Galactic Tour through Star Wars filming locations, the most loved science fiction saga of all time. Trip to the Dolomites, Lake Como, Caserta Royal Palace, and the Mount Etna.

tickets banner

Every May the 4th we celebrate Star Wars Day, an entire day dedicated to the most beloved saga in history. And what better way to celebrate it than to organize a tour of the locations where it was filmed? Surely you know that many internationally renowned films have chosen beautiful Italy as the setting for its iconic landscapes and magical atmospheres, and of course Star Wars is no different.

Some of the most emblematic scenes of the saga have been filmed among the snow-capped peaks of the Dolomites and the luxurious shores of Lake Como, but also in the sumptuous Reggia di Caserta and on the fiery slopes of Mount Etna. Are you ready to discover them?

Extra tip: do you know why May the 4th is celebrated? This date was chosen because of the popularity of a pun between the famous quote 'May the Force be with you' and the phrase 'May the fourth be with you', caused by the double meaning of the word May and the phonetic similarity between the words Force and fourth. And if you love the Star Wars universe and all gadgets related to it, take a look here and get the object of desire for all fans of the saga: the lightsaber.

Among the Star Wars locations in Italy celebrating Star Wars day

Star Wars filming locations Italy

The celebrated Star Wars saga, in Italy also known as Guerre Stellari, is a work by American film director, screenwriter and producer George Lucas that came to light in 1977.

Contextualized in the subgenre of science fiction called space opera or space epic, the series is set in an imaginary galaxy in an undefined era. However, there are numerous real locations filmed that actually exist on Earth and through which it is possible to retrace the fantastic planets of the saga. Tunisia, Ireland, the United States, Thailand, Norway and... of course, Italy, which with its enchanting views and postcard-perfect natural landscapes has nothing to envy the rest of the world, and could not fail to arouse the interest of the California director.

As has often been the case in the history of the national and international television and film industry, Lucas too has therefore chosen as the set for some scenes that we will soon see in detail four splendid locations of our peninsula: the striking Dolomites, the spectacular setting of Lake Como, the majestic Reggia di Caserta and the emblematic Etna.

The Dolomites in the spin-off Solo: A Star Wars Story

Starting from the northernmost point among those mentioned, the Dolomites serve as the backdrop for the Star Wars spin-off, "Solo: A Star Wars Story", released in 2018. Specifically, the Three Peaks of Lavaredo, Lake Antorno and Mount Piana were chosen.

The Three Peaks of Lavaredo are the most famous peaks of the Dolomites, a mountain range complex in the Italian Eastern Alps that runs through no less than 3 Italian regions, namely Veneto, Trentino Alto Adige and Friuli Venezia Giulia and with a small portion that is also part of Austria. An area of impressive natural and scenic beauty, it is a destination that attracts many tourists for its numerous ski resorts, national park and three nature parks; this area was also declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009.

The Three Peaks are located in the province of Belluno, in Veneto region, and are very distinctive for their characteristic harmonious, aligned shape that resembles three fingers pointing toward the sky. In order of size, the so-called Grande Cima, the highest-that is, the central one-soars 2999 meters above sea level, followed by the Cima Ovest (2973 meters) and the Cima Piccola (2857 meters).

Breathtaking views appreciated by all mountaineering enthusiasts, the Three Peaks of Lavaredo have been flown over by the Millennium Falcon spaceship thanks to incredible special effects.

A few kilometers from the Cime di Lavaredo, Lake Antorno was also filmed by the Star Wars crew. Also in the province of Belluno, this small body of water, surrounded by centuries-old coniferous forests, lies at an altitude of about 1866 meters. It is a destination for an important flow of travelers and especially hikers throughout the year, in summer especially for sport fishing.

Finally, Mount Piana, located between the Three Peaks of Lavaredo and Lake Misurina, is also inside the film. At 2324 meters, its peak is crossed by the border between Veneto and Trentino Alto Adige and, more precisely, between the provinces of Belluno and Bolzano. From a historical point of view, it is also known for the very famous battle of Monte Piana, which saw the clash between Italian soldiers and the Austro-Hungarian army during World War I. These tragic events are remembered thanks to the Monte Piana Outdoor Historical Museum, which can be visited free of charge.

Enjoy some alpine relaxation at Bormio Spa

Lake Como in Star Wars Episode II - Attack of the Clones

Moving to Lombardy, and exactly to the village of Lenno in the province of Como, we can get a closer look at the locations where Episode II - Attack of the Clones (released in 2002) set on the swampy planet Naboo was filmed.
In particular, this romantic and picturesque location lent itself excellently to the famous scene of the lavish wedding between Anakin Skywalker and Queen Padmé at Villa del Balbianello on Lake Como.

This sumptuous building, featuring spectacular terraces and lush gardens has been the set of numerous other films precisely because of its special beauty and indescribable charm.

This historic mansion that dates back to the 18th century rises high above a small wooded peninsula from which it is possible to enjoy unique views of the lake.
Commissioned in 1974 by Guido Monzino, the villa has become a precious treasure chest where memories of his adventurous life and mountaineering enterprises are kept: he was the first Italian, in fact, to reach the summit of Everest. An authentic lacustrine treasure that contains within it several places of considerable interest such as, for example, the Expeditions Museum.

