In the romantic comedy Under the Tuscan Sun, Diane Lane played Frances Mayes, a woman who impulsively decided to buy and restore an old house in Italy called “Bramasole.”
The movie was filmed on location at Villa Laura in Tuscany, which is actually a vacation rental today. It’s fun to see how it has changed since then. Take a look!
Note: This post contains affiliate links that may earn me commission but won’t affect the price.
Villa Laura in the Movie “Under the Tuscan Sun”
There are actually two buildings on the property:
This is the one Diane Lane’s Frances Mayes buys in the movie:
The house needed work, both in the movie and in real life.
Long-time readers may remember when I first featured this house on my blog back in 2009. I’ve been slowly working my way through old posts and updating them, and this one definitely deserved some bigger, better photos!
They didn’t actually change much in the house to show it had been remodeled in the movie.
Writer-director Audrey Wells says they simply “cleaned it up a little and filmed it in warmer, prettier light.”
The real-life restoration work on Villa Laura began in 2006. Here’s how it looks today:
According to the listing, “Bramasole lies nestled on a hill outside the ancient town walls of Cortona.”
The New Kitchen:
The kitchen in the movie was much smaller!
But there’s plenty of space and top of the line appliances in the kitchen today:
According to the rental website:
“Every bedroom on the property is unique with beautiful original features, hand woven Busatti fabrics and the highest quality bed linen. All bedrooms rooms have air conditioning, Wi-Fi, en-suite bathrooms and its own view of the surrounding countryside.”
One of the bedrooms in the movie:
There are 10 bedrooms and 10.5 baths on the property:
The bathroom in the movie (never a good sign when steam’s coming out of the toilet!):
One of the updated baths today:
Have you read the book it was based on? (Amazon Affiliate link.)
It’ll make you want to move to Italy. And eat pasta! 🙂
The movie is always fun to re-visit, too (Amazon affiliate link):
About a decade ago, a reader tracked down the house and sent me this snapshot of it:
Joanie wrote: “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!” This is why I love my readers. 🙂
You can see the side of the house in this shot from the movie:
The shutters looked black when Joanie took her photo but are now green:
The listing says, “There is always something to keep you entertained, whether it be a swim in the travertine pool, a soak in the Jacuzzi, a walk through the Medici parkland to visit the ducks on the lake, or a Bocce tournament with other guests.” Ahhh.
Like Frances, I have a habit of searching the real estate listings for local houses when I’m on vacation.
Unlike Frances, however, I’ve never actually bought any of them. Darn it.
Of course, she quickly realized the reality of owning an old Italian villa wasn’t quite as glamorous as it sounds…
The rental listing says:
A stay at Villa Laura is your chance to live out your own Under the Tuscan Sun. This ten-bedroom property played the role of the villa Bramasole in the film. Just as the fictional villa is given a makeover, Villa Laura was recently renovated with an eye to traditional style and touches of quiet luxury. Airy and spacious, it offers a Hollywood-worthy retreat in the Tuscan countryside near the town of Cortona.
For more photos and information about Villa Laura and how to rent it for your next Italian vacation, visit Luxury Retreats. And remember, with 10 bedrooms, you could take some of us with you! 🙂
P.S. Visit my Houses Onscreen page to see more, including the inn from Nights in Rodanthe:
*Amazon affiliate links in post — thanks!