Buongiorno a tutti! Let's start with a little Italian for this post. (Good morning to everyone)
Over the weekend scrolling Netflix after watching many good movies and series, I decided to give this Italian film a shot. Titled, Under the Amalfi Sun. It's been out for a few weeks now on Netflix in the US, and I saw it listed, and just always skipped over it. Of course a film with this title catches my eye, as one of my best selling and favorite client destinations in the world, let alone Italy is the Amalfi Coast. The few movies I've seen with the Amalfi Coast included in scenes never really made it a focus but instead just a clip or brief part of a film, such as in Under the Tuscan Sun. BTW do not by any means think of this or consider this a sequel to Under the Tuscan Sun, as it is not. Clever giving this film that title is very misleading, nice try I guess. I'm not here to review the film itself but to disclose and discuss its incredible on site shooting locations.
I guess the film was a decent watch if your looking for something to kill two hours on, and nothing better to do. Or perhaps you like Italian cinema, language, or films shot in Italy. I'm all of the above, but it also needs to be a fairly decent film/series or I'll drop it.
Under the Amalfi Sun, is a young love story & drama, about a blind 20yr Italian guy and his girlfriend, who after being in a long distance relationship (she's from Canada), have reconnected for a vacation in Amalfi, Italy. They both bring friends along for the getaway, and over the story of the film relationship difficulties arise and cause a little light drama. The friends connect, and there is some young romance and love between all. In addition you have the mother of the blind son, and her boyfriend. The father of the blind son is the x-husband in the film. So there is some adult drama as well.
A few things didn't make sense to me in the beginning of film. First the young couple and friends all arrive by ferry to Amalfi. Where did they come from by ferry??? Amalfi is close enough to Naples/Salerno I would've thought they would drive in. Only ferry I know to Amalfi is from down the coast in Positano....I guess they could be coming from there, but that doesn't make any sense to open a film like that (ok moving on). Also the mother & her boyfriend are actually going to Sicily, when they decide instead to go to the Amalfi Coast to be close to her son, that she always worries about. They were driving to Sicily? from where? Naples, Rome? Who drives all the way down to Sicily? It would be better to fly or take train. Maybe I guess they wanted to be able to drive around Sicily....ok I'll accept that as answer.
Regardless they change their mind and go to the Amalfi Coast. The son and his friends stay in the mothers villa in Amalfi, (must be summer home), it's a stunning villa. So I'll take it, that the property has been in the family, or they are wealthly enough to own a villa in Amalfi. When the mother and her boyfriend arrive they are quick to discover every single hotel on the Amalfi Coast is sold out!! It's August and peak summer tourism season. (NO KIDDING EVERY HOTEL IS SOLD OUT!), they spend the first night in the car, [is that allowed on Amalfi Coast??....guess so], they next day they connect with their friend who runs a house, that appears was at one time also owned by the mom, and so they can stay there. So now this family has two villas on the Amalfi Coast? wow, sell those and be millionaires right now!....or maybe they already are. Later in the film on two occassions they have a private motor yacht charter uncrewed for days on the water, so they must be semi wealthly...
It looks like the entire film was shot on location in Amalfi and around Amalfi. I also saw a few scenes in Positano locations, and little beach inlet coves inbetween Positano & Amalfi. It all looks very legit & I'm quite impressed they filmed this all on location. Peak summer with mass hordes of crowds anywhere on the Amalfi Coast must have made this very difficult to do, yet it really reflects the dedication to show the destination in detail. It looks like a lot of near & far drone photography was used to accomplish this, as well as on site filming. There is one scene where the group is walking down a main shopping street of Amalfi and you see this massive crowd of people. It almost looks like a large group going to a concert or sporting event, yet this is really what the crowds look like in the villages on the Amalfi Coast in peak season. These small villages are overrun with tourist & vacationers.
Now don't get me wrong I love the Amalfi Coast, it is beautiful, it is incredible, the villages are stunning to experience and the luxury hotels are just amazing. I was pointing out to myself on numerous occassions while watching it, I knew this hotel, that hotel, I know the dining venues they were eating at in Positano and more. It was kind of a fun test of my expert knowledge on the Amalfi Coast, and I think I should give myself an A+! I even I was very impressed! lol.
