...Unfortunately, not all love stories have a happy ending, above all when the lovers are playing a dangerous game. In fact, at that time Mastroianni was already married, and his romance with Faye Dunaway came to an end, though the two never forgot their love story which began in the magical Cortina.
Many locations in the Ampezzo valley were used during the filming for A Place for Lovers, such as the Alemagna road taken by the two characters Julie (Faye Dunaway) and Valerio (Marcello Mastroianni) to reach Cortina, location of their romantic getaway where they would live a few days of idyllic love.
The town centre of Cortina also appears often in the film, in scenes set on Piazza Roma and at the church Basilica dei Santi Filippo e Giacomo, seen when Valerio reaches the town looking for Julie after waking up to find that she is no longer next to him. Another setting seen in the movie is the exterior of Hotel Ancora right in the town centre, on Corso Italia, just behind the church. It was here that Julie told Valerio that she loved him, before returning to the chalet with him.
Malghe di Fedarola, a series of Alpine farm buildings in a location named Dibona on the track leading to the Dibona lodge in the Tofane mountains, were converted into the chalet in which the two lovers stayed. Isolated, immersed in a setting of pastures and forests, the chalet is close to another, much less luxurious Malga, where, in the film, a young Alpine girl lives with her grandfather.
One of the excursions taken by the two lovers during their idyllic stay is the cable car leading up to the mountain lodge Rifugio Lagazuoi, on the Falzarego pass. The lodge can be seen in the shots set on the panoramic terrace, where Valerio films his lover, and in sequences taken from the cable car’s top station, providing clear views of the lodge just a short distance away.
Though set in France, the film was entirely shot in a number of Italian locations, including the Giau Pass. The pass is famous both for its splendid view over Cortina and the Ampezzo valley, and for its trekking paths. It is also familiar as a particularly tough stage of the Giro d’Italia cycle race. In the film, Isabeau, young Philippe and the monk Imperius (Leo McKern) prepare a trap to capture Navarre while he is in the form of a wolf. While Philippe and Imperius are digging a pit, Isabeau waits for the wolf to arrive, but it falls through the ice of a frozen lake and has to be rescued.
These shots were filmed on the Giau Pass, and you can see the mountain group Lastoi de Formin, in addition to Monte Cernera, Monte Nuvolau and Tofana di Rozes. The lake in fact does not exist: it was excavated specially for the film production and filled in again straight afterwards. Giovanni Natalucci, art director, said, “We dug a small, shallow lake, backfilling it as soon as we had finished (today we would be arrested!); but as it didn’t freeze during the night, we had to make the ice using a synthetic material”.
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Here are some of the locations frequented by the film stars of the past, come and visit them!