Ischia Stories and Tips

"The Talented Mr. Ripley" Self-Guided Film Tour

Castello Aragonese Photo, Ischia, Italy

A big inspiration for our recent trip to the Italian island of Ischia came from my favorite film, "The Talented Mr. Ripley". As soon as we arrived I immediately recognized several places and was ready to start our self-guided "film locations tour". Most of these locations are situated on the waterfront of this gorgeous island.

Several locations are in other parts of Italy which we've visited already (Rome, Anzio, Naples), but one of the main settings was on Ischia (which in the film was named as the fictional town of "Mongibello"). Just down the road from our hotel was the star of Ischia Ponte: the Castello Aragonese. This castle on a rock was the backdrop for many of the scenes during the main part of the film when they're in "Mongibello".

When Tom first arrives in "Mongibello" we see him meet up with Dickie and Marge on a crowded beach. After some research I found out that this was the private beach "Bango Antonio" which was farther up the shore than I'd imagined. Still, just a leisurely stroll later, and we had arrived. It was our first full day in Ischia, and the morning was a bit overcast, so we used it to wander around. Since it wasn't time for bathing suits quite yet, we sat at the little bar/restaurant for a caffe while we watched just a couple people meandering through the beach chairs.

Later we headed back towards the Castello and found the building which stood in as Dickie's house. The villa "Palazzo Malcovati" is a private residence, and juts out into the sea interrupting the walkway along the water's edge. On the side facing the Castello is the balcony where many of the patio scenes took place.

On the more northern side is the balcony where Tom, Dickie, and Marge stood while watching the "Festival of the Madonna" celebrations. This small cove seemed much smaller in real life, but I recognized it immediately.

Finally, we headed over to the neighboring island of Procida (just about 15 min by boat) where the in-town scenes were filmed. This is also the main location of the popular Italian film "Il Postino". It's quite a small island, and we walked from the main boat harbor to the southern end of the village, Corricella, where we passed the Piazza dei Martiri where most of the scenes were shot. It was surprising how many of the locations (Silvana's market stand, bocce ball court, steep road where Tom and Dickie walk and ride scooters) were all within feet of each other. I really just stood in one spot and took photos while I turned in different directions.

We've done these "film tours" on other trips (Amelie in Paris, plenty of movies in NYC, etc) and they're always very interesting to see the places in person. If anyone is familiar with the film "The Talented Mr. Ripley", I'm sure they'd love finding these places around Ischia!

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