‘The Hand of God’ is a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age drama film written and directed by Italian auteur Paolo Sorrentino (‘The Great Beauty’). Set in the 1980s in Naples, Italy, the storyline revolves around teenager Fabietto Schisa (Filippo Scotti) and his quirky, unconventional family. Fabietto aspires to study philosophy, has a crush on his beautiful but troubled aunt Patrizia (Luisa Ranieri), and is a devoted fan of Diego Maradona and the S.S.C. Napoli.
Fabietto suddenly finds the necessity to grow up following his parents’ demise due to carbon monoxide poisoning. After Sorrentino’s debut film ‘The Dust of Naples,’ his native city features prominently once more in ‘The Hand of God,’ his tenth movie as the director. If you are wondering whether the Italian film was shot on location in Naples or elsewhere, we got you covered.
The Hand of God Filming Locations
‘The Hand of God’ was shot in Italy, especially in Naples, Roccaraso, Stromboli, and Formia. Filming reportedly began sometime in Fall 2020. Now, let’s take a closer look at the specific locations that feature in the movie.
Naples serves as the primary filming location for ‘The Hand of God.’ In ‘The Hand of God: Through the Eyes of Sorrentino,’ the companion documentary of his film, Sorrentino reflects on returning to his hometown to film the semi-autobiographical movie. “It’s true that this city doesn’t change much compared to other cities,” he said about the regional capital of Campania. “And like everything, this can be reassuring in some ways, but in other ways, it’s less appealing because new things are part of the beauty of life.”
According to local sources, Sorrentino and his team filmed the scenes involving the Schisa household in the same building where he and his family used to live when he was younger. The shooting took place only a floor above the Sorrentino apartment. The England-Argentina match scene was shot in the apartment above the one belonging to Sorrentino’s aunt, located in the Vomero neighborhood at Via San Domenico. Istituto Martuscelli or The Domenico Martuscelli Institute, a school for people with visual impairment located at Largo Domenico Martuscelli, was turned into the mental health facility where Patrizia is admitted.
Galleria Umberto I, a well-known historical landmark located at Via San Carlo, was used as the filming location where Saverio Schisa reminisces about meeting his eventual wife Maria to their son. The production crew filmed the holiday scenes in the Punta Campanella nature preserve and the communes of Massa Lubrense and Agerola. The scene of the first meeting between Fabietto and his eventual friend Armando was shot in the legendary Land of the Sirens in Sorrento Peninsula.
The extended Schisa family welcomed Saverio’s sister and her new boyfriend in a picturesque villa. In real world, it’s the Masseria Astapiana Villa Giusso, located at Via Camaldoli, 51, 80069 Vico Equense. The scenes that show Armando and Fabietto’s wild night were shot in various locations of the Island of Capri, including Piazzetta di Capri, located at Piazza Umberto I. The prison scene was shot at the Poggioreale facility, located at Via Nuova Poggioreale, 167.
Galleria Toledo, the famous theater house located at Vico II (vici, Vicolo I Porta Piccola a Montecalvario, 34, is also seen in the film. Fabietto’s life-changing conversation with Italian filmmaker Antonio Capuano begins outside Galleria Toledo. As they continue to talk, you may notice Phlegraean Fields Archaeological Park in the background.
The scene depicting Saverio and Maria’s deaths was reportedly shot in Roccaraso, a popular skiing destination. While Fabietto loves skiing, he doesn’t go with his family because he wants to see Maradona play at home against Empoli F.C., and thus doesn’t perish with his family.
Fabietto and Marchino go on a vacation on the island of Stromboli after their parents’ death. The related scenes were reportedly shot on location.
Some of the movie’s final scenes were reportedly shot at Formia-Gaeta railway station, located at 04023 Formia. The station is part of the Rome–Formia–Naples railway.
Other Locations in Italy
For the underwater scenes in the movie, the filmmakers traveled to Conca dei Marini and Cetara, both of which are towns in the Salerno province of Campania region. Grotta dello Smeraldo, a popular tourist attraction located at Via Smeraldo, 84010 Conca dei Marini, was also used for the film.
Read More: The Hand of God Ending, Explained