Divorzio all’italiana – The Italian style divorce in Ispica

A 1961 Italian drama-comedy film directed by Pietro Germi. The screenplay is by Germi, Ennio De Concini, Alfredo Giannetti, and Agenore Incrocci, based on Giovanni Arpino’s novel Un delitto d’onore. It stars Marcello Mastroianni, Daniela Rocca, Stefania Sandrelli, Lando Buzzanca, and Leopoldo Trieste. The movie won the Academy Award for Best Writing, Story and Screenplay.

Corso Garibaldi street in an Italian Divorce scene

Ferdinando Cefalù (Marcello Mastroianni), a 37-year-old impoverished Sicilian nobleman, is married to Rosalia (Daniela Rocca), a devoted wife he no longer loves. He is in love with his cousin Angela (Stefania Sandrelli), a 16-year-old girl he sees only during the summer because her family sends her away to Catholic school in the city.

Aware that divorce is illegal, Ferdinando fantasizes about doing away with his wife and marrying Angela. In the film’s epilogue, Ferdinando and Angela are “happily” sailing at sea.

The film was almost entirely shot in Ispica, near Ragusa. Other scenes were also filmed at Ragusa Imbla in the magnificent Cathedral of San Giorgio, in the port of Ognina, and the Teatro Bellini in Adrano, in the province of Catania.

View of the town of Ispica, province of Ragusa
Church of Saint Bartholomew at the Piazza dell’Unità d’Italia, Ispica / Image source

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