It is in the courtyard of Palazzo Ruffo di Castelcicala located in Via Foria in Naples that Dr. Cazzaniga and Professor Bellavista meet for the very first time, starting to create a relationship that will lead them to establish a solid and precious friendship. From here you can start the tour to discover the Naples of Professor Bellavista, a city that more than any other Luciano De Crescenzo has been able to tell “having the sea in his eyes and Vesuvius in his heart”.
Why we suggest Bellavista’s tour in Naples
The tour is warmly recommended not only to those who wish to retrace and relive the places of the film, but also to those who would like to experience Naples with a different point of view, through the eyes and words of Professor Bellavista.
Going on with the tour, you could easily imagine to walk with Professor Bellavista in person beside you.
So, let’s start this journey to learn more about the stories, places and even the characters of the film.
The courtyard of the house where Professor Bellavista lives is located in Via Foria 106.
The exact house where Bellavista lives with his wife Maria and daughter Patrizia (respectively played by Isa Danieli and Lorella Morlotti) is unfortunately not detectable in the film. Also the film The Mystery of Bellavista was set in the same courtyard. With a bit of luck you will also be able to access the courtyard to take some pictures.
But first of all, we have to explain you something very important: in the book De Crescenzo is not Professor Bellavista, but one who chats with him, one of his many “followers”. Therefore, the two main characters are: Palluotto, who in the film is Dr. Cazzaniga, and Professor Bellavista. From their first meeting, we can see that the two are on two diametrically opposed philosophical positions, but the conversation and the exchange of thoughts between them continue in a typical Neapolitan style!
Walking on Via Foria, proceeding towards the National Archaeological Museum, we go to Vico Rose now. Leaving Piazza Cavour behind us, we set off towards Via Enrico Pessina and then Via Santa Teresa degli Scalzi. Here we are at Vico Rose.
Here was filmed the episode of the movie with the street sweeper Sergio Solli, who plays Saverio. If we look around and look up, we expect to find Nunzia Fumo facing one of the windows which, after having spoken about the countess who lives on the upper floor and referring to her unhygienic habits, concludes saying that: «anybody is grubby»!
Another episode is set in Vico Rose, the one about the sale of the coffin by instalments. It is the alley where Giggino (played by Francesco De Rosa) tries in vain to convince Bellavista to buy a coffin by instalments, also proposing different models.
Now to continue on our tour to discover the places of Bellavista’s Naples we have to move to the seafront. So, we walk through the streets of the center, the shops, crossing Piazza Dante, Piazza Carità, Via Roma, perhaps cutting off for Santa Lucia, right where De Crescenzo was born, and we get to the marvelous Lungomare di Napoli.
The film opens with the taxi scene. Inside a taxi that runs along the Lungomare di Mergellina we see Dr. Cazzaniga, played by Renato Scarpa, who has just arrived from Milan. The taxi driver is masterfully played by Tommaso Bianco, but not as masterful as his taxi guide can be said to be, who punctually runs the risk of colliding with a car or finding himself bottled up in the much-known as feared “swastika” traffic jam!
Exasperated by the taxi driver’s guide, Cazzaniga gladly accepts a coffee that the latter offers him.
Let’s have coffee! But in Naples or in Rome?!
The bar where the scene of the escape of Cazzaniga takes place, assaulted by a crowd of people who ask him for a job, because the victim has let himself run away incautiously to be the new head of the staff of the Alfa Sud, in fact, is precisely located in Via Beniamino Franklin in Rome! It is the same building where 32 Dicembre, another film of De Crescenzo, was filmed.
Also on the Lungomare, precisely in Via Caracciolo, the scene of the “assistito” was filmed too, where Salvatore (played by Benedetto Casillo) accompanies Patrizia from Don Gaetano. Don Gaetano (played by Nicola Esposito), entering a trance, tells visionary episodes from which the two must then deduce the numbers to play at the lotto.
Vialetto privato of Rampe di Sant’Antonio in Posillipo
Remaining on the Lungomare, now we proceed towards Posillipo and precisely towards the private driveway of Rampe di Sant’Antonio a Posillipo n.110. Here De Crescenzo decided to adapt the episode of the love park, with Patrizia and her boyfriend Giorgio (played by Geppy Gleijeses). In the scene, the two arrive by the famous Fiat 500, and they find there the parking attendant Gianni de Bury who offers them safety and comfort, and also a good Neapolitan coffee!
The other locations
The scene of the sacred articles’ shop in Via Duomo, instead, the one located at the border number, disputed by the two mafia fringes that ask for money, where we find the boss played by a cynical and talented Nunzio Gallo, was actually filmed… in Rome! The shop is located in Piazza della Rotonda at the Pantheon.
Regarding the funny episode of the passport photo, where there is Vittorio Marsiglia improvising as a paid director for the photo pass, unfortunately the location does not exist. In fact, it was rebuilt in a studio.
The most important things to know
In the movie Così parlò Bellavista, the Italian actor Renato Scarpa is dottor Cazzaniga, but in the book the same character is named Palluotto.
The book Così parlò Bellavista (Mondadori, 1977) sold more than oltre 600,000 copies, and it has been translated in more than 20 languages, also in Japanese, being a bestseller.