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The Great War

In 2014 we will have the centenary of the First World War.

During the Great War, Friuli Venezia Giulia was the scene of battles between the Italian and Austro-Hungarian armies that fought each for many months. The Isonzo and the Trieste Karst, the Julian Alps and the Pre-Alps, the Carnic Alps and the hills along the line of the Tagliamento river were where the battles took place, while the whole area of the plains became a great rear line in the service of the armed forces and then was invaded by Austro-German after the defeat at Caporetto.
On the centenary, and in conjunction with the launch of several initiatives in the area recalling this tragic event that changed history, we wanted to build this imaginary journey dedicated to the films made in Friuli Venezia Giulia that tell the stories related to the “Great War”, a theme which over the past sixty years has been a great source of inspiration for many films.
A journey to discover a selection of movie sets such as those of Black Feathers, A Farewell to Arms, The Great War, The Girl and the General and Holy Cow!
Thanks to its suitability for sets, its nature as a frontier land and the conservation of the area, with still a lot of material evidence of the Great War (trenches, tunnels, cannon, shrines, cemeteries…), there are many directors – such as the maestro Mario Monicelli and some Hollywood directors – who have chosen Friuli Venezia Giulia as a backdrop for their films.
A journey through the films that aims to help us learn the history of a multicultural land divided between love and hate, nationalism and identity, plains and mountains, marginalization and integration. And above all, to keep alive the memory of facts, achievements and places that a hundred years ago marked the history of this area and which can now be visited and rediscovered in a new way.

The Great War

Masterpiece in the history of cinema, the film is an ironic and poignant portrait of life in the trenches during the First World War. Starring Oreste Jacovacci and Giovanni Busacca as soldiers stripped of rhetoric, coward-heroes. It attracted a lot of controversy over its content and hard-hitting viewpoint. Thousands of real soldiers were provided by the Ministry of Defence for the crowd scenes. Among the locations, all in the province of Udine: Sella Sant’Agnese (where a billboard near the church shows some scenes of the film), Nespoledo di Lestizza, Palmanova and Venzone, known today for its pumpkin festival. Each year

Black Feathers

The film tells the Italian public the story of a family from Carnia, the love of a girl for a soldier of the alpine regiment and, above all, the odyssey of some soldiers who, taken by surprise by the armistice of the eighth of September while in the mountains of Yugoslavia, return home in time to save their village from the destruction plotted by the retreating Germans. The film shows the harsh beauty of this land and the character of the people who inhabit it. The set the director chose is Villa Santina, home to the spectacular Radime waterfall (known

A Farewell to Arms

The Hollywood producer David Oliver Selznick chose Friuli for this film, based on the novel by Ernest Hemingway. Among the exceptional cast, is an outstanding Rock Hudson, Jennifer Jones, Vittorio de Sica and Alberto Sordi. The film tells the story of Frederick Henry, a young American journalist wounded on the Italian front and admitted to a hospital in Milan. Here, his doctor friend Rinaldi introduces him to Catherine, a beautiful English nurse. She and Frederick fall madly in love and he wants to marry her but, just healed, is sent to the front a few days before the Battle of


Based on the novel by Italo Svevo. Emilio Brentani, a writer from Trieste who is going through a creative crisis, lives with his sister Amalia. Weary of the monotony of his life, he falls head over heels in love with the beautiful, young Angiolina. The difference in age and character results in their constant bickering and mutual misunderstandings, while his sister tries to get married to a simple local artist. Entirely shot in Trieste, and starring Claudia Cardinale, the director shows the corners of the city described by Italo Svevo. We recognize Molo Audace – Pier, the Old Fish Market,

Holy Cow!

Primo Baffo (First Mustache), an overworked cabaret singer, is sent to the front in spite of having done everything possible to be rejected for military service. The first day, after a few kilometers, he meets a girl – Marianna – who, with the help of an accomplice, Tomo Secondo, robs him of his clothes and personal effects. Thus he begins a private war against these two cheating peasants. The film is set in the hot days of the conflict between Austria and Italy. The main characters are Laura Antonelli and Renato Pozzetto The film was shot entirely in the valleys