Love on the Riviera (1958) – also known as Girls for the Summer, Racconti d’estate or Femmes d’un été – is an Italo-French comedy shot entirely in the Golfo del Tigullio, and in Portofino, Paraggi, Santa Margherita and Rapallo in particular.
The movie brings together many popular Italian actors including Alberto Sordi and Gabriele Ferzetti, and French actress Michele Morgan acting opposite a young, pre Dolce Vita, Marcello Mastroianni.
We follow the stories of different characters, all enjoying a Summer holiday on the Italian Riviera, in search of love or at different stages of a relationship:
- Aristarco (Sordi) gave up his career as a ballet dancer to follow opera singer Ada (Anita Allan)…but they are many fishes in the Tigullio;
- Renata (Sylva Koscina) is unknowingly offered by her husband to Ferrari (Gabriele Ferzetti) in return for money;
- Dorina (Dorian Gray) is looking for a rich lover;
- Clara (Franca Marzi) fancies the young Walter (Ennio Girolami) against her teenage daughter’s approval; and
- Marcello (Mastroianni), is the policeman responsible for bringing back French thief Micheline (Morgan) to the French authorities, but misses their train connection…
Cinema-goers were treated to the best the Tigullio could offer: luxurious boats, hotels, restaurants, beaches, water-skying, sun and…bikinis. But, first things first, one needs to make the journey to the Italian Riviera.
Which brings us to the beautiful opening title sequence, an aerial view of the Golfo del Tigullio, flying over Portofino, Paraggi, Santa Margherita and Rapallo where the movie will be taking place.
Similarly, at the end of the movie, our holidays over, we will leave the Tigullio behind us and take off once again.
If today many people have flown at least once, I cannot stop wondering what it must have been like for the spectator of 1958 to experience this when not many people could afford to fly back then. Interestingly, the opening sequence we are offered could also well be a reference to Santa Margherita becoming a new Aquila Flying Boat route in 1956. The privileged passengers arriving from Southampton (UK) would have enjoyed that same view before water landing.
To be continued…
How to get there?
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