Action: welcome to Soncino

of Silvia Merico


Looking, seeing, observing: this is how eyes become the ‘chewing organ’ that eat the reality all around.

Sometimes they’re hungry, sometimes lazy and indolent, sometimes curious, indiscreet and insatiable.
Indeed, looking and a glancing our eyes can satisfy various appetites.

Moreover there is a particular gaze that guides, directs, enchants and pushes: the director’s one – the storyteller of moving images – who chooses a precise setting for the story he wants to tell through his camera. Today they call them ‘location’, that is the places used for filming, in order to create a suitable setting.
Lots of movies have been set in the province of Cremona and Lodi, for instance Francesco Maselli’s Gli sbandati (1955), filmed in Ripalta Guerina, Luca Guadagnino’s Call me by your name (2017), awarded in Hollywood with an Oscar (which we will discuss in the next post).

Action: welcome to Soncino!

The places are often recognizable at a first glance, as in the case of Ladyhawke, filmed in 1985 by Richard Donner in Soncino (Cr); some scenes have the Rocca as a background, a monument that lived stories of wars and defences. Soncino’s fortifications, towers, well-preserved curtain walls have been the excellent background for this historical film with a visionary and exciting plot. On Youtube you can see a short excerpt of about seven minutes on the castles where the film was set, including precisely that of Soncino, together with Castell’Arquato and Torrechiara

Slow and enjoyable shots well describe the ravelin, fortified structure with an ancient mobile entrance and currently welded by iron beams and massive wooden boards. It was rebuilt together with the rescue bridge at the end of the nineteenth century by Luca Beltrami, who directed the recovery of the entire complex.


The Rocca Sforzesca di Soncino (1473) is one of the best preserved castle architectures in Lombardy. Its construction has partially incorporated the city walls, of which it used the cylindrical tower to found the south-west tower with a circular plan (the other three are square). Inside, the fortress still reveals the ancient charm of the stronghold; it was protected by a moat, which on the western side was always flooded (in the film a very young Matthew Broderick also ends up in it).


The rests of the lock that still allowes to flood the southern side are well preserved; you can see also the traces of the pier that allowed people to escape in case of enemy attack. On the same side there is the only opening of the fort towards the countryside: it allowed access to those who came from outside. This bridge returned partly drawbridge thanks to the restoration of 1975. Soncino Rocca was also the location of Il mestiere delle armi di Ermanno Olmi and of Marco Visconti, by Anton Giulio Majano (some scenes are available on Rai fiction).



Guide of  – Silvia Merico

Silvia Merico

Associazione guide turistiche "Il Ghirlo"
With my association Il Ghirlo to discover the art, history and culture of Cremona, the Cremasco and the Lodi area.
Contact me
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