Based on what I've read the film was shot in September/October of 2021 on location, yet the time in the film is August. All the major scenes were recorded in and around Amalfi, and the film team traveled between these picturesque towns to shoot both interior and exterior scenes against villa backdrops. I do agree with this information that most of the film was shot in Amalfi. I was able to easily identify the main duomo, piazza, marina, beach, streets of Amalfi. One of the most popular Instagram locations on the Amalfi Coast was heavily featured in the film. This is a small little beach cove inlet that above is a stone bridge. The drop from the bridge down is always a photo stop when driving along the Amalfi Coast, and the beach cove is very popular for swimming. Only very small boats can even fit into the cove under the narrow entry. There were numerous scenes shot here both in daylight and night.
There is a scene where the adult boyfriend of the mother takes the blind son over to Capri on a dingee and they go diving just beyond the Faraglioni Rocks together. There is another scene with the parents having lunch at one of the more famous locations in Positano, and a scene when the young couple are swimming in the waters off of Positano's beach.
Capri itself is not in this film except for the drone photography during the diving scene. Still none the less a beautiful scene and location to film in Capri. Not sure how those waters were so empty of boats & yachts, as every time I see that location in the summer it is packed with them, yet here is was completely empty of dayboaters & yachts, did they really make all the boats go elsewhere for the movie? I couldn't believe how empty those waters were....lol, maybe they were edited out in post, but doesn't seem so, it all looks real to me.
To wrap up, if your wanting to see the Amalfi Coast, and Amalfi featured beautifully throughout a film, I recommend giving this film a go. As well if you have interest in visiting the Amalfi Coast you cannot go wrong with this film, giving a full dose of its incredible beauty & scenery. It is truly an amazing destination, and a must for bucket listers and wanderlusters who have never been there. I also have plenty of repeat clients over my 22yr career return again and again to the Amalfi Coast. It is one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world.
Yes its crowded, yes it can be overcrowded and touristy, and for some perhaps that takes away from its charm, you shoudn't let that take away for your Amalfi Coast vacation and experiences. Why is it so crowded? Well the daytrip cruisers coming from Naples have a lot to do with that, by the thousands. It's not that there are mega hotels for mass occupancy on the Amalfi Coast. there is not. All the hotels on the Amalfi Coast are very small boutique hotels and that is why they sell out 6,8,10 months in advance. Then the villas and apartments sell out too. It's crazy to think it but its very true, plus due to this demand the prices continue to rise at hotels and rentals every single summer season. Hotels that want to expand have bought residental property next door to their hotels and converted them into annex rooms, suites, apartments. As demand continues to grow, yet that demand exceeds occupancy max.
Italy has started taking action on the overcrowding recently putting into law traffic rules that only allow every other day even or odd car license plates to drive on the Amalfi Coast, even if you have a residental address on the Amalfi Coast, you have to follow this rule. This is a nightmare for those who want to rent cars, as you can only drive it every other day. So now the region will rely much more on private car services, taxis & ferries to get up & down the coastline from town to town. This is of course the goal of this new law to remove some of the massive car traffic that has plagued the Amalfi Coast for years.
You probably envision driving along the Amalfi Coast, windows open and nice sea breeze as your casually drive along the coastline seeing the incredible views. Well thats not how it goes. You get stuck in traffic, and could be sitting in traffic for long periods of time moving very slowly, especially around the main towns of Amalfi & Positano, where the Amalfi Coast Drive cuts right through the centers. Italy wants to bring back the enjoyment of the Amalfi Coast drive, yet enjoy the benefits of mass tourism at the same time.
It's a tricky thing to do, yet I think I have the answer to this problem, & it's something like Italy is now doing with Venice. I'll leave it at that.
Movie = ok.... / Movie setting = absolutely incredible!
Looking to plan a vacation to Italy & or the Amalfi Coast? Look no futher as I'm certified by the Italian Tourism Board, as a Destination Expert, I know Italy and the Amalfi Coast extremely well & it would be my pleasure to organize an incredible vacation to the Amalfi Coast as part of any itinerary to Italia!
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