Diane Lane’s Italian Villa in “Under the Tuscan Sun”

Under the Tuscan Sun movie Bramasol Diane Lane

The movie Under the Tuscan Sun, (loosely) based on the memoir by Frances Mayes and starring Diane Lane, is a perfect “house movie.” After divorcing her cheating husband, Frances takes a trip to Italy, falls in love with an abandoned villa, and decides to buy it. As she restores the house, her life undergoes a kind of renovation of its own.

We get a glimpse of the home she shared with her husband as she’s packing up to leave:

Her best friend Patti is played by Sandra Oh, who gives Frances her ticket to Italy.

While she’s there, Frances looks at the real estate listings that are posted She sees one she likes, for a villa called “Bramasole:”

Later, the tour bus pulls up next to the villa. She shouts, “Stop the bus!”

She steps inside and looks around:

It needs work, but Frances sees the potential in the old house:

She buys it on the spot, despite the pigeons that are living there (and one that was particularly rude to her when flying overhead):

After signing the papers, Frances tries to come to grips with the fact that she just bought the rundown villa:

She starts cleaning things up and taking inventory of all the things left behind, like bottles of wine:

And stacks of old newspapers:

She hires a team of Polish workers who don’t speak much English:

Frances says she wishes she had somebody to cook for. Then she realizes that she does have someone she can feed: her workers!

The workers set up a makeshift table for lunch:

The meals that she cooks for them are so good, they applaud. (I wish someone would applaud one of my meals around here. I usually get comments like, “Why couldn’t we order pizza?” and “Pot roast again?!” But I digress.)

Patti joins her in Italy and moves into the villa’s blue bedroom:

Patti points out that there is steam coming up from the toilet, which probably indicates that there is something amiss:

A view of the living room, looking into the dining room:

Patti dances with her new baby under the wisteria arbor:

The writer and director of the film, Audrey Wells, insists they didn’t actually change much of the house during filming to show the before and after. They just cleaned it up a little and “filmed it in warmer, prettier light,” she says, to make it look like the rooms had been renovated.

Frances steps out onto her balcony and we get a glimpse of the side of the house:

A close-up of Frances’s desk with her finished manuscript for Under the Tuscan Sun on it:

Who wouldn’t want to buy a villa here? Gorgeous!

A reader sent me a wonderful photo of the actual villa (thanks, Joanie!). She says, “We visited Cortona a few years ago and stayed at a hotel very near to Bramasole. The picture is from the car window, as I was trying to be nonchalant!”


Diane Lane has starred in several other movies that feature beautiful homes, too such as Must Love Dogs and Nights in Rodanthe. Which of her movie houses is your favorite?


*UPDATE: Check out the real-life renovated villa they used for this film!*

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  1. Dawn says

    Gosh, isn’t that beautiful and surreal?

    As for the “bad” picture that you snapped of Diane in the kitchen, I wish I looked half that good in my bad pictures. *sigh*

  2. says

    oh goodness, this is one of my favorite girly movies….oh to be able to have a villa like that all to myself! **sigh** amazing! thank you for sharing, this post makes me think I need to watch this movie again! Hope you had a good weekend~
    .-= Tara´s last blog ..Tara’s Vintgae Kitchen~ =-.

  3. Linda/ Mom in AZ says

    * I “DITTO DAWN”!!! Thanks! Fuuuun read ~ almost better than the movie!!!
    Best, Linda in AZ *

  4. says

    Sign me up for a trip to Tuscany! :) I laughed when I read the part about the kids whining about dinner. My oldest always wants pizza or a “pie” (pot pie). Go figure. I’ve never had a standing ovation either. I had no idea that Kate Walsh was in this film. Love her! Sandra Oh is great…I need to put this movie on my list to see. :)
    .-= Amanda @ Serenity Now´s last blog ..Unexpected Thrifty Treasures =-.

  5. says

    I remember this movie! The house, of course, is charming, but what a huge headache to take on, especially in a foreign language. But the terrace is really stunning in those ‘after’ pictures.
    I’ve seen Must Love Dogs but don’t remember the house.. I’ll go check that out now!
    .-= Struggler´s last blog ..How to achieve blog-life balance =-.

  6. says

    “unfaithful” is my fave diane lane movie house.. she also stars in that with richard gear.
    .-= B.´s last blog ..HELP! =-.

  7. says

    Awesome stills from the movie! I loved thatg movie and have watched it many times and wished… Thanks for sharing it with photos…
    Have a great week!
    ~Really Rainey~
    .-= ~Really Rainey~´s last blog ..Mosaic Monday! =-.

  8. says

    I wish there was a key on my keyboard that I could tap and it would automatically print out “Be still my beating heart!” It’s now official; you spookily know what I need a fix of on Mondays before I even do! This reminds me (don’t hate me) of my godmother’s sister’s house in Greece and a house we house-sat for a friend when we were living and working in Portugal. Same coloured exterior walls, rundown interiors, overgrown gardens and oh those beautiful green shutters! After I submit this, I’m going to add it to our DVD order list at Love film.com.

