Castel del Monte, Abruzzo: Dark Ages and silver screen
Places like Castel del Monte in the province of L’Aquila – with steep alleys and cylindrical towers, crystallized almost a millennium ago – are irresistible for creative types with fantastic stories set in Italy’s Middle Ages.
Indeed, the small municipality inside Gran Sasso National Park has welcomed a number of cinema troupes, becoming the stage of cult films such as “Lady Hawke” – the 1985 sword-and-sorcery movie set in the 13th century, featuring Rutger Hauer and Michelle Pfeiffer – and “The Name of the Rose”, based on the Umberto Eco novel of the same name, with Sean Connery playing the role of Franciscan friar William of Baskerville.
Furthermore, screenwriters’ and directors’ imagination goes well beyond the historical feel of the town: George Clooney was recently seen along these winding little streets – which make Castel del Monte a worthy member of the “Borghi più belli d’Italia” association – for “The American” (released in 2010), in which he was a perfectly contemporary killer in hiding, on his way for a very dangerous mission.
Yet another example of wonderful stories emerging from beautiful places.