|vintage chairs at my front door|
A large US chain of restaurants (best not to reveal which) recently discovered Vetralla’s Cene in Cantine festival and chose our town to film their newest commercial.
The previous locations featured were Rome and Amalfi … so not too bad for our small town outside Rome. Until now Vetralla's only claims to fame were its excellent olive oil and the fact that since 1512 it has been under the protection of the English crown .
|country style seating|
After several pre-shoot visits by the location finder and chief of the Italian film team, the entire troupe of about 50 people arrived in Vetralla yesterday aboard sleek rented vans with tinted windows.
|Vicolo del Sole|
There were executives of the advertising company in Boston, others from the main Florida office who checked the daily film rushes. They were flanked by an Italian crew which included location men, camera men, scenographers, actresses in high, high heels (dangerous on our cobblestones) and drivers of the huge vans that invaded the flower decked historic center.
|meeting the US team|
Throughout the day they shot scenes of the town’s food and lifestyle; the grill scene in Piazza Francosone, the lunch served in the vaulted halls of the Pro loco’s cantina which included grilled chicken and hand made pasta-but not served on the same plate as they do in these chain restaurants !
|coordinating the film shoot,|
The whole town will be anxiously awaiting to see the outcome of the day’s film shoot. Hopefully the cameras were able to capture the atmosphere of the medieval streets and ancient cantinas. The local people, including some photogenic young men, participated as extras adding authenticity to the scenes.
|Sitting pretty in Pza. S. Egidio|
For them it was also a way to see their town in a new light, through foreign eyes, and to appreciate its humble, authentic beauty.
As night fell, the last scenes were filmed between the city hall and the Duomo with the actresses strolling across the piazza, enjoying gelato and sitting on the picturesque dolphin fountains.
|the film troupe in the main piazza|
When the long day of filming was over, about 10:30 pm , a hurrah went up from the troupe and hugs and embraces were shared with new found Vetralla friends before they loaded up the trucks and vans for the drive back to Roman hotels and long flights back to the States.
|locals served the meals and judged the best decorations|
The commercial they were shooting in Vetralla was to show the Italian passion for food, family and celebration of life, thus enticing customers to eat at their 200+ Italian themed restaurants located in 33 different US states.
|eating in the cantina of Emergency|
|Pro Loco's cantina|
Wouldn’t it be nice if Vetralla’s delicious extra virgin olive oil would, one day, be included among the genuine Italian foods served in these restaurants?
|display of antique copper|
I recently ate at one of these places in New Hampshire but was disappointed with their food and customer service. The place was busy around 6 p.m. as customers did "take away" and completely empty by 8 p.m.
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