    Thank you! It doesn’t feel bad to be an addict over here. 😉
    .-= janice´s last blog ..Attacking Anchors in the Attic =-.

  9. says

    I love this movie. I watched it because the poster was so pretty and fell in love with the setting. I so want to go buy a villa somewhere and restore it. Of course I need copious amounts of money, but hey, if I’m dreaming, why not? The murals are a bit much for my taste, but that blue bathtub gets me every time. Oh, and the poppy fields! The poppy fields. So pretty.
    .-= Mom in High Heels´s last blog ..Roman Fest in Trier: Part I =-.

  10. says

    Ooooh one of my favorite posts yet Julia! I will stand up and clap for you! Even though I’d rather eat pizza most nights too…I’m such a kid at heart. Hehe. This house was just lovely – and that’s really amazing that they didn’t really do a lot of work to it – just shot it in better light? Wow! Loved it!
    .-= christy´s last blog ..What’s a girl (triathlete-to-be) to wear? =-.

  11. says

    I think this movie has my favorite house in it. Although I have a love affair with the beach and am partial to the house in Nights in Rodanthe.
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..I Finally Broke =-.

  12. Ms. Sharlotte's...Southern Reflections says

    I love this movie, I think I’ve watching it at least 5 times. I fell in love with the villa, I think it’s a star in its own right. I love Diane Lane too, she’s such a believeable actress. Thanks for this post… I loved reliving the movie again!

  13. says

    Love the recap Julia! I will watch this for the 3rd time tonight. I loved it!! I thought how nice it would be to own a villa in Italy….and then cook Italian all day all night. Can’t get enough!!!!!!
    .-= Suzy´s last blog ..Sunday Morning Cinnabuns… =-.

  14. says

    Thanks Julia! What great pics. I loved this movie it was so much fun to watch the transformation. The iron bed in the blue bedroom is the best. I love the bungalow in Must Love Dogs, but I think this house is more interesting, because of the story. Thanks again, great post.
    .-= Janet´s last blog ..Weekend time… =-.

  15. says

    Thank you Julia. I’ve been waiting for this one. It’s one of my all time favorite movies and that house and Italy and Diane Lane…ahhh I just love it. I bought this movie years ago and have watched it countless times. I don’t know what excites me more, the idea of your life completely changing and moving to a new country or the beautiful countryside and gorgeous villa. It’s just so exciting.
    .-= Becky @ Farmgirl Paints´s last blog ..Free Fallin’ =-.

  16. says

    I have never seen this movie, but this makes me want to run out and rent it! I really don’t care at all about the plot – I just want to see the beautiful Italian scenery. Or maybe I’ll somehow convince my husband we should take another trip to Italy instead! He would probably rather pay for a European trip than sit through a chick flick!
    .-= Britt´s last blog ..Sunday Morning =-.

  17. says

    THANK YOU!! I loved that movie and it was great to revisit!!
    your just the best about house blogging, you know…

  18. Jennifer says

    I love this movie – I think I’ve watched it 100 times. Great post.

  19. Claudie Frid says

    One of my all time fav movies for sure. Randy and I wanted to pack a suitcase and fly over right away to Tuscany. We will go one day.
    Did you know Sandra Oh is Canadian? Yup just like me.
    Thanks for the great shots… I loved it.
    Happy MM
    Love Claudie from Canada
    P.S. I have heard so much about you & here I am. I will be back.

  20. says

    Hi Julia,
    You’ve featured one of my favorite movies and favorite homes! Thank you for capturing all these great pics! Diane Lane was so perfect for the part, wasn’t she? I always love any movie she’s in. I love that dress she is wearing at the end when she meets the writer. Thanks so much for the comment you left earlier…made me smile and almost cry…all at the same time! :-) I’m so, so glad to have met you through blogging…and very much think of you as a dear friend! :-) Thanks so much for answering all my silly questions through this first year of blogging! :-) Susan
    .-= Susan´s last blog ..Welcome to the 31st Metamorphosis Monday and A Give-a-Way for Blogoversary Week! =-.

  21. says

    I read this book before it became a movie. It was more of a travel memoir, but I loved it. Then I saw the movie and fell in love with it, too. I’d give anything to do something like Frances Mays did…especially if it included romance and attractive men like the movie offered! ; )
    .-= the BLAH BLAH BLAHger´s last blog ..Bubbles!!! =-.

  22. Michelle @ Sweet Something says

    I loved this movie. I have always paid attention to the houses/sets on movies and thought I was weird…I love that fact that you actually have a blog that focuses on such things and now I know there is nothing wrong with me. :)
    I think it is so sad about the beach house in Rodanthe.

