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Much ado about...

Kenneth Branagh chose Vignamaggio as the setting for his 1993 adaptation of the theatrical comedy “Much ado about nothing”.

This comedy, written by William Shakespeare’s in 1599, has enjoyed immense and lasting success, the title used to this today to describe a situation when a big fuss is made over something unimportant.

A revealing title in fact, one that almost gives the happy ending away, with the authors delicate humour capturing and delighting audiences without depriving them of any Shakespearean pathos.

“Much ado about nothing” begins with Prince Pedro of Aragon’s return to Messina, followed by his valiant knights who had accompanied him in battle.

As a guest on his friend’s estate, Don Pedro and his entourage waste no time in disrupting the hearts and lives of the house’s inhabitants. Love affairs, pranks, intrigue and deception animate the entire comedy, with everything finally coming together at the end: Love and truth pacify that “ado”, as all the deception is revealed.

 

Set in a villa close to Messina, most of the story unfolds in the rooms and internal courtyards of Leonato’s house or in the estate’s orchards. Perhaps it was precisely for this reason that Kenneth Branagh chose Vignamaggio as the location for his film: the villa plays her role in the film alongside the actors in the cast, flaunting her timeless beauty.

Anyone who has seen this film, won’t forget the wooden-vat bathing scene, the knights’ arrival in the courtyard or the wonderful discussions in the Renaissance garden. Moments that take us back in time to a Vignamaggio in the 1500s, during the height of her splendour.

The star-studded cast could only have contributed to making this film unforgettable: most notably Kenneth Branagh, Denzel Washington, Emma Thompson, Michael Keaton, Keanu Reeves, Robert Sean Leonard and a very young Kate Beckinsale.

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