24 Apr 2016

Teatro la Fenice - Meeting in Venice

After being humiliated by Drax in his office, Bond and M are being reprimanded by the Minister of Defense on a street in Venice, before the minister returns to the consulate. Bond asks M to get Q to do an analysis of the lethal liquid he took from the laboratory as a few gondolas runs past.

The meeting takes place on a particular street, in front of a large building with an elegant entrance. The building seen in the background is the grand opera of Venice, called Teatro la Fenice. This is actually the back of the opera, as the main entrance can be reached by foot from the other side. This entrance seen in the film, is only accessible by gondola and appears not to be in use anymore.

Teatro la Fenice is one of the most famous and renowned landmarks in the history of Italian theatre and was opened in 1792.

Bond, M and the minister are coming down the street called Fondamenta Fenice, which runs along the canal Rio de la Vesta.

"Your man is to be taken off the assignment!"
                     - Minister of Defence to M - 

Bond hands over the poison to M, who unofficially lets Bond continue his assignment without the minister's knowledge.

"- 007, no slip-ups. Or we're both in trouble!"

17 Apr 2016

Venini Glass - Venice

In Moonraker, 1979, Bond finds a clue in Drax's safe in California, leading to a glass manufacturer called Venini Glass in Venice. Drax is making the gas globes in Venice and the hexagonal glass tubes are apparently hand-blown in the Venini glass factory at St Marc's square. 

After his first visit, Bond later returns to Venini with M and the Defense minister. Bond has then alerted the Italian police about the secret laboratory and the deaths of the two scientists which he had observed the previous night when breaking into the glass factory.

Venini Glass, founded in 1921, is still located in the same place as in the film, namely at Piazzetta dei Leoncini, which is a small square right next to St Marc's square. The marquis to the shop has been changed and the entrance has been moved since Sir Roger's visit in 1979. The entrance is now located more to the right. Even thought the interior has been changed, the stone floor is still the same and very recognizable. 

One of the stone pillars seen as Bond is walking through the shop can still be found on location.

Venini was founded in 1921 by a Milanese lawyer, Paolo Venini and an antiques dealer, Giacomo Cappellin. Venini and Cappellin opened a glass factory on the islands of Murano, which is the historic glass production center of Venice, located in the lagoon of Venice just north of the city. The firm was originally named Vetri Soffiati Muranesi Cappellin Venini & C, which was changed to Soffiati Muranesi Venini & C. and later to Venini & C after Cappellin's withdrawal following disputes.

Bond arrives to St Marc's square in his gondola and walks up to Piazzetta dei Leoncini (the little square of small lions), where he looks at his photograph and enters the shop. This square is located right behind the large church, the Basilica di San Marco, which is briefly visible during Bond's gondola ride across St Marc's square later in the film. 

The glassblowing factory is of course not located adjacent to the shop in reality. These scenes were filmed at the real factory, located on the island of Murano, where Venetian glass has been made since the 13th century. 

Just when you thought Sir Roger's head couldn't get any longer.

The scenes in the glass museum, which also was connected to the factory in the film, were shot in studio. An advertising poster for Murano glass can be seen behind Sir Roger as he observes Dr Goodhead in the museum.

Vetri di Murano dell' 800 - Murano Glass poster

9 Apr 2016

Car chase through Rome - The Vatican

After attending the Spectre meeting at Palazzo Cadenza (actually filmed at Blenheim Palace in England), Bond is exposed by Blofeld and escapes in his Aston Martin. Hinx pursues him through the midnight streets of Rome. After driving down Via della Conciliazione, which is the wide street leading up to the big Piazza San Pietro in front of the St Peter's Church, Bond takes a right in front of St Peter's Church.

When taking the right turn, Bond is driving down the street called Largo del Colonnato, that runs alongside the Bernini's colonnade, which is the large wing that expands from St Peter's church.

When taking another right turn, Bond and Hinx continue along Via del Corridori and the large stone wall that runs alongside the street.

Bond drives through the first archway on the left hand side in the wall and continues down Via del Mascherino.

2 Apr 2016

Bridge of Sighs - Venice

For the final scenes in From Russia With Love, Bond and Tania are traveling down a canal in Venice after disposing of Colonel Klebb in their hotel room. They are riding in a taxi boat on the canal Rio di Palazzo and pass under one of the most famous bridges in Venice - the Bridge of Sights.

Bond and Tania right below the Bridge of Sighs - Ponte dei Sospiri
Bond and Tania are travelling down the canal in a taxi boat, not in the traditional gondola, since they are leaving town, probably heading for the airport. As they continue down Rio di Palazzo they go under another bridge from where they are being filmed by two tourists. From this bridge you have a nice view over the Bridge of Sighs.

Standing on the bridge on Riva degli Schiavoni overlooking the location

The Bridge of Sighs connects the New Prison (Prigioni Nuove) to the interrogation rooms in the Palazzo Ducale (the Doge's Palace). It was built between 1600 and 1603 and was designed by Antonio Contino (whose uncle Antonio da Ponte had designed the Rialto Bridge in Veince).

The view from the bridge was the last view of Venice that convicts saw before their imprisonment, when taken from the Doge's palace to the prison across the canal. The bridge name, given by Lord Byron as a translation from the Italian "Ponte dei sospiri" in the 19th century, comes from the suggestion that prisoners would sigh at their final view of the beautiful lagoon before being taken down to their cells.

View over the bridge from the other side, towards the lagoon

Despite several scenes being filmed on location in Venice for the film's finale, none of the principal cast were there during filming as their scenes were shot in studio.