‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ Star Diane Lane Went Back To Italy To Experience It Like Frances

Under the Tuscan Sun has inspired people to take their own trips to Italy or another place abroad since it premiered in 2003. Diane Lane, the star of the romantic comedy, did something similar. She returned to Italy after filming wrapped on the movie

Diane Lane poses for photographers at the premiere of 'Trumbo'
Diane Lane at the premiere of Trumbo | Jason Merritt/Getty Images

‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ is based on a book

Under the Tuscan Sun started out as a memoir. Written by Frances Mayes and published in 1996, the book of the same name documented the author’s journey of renovating an abandoned Tuscan villa with her husband. 

The movie made one major change to the story: the main character’s relationship status. Frances (Lane) became a writer going through a divorce, starting over in Italy by herself.

The movie’s writer and director, the late Audrey Wells, was responsible for tweaking the story. As Lane told Vulture in 2020, the film became about Frances’ “journey and her learning curve of how to love again, from a broken heart.”

Frances Mayes at her own Tuscan villa drawing water from an outdoor hand-pump well
Frances Mayes at her own Tuscan villa | Guglielmo De Micheli/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images

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Diane Lane returned for her own ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ experience

Frances healed her broken heart as she slowly renovated Villa Bramasole in Under the Tuscan Sun. She ate Italian food, experienced the culture, and made new friends in the Tuscan town of Cortona.

Lane couldn’t enjoy as much of the Italian city because she was there filming. So she later returned to wander Cortona as Frances did. The actor told Vulture she went back a year and a half later “for fun” because she “didn’t get to have any of the experiences that my character did.” 

Diane Lane at the premiere of 'Under the Tuscan Sun'
Diane Lane at the premiere of Under the Tuscan Sun | Giulio Marcocchi/Getty Images

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“I wanted to have them, not just film them,” Lane said. “I went back, stayed in the hotel room, went to the butcher, went to the cheese shop, and enjoyed the dang town for myself. Can you imagine? The [film] posters were still up! And it was so corny. I was so embarrassed. I’d hide and run. I wouldn’t stand anywhere near that poster.”

She continued, saying she followed in her character’s footsteps. 

“I went back with a sense of purpose to just enjoy it, the tastes and the smells and the sounds,” Lane said. “I knew exactly where I wanted to go and stand. I knew exactly where I wanted to go and sit. Where I wanted to have my cappuccino. Sit while the bells were ringing. Alleyways to walk at night.” 

“So I did selfishly allow myself that experience. It’s the only time I’ve gone back to a location and claimed it,” she added. 

As Today reported in 2018, Frances’ villa in Cortona, Italy where the movie was filmed is available to rent. For now, Under the Tuscan Sun is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.

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