About Sicily

Sicily in Movies and Series

Sicily has always been a legendary land. Since Greek times, it has frequently been the perfect setting for legends, myths and stories of all kinds.     

Thanks to the incredible variety of landscapes, Sicily is the perfect setting for fictional products. Besides national and local productions, many international movies and series are filmed in Sicily, trend that seems to have intensified in recent years. 

If you are a movie enthusiast, without further ado, here is our travel guide to discover Sicily in movies and series.

1) The Leopard (1963) 

This timeless masterpiece from Luchino Visconti is one of the most iconic movies shot in Sicily. Based on the homonymous novel, this movie perfectly embodies the decadence of Sicilian nobles during the years of the Italian Unification. Most of the movie was shot in Palermo.

2) The Godfather Trilogy (1974 – 1990) 

This is probably the most famous cinematographic work ever made in Sicily. Based on a novel too, this trilogy from Francis Ford Coppola tells the story of a fictional Italian-American Mafia family. Although many scenes of the films are set in Corleone, in the province of Palermo, they were actually shot in eastern Sicily. Specifically, the locations are in Savoca, Forza D’agrò, Fiumefreddo di Sicilia and also Taormina.

3) The White Lotus – Sicily (2022)

The second chapter of this anthology series was set in Sicily, mostly at the San Domenico Palace Hotel in Taormina. The series in fact follows the stories of guests and employees of a fictional luxury hotel chain, The White Lotus. Besides Taormina, other locations of the series were Palermo and Cefalù, where most of the beach scenes were filmed.

4) The Lions of Sicily (2023)

Based on the best-seller by Stefania Auci, the series displays the rise of the Florio, an important industrial family of Sicily from the 1800s. The series was shot mostly in western Sicily, between Palermo, Trapani, Marsala, the isle of Favignana and Cefalù

5) Inspector Montalbano (1999) 

Salvo Montalbano is probably the most famous TV detective in Italy. Created by the Sicilian author Andrea Camilleri,  the adventures of this character are located in the imaginary town of “Vigata”. Camilleri created it inspired by his hometown, Porto Empedocle. Despite this town being in the province of Agrigento, the series was shot mostly in the province of Ragusa (Ragusa, Modica, Scicli, Punta Secca, Donnalucata, Sampieri). 

6) Cyrano (2021)

Even though the original play was set in France, the 2021 movie by Joe Right was shot primarily in Sicily in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The movie, starring Peter Dinklage, was mostly shot between Siracusa, Noto and Scicli, as well as Catania and Mount Etna.  

7) Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023) 

The last adventure of the Archaeologist played by Harrison Ford is set in Sicily. Specifically in Siracusa, on the traces of a powerful artefact created by Archimedes. The fun fact is that, despite the Sicilian parts of the movie being set exclusively in Siracusa, part of the scenes were shot between the province of Trapani (including the Temple of Segesta) and Cefalù. 

8) Giuseppe Tornatore’s Sicily movies 

Born in Bagheria, Giuseppe Tornatore is arguably the world’s most famous Sicilian director. 1988’s Cinema Paradiso won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 1989 and was shot in western Sicily. This movie marks the beginning of the collaboration with composer Ennio Morricone, which lasted until he died in 2020. Morricone arranged also the scores of two other Tornatore movies set in Sicily, Baaria -set mostly in his hometown – and the intense Malena, which was instead shot mostly between Siracusa and Noto.  

In addition to these main international movies and series set in Sicily, we also mention these movies’ curiosities:

  • Some scenes of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom are set in the characteristic town of Erice, in the province of Trapani. 
  • Tales of Tales, based on a collection of ancient Italian tales, was partially shot in Sicily, specifically at the Donnafugata Castle and at the Alcantara Gorges
  • During the shooting of the movie Star Wars Episode 3 – The Revenge of the Sith, a spectacular eruption of Mount Etna occurred; the crew was then sent to the volcano to shoot some images of the eruption, which were then included in the sequence of the duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. 

If you are curious to discover Sicily, check out our tours in the links inserted in the article and contact us!