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

by hookedonhouses on August 16, 2009

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:

Frances takes nothing but some boxes of her personal things and this blue vase. She pulls the flowers out of it and dumps the water on the floor before walking out:

Her best friend Patti is played by Sandra Oh of “Grey’s Anatomy.” In the movie, she’s in a relationship with Grace, played by Kate Walsh, who starred on “Grey’s Anatomy,” too, before getting her own spin off (“Private Practice”). In the movie, they’re expecting a baby together.

Because of the pregnancy, they give Frances Patti’s ticket to Italy, hoping that a vacation is just what she needs to get her life moving again.

While she’s there, Frances looks at the real estate listings that are posted (how many of us have done this on vacations, too?). 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–just once! I usually get comments like, “Why couldn’t we order pizza?” and “Pot roast again?!” But I digress.)

Her pregnant friend Patti (Sandra Oh) appears on her doorstep one day. Her girlfriend Grace (Kate Walsh) has left her, deciding she’s not ready for motherhood (this plot point was hard for me to buy, but whatever–it was a way to bring Patti back into Frances’s life). She moves into the villa’s blue bedroom:

Frances’s writing room:

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:

The kitchen:

Patti dances with her new baby under the wisteria arbor:

The writer and director of the film, Audrey Wells, says that 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.

The front door:

Frances’s room (love her white dress):

Also love the church that Frances’s young friends get married in, so I had to snap a photo of it for you, too:

Frances hosts the wedding reception in her garden, where she meets an American writer played by David Sutcliffe (who will always be Lorelai’s ex Christopher to me, from Gilmore Girls!).

You can see how much her terrace has been transformed since she bought it:

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!”

bromasole-tuscan-villa-in-real-lifeDiane 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 used for the film!*

Visit my Movie Houses page to see more, including…

Nights-in-Rodanthe-real life Serenity Inn

The Real-Life Inn from Nights in Rodanthe


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Jess August 16, 2009 at 9:41 pm

I love this post! I absolutely loved that villa. I stayed at a villa near that one in Cortona. It is so idyllic. Thanks. Beautiful pictures!
.-= Jess´s last blog ..My Renovation: The Fireplace =-.

Dawn August 16, 2009 at 10:37 pm

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*

Tara August 16, 2009 at 11:11 pm

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~ =-.

Linda/ Mom in AZ August 16, 2009 at 11:11 pm

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

Amanda @ Serenity Now August 16, 2009 at 11:22 pm

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 =-.

Struggler August 16, 2009 at 11:28 pm

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 =-.

B. August 16, 2009 at 11:45 pm

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

joni webb August 16, 2009 at 11:58 pm

God, unfaithful, wow. that was sexy.
ok – loved this loved this!!! did you notice how darling her kitchen sink was? so cute. loved this movie.
.-= joni webb´s last blog ..Kips Bay: A Listener Weighs In – revised =-.

~Really Rainey~ August 17, 2009 at 12:28 am

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! =-.

Dagny @ Beautiful Living August 17, 2009 at 1:38 am

I think I have to see that movie! Thank you so much for sharing :)
.-= Dagny @ Beautiful Living´s last blog ..Tim Irwing Photography Art Giveaway! / Ett av disse fantastiske fotografiene av Tom Irwing kan bli ditt! =-.

janice August 17, 2009 at 5:44 am

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 =-.

Suzann @ The Olive Cottage August 17, 2009 at 6:02 am

Well, I haven’t seen this movie (gasp!) but this house is a dream for me. Truly and absolutely my favorite.
.-= Suzann @ The Olive Cottage´s last blog ..K is for… =-.

Mom in High Heels August 17, 2009 at 7:27 am

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 =-.

christy August 17, 2009 at 7:59 am

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? =-.

Linda@Lime in the Coconut August 17, 2009 at 8:06 am

Oh…you had me from the first paragraph…I think someone just loned this to me…I’ve never seen it. Maybe a glass of wine, and hiding away in the bedroom to watch it!
.-= Linda@Lime in the Coconut´s last blog ..And the search continues… =-.

Rachel August 17, 2009 at 8:17 am

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 =-.

Ms. Sharlotte's...Southern Reflections August 17, 2009 at 8:32 am

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!

Suzy August 17, 2009 at 8:52 am

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… =-.

Janet August 17, 2009 at 9:02 am

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… =-.

Becky @ Farmgirl Paints August 17, 2009 at 9:04 am

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’ =-.

Britt August 17, 2009 at 9:15 am

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 =-.

Lisa August 17, 2009 at 10:00 am

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

Jennifer August 17, 2009 at 10:25 am

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

songbirdtiff August 17, 2009 at 10:39 am

This is absolutely my favorite movie house. The fields, the home, the wine, it’s just perfect. By the way, I’ve seen this movie a million times and never noticed there was a bidet in the bathroom. :)

If you have a moment, come over and enter my giveaway taking place on my blog. I think you’ll like it…
http://songbirdtiff.blogspot.com/2009/08/its-time-for-giveaway_17.html
.-= songbirdtiff´s last blog ..It’s Time for a Giveaway! =-.