Also worth visiting are the collections among which we find rare objects typical of primitive art dating back to pre-Columbian and Egyptian times, as well as maps, 19th-century prints with views of Lake Como, carpets, and singular 18th-century paintings on glass. Finally, there is the Durini Loggia, a sumptuous arched structure embellished in the floor with a wind rose as if to symbolically orient Guido Monzino on his return from his countless travels. The Villa belongs to the properties of the FAI (Fondo Ambiente Italiano), which manages its maintenance and is open to the public.

The second scene also filmed around the Lario, that of the couple's picnic, is set on the western shore of the lake, in a meadow between the villages of Tramezzo and Griante, ideal places for long regenerating walks through wide green expanses and dense woods. Not surprisingly, this scene represents a moment of relaxation and romance, for which Lucas could not have chosen a better location.

In fact, the villages of Tramezzo and Griante are part of the Lake Como Greenway, a verdant walk of about 11 km surrounded by nature and steeped in history. An itinerary enveloped in the enchanted atmosphere of the lake, discovering ancient villages with their Romanesque or Baroque churches, charming villas and gardens framed in magnificent natural views.

Visit the park of the Villa del Balbianello

Star Wars in Italy: the Royal Palace of Caserta in Episode I - The Phantom Menace

Crossing Italy to the south, we come to the third of the four Italian Star Wars sets, namely the Royal Palace of Caserta. In Episode I - The Phantom Menace released in 1999 and Episode II- Attack of the Clones, the Vanvitellian treasure lends its elegant likeness to the Royal Palace of Theed on the planet of Naboo for interior scenes.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997, Lucas jumped at the chance to make use of this Italian architectural marvel. In some of the scenes set inside, there are quite a few shootouts and explosions clearly recreated in the post-production phase.
During filming, access to the Reggia was literally barred to visitors for four days. In 2018, the building and the City of Naples hosted an annual gathering of cosplayers, organizing two days of events dedicated to Star Wars Day (you can see the video here).

The historic royal palace, commissioned by Charles of Bourbon in the second half of the 18th century, served as the sovereigns' residence and court accommodation, as well as an administrative center. It has 1,200 rooms and covers an area of about 45,000 square meters and is characterized internally by a rich and fine decoration of stuccoes, frescoes, bas-reliefs and sculptures. Although it is the centerpiece of the spectacular composition, the building is a part of the site consisting of wonderful and well-kept gardens, courtyards, the Carolino Aqueduct and the Monumental Complex of the Belvedere of San Leucio.

Visit the Caserta Royal Palace with the Naples Pass

The Royal Palace of Caserta, or the Royal Palace of Theed

Star Wars filming locations Italy

Etna in Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

Finally, the American director also wanted to give Etna a role, taking advantage of its almost lunar landscape. In Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005), the volcano provides the ideal setting for the planet Mustafar. It was here that the epic Battle of Mustafar took place, pitting Obi-Wan Kenobi and his protégé Anakin Skywalker against each other in a bitter duel.

It seems that Etna erupted precisely during the filming of the third episode of Star Wars, and Lucas sent a crew to capture the eruption and the most striking images of the Sicilian volcano's moment of activity. Thanks to this footage, amid lava and glowing flames, a faithful reproduction of the lava of the volcanic planet Mustafar was brought to life, with realistic effects that served as the backdrop for one of the most famous and symbolic battles in the entire saga.

Etna, also called Mongibello ("beautiful mountain" in Sicilian dialect), is the most active volcano on the Eurasian plate and among the most active in the world. At 3326 meters above sea level, it is located on the east coast of Sicily in the territory belonging to the province of Catania.

Its eruptions are very frequent and constantly transform its flora, fauna and general appearance. What makes it spectacular, in addition to its imposing structure, is the morphology of its surface, characterized by the different environments that make it up: urban agglomerations, dense forests, wilderness areas covered by magmatic rocks and snow-covered areas at high altitudes. Against such a suggestive and eerie backdrop, in 2013 Mount Etna was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, which defines it as "one of the most emblematic and active volcanoes in the world".

It is also called the Good Giant because, unlike Vesuvius, Etna's effusive eruptions have never produced explosions, but rather slow lava flows that pose no real danger to the population. Enthusiasts and the more curious can get to know the volcano at close quarters, thanks to specialized guides, and reach the summit craters in safety to admire this authentic force of nature.

Book your excursion to Mount Etna
Star Wars filming locations in Italy

Thus, this concludes our journey to the Italian locations of Star Wars, thanks to which we have retraced topical moments of the saga that has fascinated us for more than 40 years.

"Long ago, in a galaxy far far away..." reads the saga's incipit. In reality, it is not a galaxy too far away. While the invention of planets, characters and star wars was the product of Lucas' portentous imagination, the locations chosen with careful and meticulous research are closer than we imagine and are located on planet Earth! So, what are you waiting for to start your all-Italian Star Wars tour?

We recommend

We recommend