and Richard Burton. The rest is pure kitsch backdrop. Cartolina hollywoodiana.

  Cleopatra scenes in Ischia - Cleopatra il bacio

AVANTI by Billy Wilder (1972)

The righteous indignation of the American Jack Lemmon melts into a unthinkable promise: return to Ischia to “take a sun bath”. As his father did, finally freed, thanks to the genius loci, the daily 'mask' that threatened to choke him. Ischia and Sorrento shaked in one great location. Climb the stairs to Amalfi and you find yourself on the viewpoint of Monte Vico, in Lacco Ameno. The Church of Soccorso as the morgue. “In the seventeenth century, it has thick walls like so the coolest place on the island”. Postcard release.

  Avanti di Billy Wilder il film

VILLA AMALIA by Jaquot Benoit (2008)

A classic of all times: Nordic middle-aged woman is carried away by Mediterranean passion and rediscovers herself. Madame Isabelle Huppert stands alone the weight of a film otherwise too constipated to entice the general public. The wandering of the lady favors the south east side of the island, solitary swims near Punta San Pancrazio and an impressive ascent of Mount Epomeo. The home of choice is overlooking the sea, surrounded by vineyards and greenery, little more than a ruin identified by the French team in the hills of Campagnano. Copyrights Postcard..

  Villa Amalia il Trailer

by Gianluca Castagna

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Info on Ischia island

  • Surface: 46 Kmq
  • Hight: 789 mt
  • Lat.: 40° 44',82 N
  • Long.: 13° 56',58 E
  • Periplus: 18 miglia
  • Coasts: 51.2 Km
  • Cities: 6
  • Inhabitants: 58.029

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