I am always surprised to find how few people have heard of the charming, romantic movie Summertime (1955), which was released in the UK as Summer Madness. Set in Venice and starring the late, great Katharine Hepburn, and Rossano Brazzi, one of the heart-throbs of Italian cinema, Summertime was directed by David Lean.
Hepburn plays Jane Hudson, a single and middle-aged "fancy secretary" from Ohio, who is on the vacation of a lifetime in Venice. There she meets and falls in love with the handsome and suave Signore di Rossi, a dealer in antiques, played by Rossano Brazzi.
Our heroine falls into a canal in one of the most famous scenes in the movie. It happens while Jane is busy filming Signore di Rossi's antiques shop, which is situated at the foot of the bridge in Campo San Barnaba. She keeps stepping back to get a better shot and in she goes.
The whole movie was shot in Venice and many of its fans are fond of ferreting out the locations. The other day I discovered that I had such a fan on one of my tours. We were just entering the campo when there was a sudden cry of excitement, "That's where she fell into the canal."
Summertime was based on the book The Time of the Cuckoo by Arthur Laurents.
Blogging about Venice:
its art, history & culture.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England.
Since 200I I have been living in Italy, where I run private tours of Florence, Rome &