What you need to know about the major movie set in Florence
Last week, we took our bikes to go out to dinner and luckily it was getting late in the evening, because a roadblock along the Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia was set up and cars were being turned away. On our bikes, we timidly approached and asked whether we could pass, an officer said he was not sure while another said to go ahead and try, so on we went. As we approached Corso dei Tintori, we passed people with large trolleys, loading items on trucks and soon were riding over debris on the ground. I quickly recalled the local newspapers mentioning a large explosion was planned.
So what the heck is going on? Netflix is producing a film by Michael Bay called “Six Underground” starring Ryan Reynolds! And Melanie Laurent, Adria Arjona and Dave Franco. As far them filming in town, it wouldn’t be a big deal (hey, we already had Hannibal and Inferno) if they had come along for a few days, a few streets were closed off and off they went. No, they will be in town for an entire month! So I thought I’d better get more details and share them with you all, so that if you are in Florence and trying to get to Santa Croce and being turned away, you know what’s going on.
It seems there are major action scenes being set up, there are 3 base camps and over 450 people involved in these base camps that coordinate and are going to make these scenes happen. The areas are: piazzale Vittorio Veneto near Le Cascine, lungarno della Zecca Vecchia (the one we ran into) and piazza Ognissanti (starting August 24). The set is in town up until September 22, but the major action scenes are being done right now in August taking advantage that there are less locals around, although that doesn’t mean there are less visitors downtown. The base camps will stay put until the very end.
Town hall communicated Netflix filming schedule will take place over two periods: scenes will be filmed between August 22 through the 31st, and then take a short break and restart from September 10th through the 21st with an additional day on September 3rd. The first area is indeed the Santa Croce area, where Corso dei Tintori was closed down to transit and parking. Of course, also side streets via Magliabechi, piazza Cavalleggeri, borgo Santa Croce and parts of Via Tripoli around piazza Santa Croce are closed, while the piazza was transformed into a parking lot the nights of August 21 and 22 to accommodate residents displaced from the other streets (also on August 30-31st).
Of course, the set is moving across the center even if the bases are around it. The entire center will be part of the set, but the main areas are around Santa Croce, San Niccolò up to viale Poggi and the lungarno streets from Ponte Vespucci to Ponte San Niccolò (practically the whole center!). The scenes near my neighborhood along via Campo di Arrigo have been cancelled (phew, I drive down that street!).
This week, the movie set is very central filming at the Gallerie degli Uffizi today, Tuesday, so the entire area is cordoned off from traffic but not foot traffic, which includes thousands every day. Tomorrow, Via Cavour between the Duomo and Piazza SS Annunziata and along Lungarno Torrigiani and tomorrow inside Palazzo Vecchio. These last few days of the first part of filming will continue on September 3rd in Piazza della Repubblica, Piazza Pitti, Lungarno Torrigiani and Serristori. From the 10th of September, the set will again be in the area around the Uffizi Gallery, Santa Croce, Piazza Santa Maria Novella and in San Lorenzo, then Piazza Goldoni, San Niccolò-Viale Poggi, the area around Via Tornabuoni, again the lungarno with a view stops at the Accademia and the Four Seasons luxury hotel.
You can well imagine what it means to local residents as their streets are taken over by a movie set during a day or two. I heard complaints as I take my kid to summer camp right behind Piazza Santa Croce this week about foot traffic being non-existent for shops, while residents don’t know where to go from day to day. I now take a different route to not go along the lungarno. The good thing is that the set seems to take over for a few hours and then it disappears, but this also means you should expect to find some streets closed off to street traffic altogether. You will be asked to go turn around and go around. It means that if you’re unfortunate enough to try to visit Palazzo Vecchio, let’s say, on the day of filming (this Thursday, August 30), you will be turned away :(.
I’ll recap some info I found on the city’s website (in Italian) to guide you on areas to avoid or to help plan your day’s outing.
On Friday, August 31, the set will be in the area behind Palazzo Vecchio, from piazza San Firenze toward Santa Croce and again along the area of the Lungarno from the National Library (piazza Cavalleggeri). So starting Thursday from 2pm, residents cannot park in the area but visitors CAN move around, unless specific scenes are being shot. Corso dei Tintori will be closed to foot traffic from 10am to 8pm on Friday August 31st, as well as Piazza Cavalleggeri, via Tripoli, lungarno delle Grazie and lungarno della Zecca Vecchia. If in doubt, go up to the Municipal police officers presiding the road blocks to ask for alternative streets you can take to go around the closings. So basically, stay away from the Santa Croce area!
As I find more info on the locations where the set will be active from September 10th, I’ll update this post! If you have a car and unfortunately are planning on being in the areas involved, take a look at the city website for more details as they list all of the streets and times when streets are off-limits.
If you run into the set and ruins your plans for visiting Florence, just think: in a year or two, we will get to see Florence on Netflix and be able to say, we were there and remember we couldn’t pass by that street that day. Cool! (or, at least, I hope so) 😉 Hey, if you catch any stars in town, take photos and share with us using our hashtag #visitflorence!