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60 years of James Bond

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60 years of James Bond
Looking back on some iconic locations that have featured in Bond movies in years gone by.
This October saw the world celebrate 60 years of 007 James Bond. The franchise first started back in 1962 with the release of the first film Dr. No with Sean Connery playing Bond. From then we’ve seen a total of 21 films over the years. Italy has played a starring role in the iconic James Bond films since the 1970s, and the latest 2021 film, No Time To Die, is no different. Here’s our round up of 007’s most scenic settings in Italy.
Spectre (2015)
The Eternal City hosts Daniel Craig’s Bond for one of his night-time car chases. In his trusty Aston Martin, Bond whizzes past the ancient Vatican City, through the narrow streets of the districts of Monti and Prati, and onto Gianicolo Hill, before winding up in the Tiber River. This is all to avoid the sinister criminal organisation, Spectre.
Dine in style at La Pergola at the Rome Cavalieri, one of Italy’s best restaurants. With three Michelin stars and some of the best views of Rome, it would be rude not to bump into Bond.
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
In The Spy Who Loved Me, Roger Moore’s Bond pays a visit with Agent XXX Anya Amasova to Costa Smeralda in northern Sardinia. He stays at Hotel Cala di Volpe, an oasis perched on the cliffs.
Also featured in the film is Vista Point where you see Bond embroiled in a classic car chase - sporting a Lotus Esprit no less - that takes in the main Piazza della Chiesa in San Pantaleone. The final scenes show Bond relaxing on Romazzina Beach on the coast, east of Cala di Volpe.
In honour of Bond, visit the Lobby Bar at Hotel Cala di Volpe, and enjoy a martini, shaken not stirred.
From Russia With Love (1963), Moonraker (1979), Casino Royale (2006)
Sean Connery, Roger Moore and Daniel Craig all have a fling in Venice portraying James Bond.
The iconic end scene of From Russia with Love features James Bond and Tatiana Romanova kissing in Venice, as they travel on a water taxi under the iconic Bridge of Sighs. (Truth be told, it was likely filmed in a bluescreen studio, but we won’t judge).
Fast forward sixteen years and we see Bond back in Venice in Moonraker, travelling by gondola along the Canal Grande, barely escaping assassins in a speedboat. Unbelievably, Bond takes his gondola ride out of the water and through Piazza San Marco, Venice’s famous main square, before checking into Venice’s Hotel Danieli. We also spot Bond at Ca’ Rezzonico, a former palace now turned 18th century museum.
In 2006, Bond returns to Venice in Casino Royale, sailing the Canal Grande in a luxury yacht, and chasing his love interest Vesper Lynd through Piazza San Marco and various alleyways, before mooring up outside Belmond Hotel Cipriani, and battling the baddies inside a dilapidated palazzo.
Board a private water taxi from the airport or train station so you can arrive at your hotel in style - the tuxedo is optional. We recommend you stay at the unapologetically grand Belmond Hotel Cipriani.
Lake garda
Quantum of Solace (2008)
Quantum of Solace features Lake Garda right from the opening credits, where Daniel Craig’s 007 is engaged in another car chase starting in the village of Malcesine, through Navene and Tempesta and all the way to Riva del Garda.
With his magical spy skills and perhaps a little creative licence, Bond is suddenly found in the marble caves of Carrara in the Apuan Alps of Tuscany, which are located about a five-hour drive away.
Enjoy a candlelit dinner by Lake Garda’s sparkling waters during your stay at Hotel Sirmione e Promessi Sposi.
Lake como
Casino Royale (2006)
Daniel Craig’s Bond makes two appearances in Lake Como in the 2006 film Casino Royale, both times preferring the lake’s western shore. In the first scene he is recuperating after being tortured by the film’s villain, Le Chiffre. This was shot at Villa del Balbianello near Lenno.
Bond’s second appearance is when he is surprised by the mysterious Mr White at his lakeside villa, and he shares his classic catchphrase with us, “Bond, James Bond”. This was filmed at the private residence Villa la Gaeta in Sant’Abbondio, which is located near the resorts of San Siro and Menaggio.
Hire a boat to whisk you across Lake Como’s waters for a private excursion to Villa del Balbianello. Include some champagne and strawberries to make Bond proud.
Quantum of Solace (2008)
In Quantum of Solace, Daniel Craig’s Bond is found at one of Italy’s most famous events, the traditional bareback Palio di Siena horse race, which takes place twice a year in July and August at Siena’s Piazza del Campo, a UNESCO World Heritage site. But Bond is too distracted to enjoy the celebrations or the stunning architecture, as he’s busy chasing a member of the secretive Quantum organisation through the crowds and over Siena’s picturesque rooftops.
Bond also visits Talamone, located on the beautiful coast of southern Tuscany, to visit his friend René Mathis, who lives at Villa Le Torre.
James Bond loves cool cars and gadgetry, so why not have your own vintage car experience with a vintage Fiat 500 tour through Tuscany? Throw in your own fiasco (the straw basket that traditionally encloses the squat bottles of chianti D.O.G wine) for good measure.
Cortina dampezzo
For Your Eyes Only (1981)
In For Your Eyes Only, Roger Moore’s Bond takes to Italy’s mighty Dolomites, with a visit to Cortina D’Ampezzo, home of the 1956 Winter Olympics - and the next destination for the 2026 Winter Olympics.
When Bond isn’t engaged in epic ski and bobsleigh chases, off piste he’s staying in the century-old hotel, Miramonti Majestic Grand Hotel.
Enjoy a decadent stay at Miramonti Majestic Grand Hotel. In the film, Bond stays in room 300 but the actual balcony belongs to room 108.
No Time to Die (2021)
In the latest Bond film, No Time to Die, Daniel Craig’s Bond takes his Aston Martin to Basilicata in Southern Italy, where he spends time among rugged cliffs in the hilltop town of Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Bond zooms through the snaking boundary road of Via Madonna delle Virtù and the two Sassi squares of Matera at high-speed.
Stay in a luxury cave hotel, the new Aquatio Luxury Cave Hotel & Spa. This is unequivocally in keeping with the Bond style we have come to expect.
Are you ready to embark on your own mission with Citalia?
Citalia are the UK’s leading Italy specialist and have over 90 years’ experience in tailoring holidays to Italy. Start following in Bond’s footsteps around Italy today.
Visit citalia.com to discover the real Italy on your next adventure.
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