  23. says

    Hi Julia,
    I love this post! Under the Tuscan Sun is one of my favorite movies. In fact, (confession time), we even drove by the real Bramasole. It is gorgeous! I have a photo of it and would be happy to share it with you. Just let me know. Love, love, love Movie Mondays!
    .-= Joanie at The Bright Side´s last blog ..powder room makeover =-.

  24. says

    Love this! I know if I ever get a chance to escape my life, Italy is my destination!
    Thanks Julia!
    I watched “Practical Magic” with Sandra Bullock & Nicole Kidman for the first time in years this weekend and thought to myself, “I hope Julia uses this house in a blog soon!” I had forgotten how magnificent that old Victorian in the movie truly was. Add it to your list, please?

  25. hookedonhouses says

    Joanie–Are you kidding? I’d love to see that!! Thanks so much.

    Sandy– I already started researching “Practical Magic”–LOVE that Victorian. I’ve scheduled that post for October. Perfect for Halloween month, don’t you think? -Julia :-)

  26. says

    I just LOVE the way you pull a movie set apart like you do. What a gorgeous Villa! Now, have I ever told you that they filmed at my house last year? John Schneider and Roma Downy were here at my house! My kids even got to be extra’s in the film. I think it was a Hallmark movie called Wedding Dance.

    Here’s a link to my story and by the way…….John Schneider is even more handsome in person :)

    .-= Tamara´s last blog ..Another Romantic Trip to Victoria – a Tale of Metamorphosis =-.

  27. says

    Hi Julia :)

    I never read the book, but I love the movie. That home was incredible!

    Oh and I wouldn’t be caught dead climbing up a tree either LOL

    .-= rue´s last blog ..Overwhelming joy =-.

  28. says

    Yet another movie I haven’t seen but wanted to. But now that I know that David Sutcliffe is in it I have to rent it. I loved him in Gilmore Girls. I also love the house- it’s fantastic.
    .-= Amy´s last blog ..Saturday =-.

  29. says

    Beautiful house aside (and it is beautiful and I would buy it in a second… if I had the $), this is one of those movies that if I am channel surfing and it is on, I will watch it. And I’ve seen it 20 times already!
    .-= Robin´s last blog ..Croc-a-doodle-doo =-.

  30. says

    Coming here is like going to the movies with a buch of girls…Fun!!! By the way ..I will be going see the movie Julie and julia. Any good scoop on that one? Have a great one my friend!
    .-= Susie Harris´s last blog ..Checkers anyone? =-.

  31. B says

    I remember seeing this movie when it came out, and I distinctly remember wishing they’d showed MORE of the house! You got great shots from the film. Thank you for sharing your commentary.

  32. says

    I love this movie! Especially the Polish craftsmen and how they become her new family even though they don’t understand each other at all! And of course it’s wonderful to see Diane Lane’s character renew herself as she resurrects the old house… just in time for the perfect Hollywood ending of meeting a handsome new suitor!
    .-= Tracy´s last blog ..See, There is a Chair Under There! =-.

  33. says

    What a fabulous post. This is one of my favourite movies and I adore the house. Italy was second on my list of places to live but France had a slight edge or should I say it does at present :-)
    .-= Leeann´s last blog ..Qu’est-ce que c’est? =-.

  34. says

    How come my house doesn’t look that good in “warmer, prettier light” — do I need to hire better lighting people?! 😉

    While not my favorite movie I’ve watched it again and again…for the total eye candy. How I’d love to live in Tuscany!
    .-= Laura @ the shore house´s last blog ..One cool yard sale. =-.

  35. says

    I love this movie and I loved what they did to the house. Authentic and lovely! Thanks for sharing those great photos! I didn’t realize that David Sutcliffe from Private Practice was the same actor that started in Tuscan Sun. You learn something new every day!

  36. says

    I like the real story better than the movie…….the movies was so different from the book! But I enjoyed your photos!

    • hookedonhouses says

      I will! I get e-mails about it from readers every day. Must be a pretty great house! -Julia

  37. victoria says

    What is the name of the church that the young couple gets married in at the end of the movie?
    Thank you.

    • hookedonhouses says

      Sorry, Victoria, I don’t know what church that was. Does anyone else? -Julia

  38. Tonya Cantone says

    Victoria, I am pretty sure the church you are asking about is San Biagio in Montepulciano. The picture in the movie of you overlooking the church is a view I have been searching for sometime now. I have found a few nice ones but I really would love to blow that specific view up and frame on my wall! Hope that helps! If anyone knows how to post it that wouls be sooooo appreciated!!!

  39. Char says

    Ahhhh….just watched the film again! I have watched it countless times. It is especially lovely to watch this time of year as summer is turning into autumn. And like every other woman, I would like to have the white dress and the peach dress.

    I love the spiritualism in the film. It is about faith and family…hope and friendship. It is filmed with such beauty. Who wouldn’t want to visit such a place?