Claudie Frid August 17, 2009 at 10:41 am

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
xo
P.S. I have heard so much about you & here I am. I will be back.

Susan August 17, 2009 at 10:58 am

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! =-.

the BLAH BLAH BLAHger August 17, 2009 at 11:01 am

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!!! =-.

Michelle @ Sweet Something August 17, 2009 at 11:05 am

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.

Joanie at The Bright Side August 17, 2009 at 11:06 am

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 =-.

Maya@Completely-Coastal August 17, 2009 at 11:07 am

I saw this movie twice…, just so I could spend some more time in Tuscany…, and love Diane Lane too.

Sandy August 17, 2009 at 11:18 am

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?
~Sandy

hookedonhouses August 17, 2009 at 11:23 am

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 :-)

Tamara August 17, 2009 at 11:44 am

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 :)

http://thegreenhousediaries.blogspot.com/2008/11/john-and-roma-thanks-for-memories.html
.-= Tamara´s last blog ..Another Romantic Trip to Victoria – a Tale of Metamorphosis =-.

rue August 17, 2009 at 12:16 pm

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

Angela @ Imaginecozy August 17, 2009 at 12:39 pm

That home is like living in a dream. It just has that enchanted quality.
-Angela
.-= Angela @ Imaginecozy´s last blog ..A New Shelf in the Kitchen =-.

Deidra August 17, 2009 at 1:58 pm

I had forgotten all about that movie! Now I’m adding it to my Netflix cue…I want to see more of that house!
.-= Deidra´s last blog ..City Girl On The Prairie =-.

Heather August 17, 2009 at 3:00 pm

We just watched this movie (again!)…it’s my second favorite! You got such great shots of the house! Thanks!
.-= Heather´s last blog ..Happy baby on the go… =-.

Amy August 17, 2009 at 3:13 pm

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 =-.

Robin August 17, 2009 at 7:07 pm

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 =-.

Susie Harris August 17, 2009 at 9:09 pm

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? =-.

B August 17, 2009 at 10:35 pm

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.

Tracy August 18, 2009 at 12:04 am

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! =-.

Robyn August 18, 2009 at 12:12 am

Thanks for featuring this movie, I love it and I think that I will have to dig it out and watch it again! ~ Robyn
.-= Robyn´s last blog ..How I Spent My Summer Vacation… (Part 2) Blue Monday Edition =-.

Leeann August 18, 2009 at 12:19 am

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? =-.

Renae Moore August 18, 2009 at 8:42 am

I loved that movie… and could definitely see myself in that home and the gorgeous setting. It is stunning isn’t it?
.-= Renae Moore´s last blog ..Coming out of Hiding =-.

karen August 18, 2009 at 11:58 am

This is one of my top 3 movies, I love it!!! Always dream of living here…so glad you chose it for your feature! Love your blog! karen…
.-= karen´s last blog ..A Camping we Will Go! =-.

Christine August 18, 2009 at 12:53 pm

This is one of my all time favorite movies, mainly because it’s so beautiful!
.-= Christine´s last blog ..Lady Marisa =-.

Laura @ the shore house August 18, 2009 at 3:55 pm

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. =-.

Cheri Peoples August 18, 2009 at 4:48 pm

This is a GREAT movie. Thanks for sharing. I love that pile of bottles in that one picture.
This is my first time to your blog. I hope you will come for a visit.
Cheri
Its So Very Cheri
.-= Cheri Peoples´s last blog ..Miss G4′s photo session =-.

Rebecca August 18, 2009 at 11:22 pm

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!

Candy @ SoBella Creations August 20, 2009 at 9:13 am

I thought the renovation scenes in the movie was so fully. Love the Villa. Who wouldn’t want to own their own villa.
.-= Candy @ SoBella Creations´s last blog ..The Giveaway Post =-.

Ms.Tee August 20, 2009 at 2:43 pm

That house is amazing. Diane Lane is so lovely, too – and I really like that orange dress!
.-= Ms.Tee´s last blog ..Beach goodness – part 2 =-.

nannykim August 29, 2009 at 8:40 pm

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

L Balkind January 10, 2010 at 9:21 am

PLEASE, check out the house in It’s Complicated!

hookedonhouses January 10, 2010 at 9:22 am

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

victoria October 25, 2010 at 10:33 am

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

hookedonhouses October 25, 2010 at 11:25 am

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

Tonya Cantone December 31, 2010 at 12:30 am

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!!!

Christiane Housseiny April 2, 2011 at 5:18 am

I watched this movie few years back, and I loved it.I loved the house a lot.It was very charming and warm at the end.

Char September 17, 2011 at 8:32 pm

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?

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