‘Jersey Shore’: The Strange Place the Roommates Lived in Italy During Season 4

Season 4 of Jersey Shore took place in Italy and quickly became a fan-favorite season. You might remember Jersey Shore‘s Italy season for Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino‘s run-in with a concrete wall. Others might remember it as the season Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi got into a fender bender. 

Regardless of what you recall from Jersey Shore Season 4, there’s one thing you probably didn’t know. Where the cast stayed wasn’t hospitable before they arrived. Executive producer SallyAnn Salsano reveals what happened behind the scenes to create a living space for the cast in season 4. 

Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi and Jenni 'JWoww' Farley enter a building in Florence, Italy, where they were filming 'Jersey Shore' Season 4
Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi & Jenni ‘JWoww’ Farley | Luca Ghidoni/FilmMagic

‘Jersey Shore’ Season 4 filmed in Italy 

After three successful seasons in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, Salsano packed the roommates up and brought them to Italy. “The cast is headed to the birthplace of the culture they love and live by,” Chris Linn, then Executive Vice President of Programming and Head of Production for MTV, said in a 2011 press release. “We can’t wait to see what erupts as a result.”

But before they arrived, Salsano had to scour the country and get approval to film the reality TV series. After Florence approved their stay, Salsano needed to find living quarters for the roommates. 

‘Jersey Shore’ cast stayed in a bank outfitted for reality TV 

During a 2019 interview with Bustle, Salsano revealed the cast didn’t stay in a house during their time in Italy. They didn’t even live in a residency — the Jersey Shore roommates lived in a bank. 

“We couldn’t find a place that could house us that was in the city that had outdoor space,” Salsano told the outlet. “That location [we filmed in was] actually a bank.” As Salsano recalls, the bank had no showers or kitchen and needed to be retrofit to meet the needs of the Jersey Shore cast.  

“Some walls that were layout walls — like the one Mike rammed his head into — were concrete walls that obviously we couldn’t move,” she adds. “But the truth of the matter is, we had to take that entire place and lay it out.” Working with local contractors, MTV’s art department transformed the financial institution into a “home” for the cast of Jersey Shore.

‘Jersey Shore’ Season 4 patio was made of scaffolding

The cast’s Italian bank villa included an outdoor patio. Most of the Jersey Shore roommates spent plenty of time out there hanging out or smoking. You can see it at the 53-minute mark in this supercut of season 4. 

RELATED: ‘Jersey Shore’ Fans Have Spoken; The Spin-off Series They Want to See

Like so much of their living quarters, production crews had the deck patio constructed for filming. “That was all scaffolding, none of that was there,” Salsano tells Bustle. “We built scaffolding in the inside of the building to make it seem like there was a courtyard up there. There was nothing up there.”

As for accessing said patio, that was a window. “If you go back and you watch them actually walking down the hallway and how they got outside, that was not a door they were going to; it was a f—— window,” Salsano adds. You can see this window in the supercut. 

“In the hallway, there was a window, and we built stairs going up to the window like it was normal,” she concludes. “So if you look at it now, you’d be like, ‘Oh my god, that was such a window.'”