JAMES BOND IN VENICE
The globe affairs of the 007 have always been an attainable part of his more-than-cultural image just as much as the deadly missions, luxurious nights suits, elegant Aston Martin car models and young girls of fire. These change-ups are always about the international importance of the challenges, James Bond fights with his British elegance. Daniel Craig took the torch to impersonate all legendary pieces of the 007 image, including the world-wide ‘activity’. Over a span of two hours James Bond changes locations the same easy manner, he does it with his suit.
He faces his enemy, staining his hands and a white shirt with blood with a desperate fight in a toilet, supposedly in Prague. Some time later 007 plays cool with the traitor while sitting in a chair in his black coat in the heart of Prague. An improvised chase along the building sites and dismantling the embassy in Madagascar in a floral short-sleeved shirt. An unauthorized visit to the M’s apartment in London again with the coat. Pale pants and two kinds of shirts open with a gorgeous Greek girl in Bahamas islands. Grave t-shirt and leather jacket while chasing the criminals in Miami. Getting back to the Bahamas in summer wear and a railroad trip to Montenegro with an elegant suit with a tie. Vulnerable minutes under tortures without clothes at all within the docks of Montenegro and a patient gown after. Unforgettable beach scenes, armed only with muscles and swimming trunks. Finally, the scenes in August Venice and the movie final near Lake Como in Italy.
After all that happened in Montenegro and ‘unpleasant’ captivity at Le Chiffre’s disposal, James and Vesper in find express their feelings to each other. A torrid love affair is accompanied by a mutual ‘loyalty’ and a blueprint for the future, full of romantics and relax. Two loving hearts decide to travel around the world and buy and finally find themselves in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
I wonder if that’s why I love you
You love me?
Enough to quit and float around the world with you…until one of us has to find an honest job. But I think that’s gonna have to be you. I have no idea what an honest job is.
VENICE BEHIND THE SCENES
The film crew of the ‘Casino Royale’ has made the same thorny way of shooting in Venice in the height of the tourist season, as the “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’ twenty years before. The filmmakers had to use a number of ‘tricks’ to put their characters in the context of Venice. With that said more than 400 extras were used to fill the close-up view of the San Marco square to ‘replace’ thousands of tourists on their vacations in the very heart of the city. Producers had a tough time to gain authorization for a 54-foot boat and use of the underwater compressors. Daniel Craig later described shooting in Venice in flattering terms as a kind of shooting vacation, since the most challenging scenes were in fact shot within the Pinewood Studios back in the UK.
CASINO ROYALE VENICE FILMING LOCATIONS
‘Casino Royale’ movie contributes only 15 minutes of watching time to Venice with every second of the minutes indeed shot in a studio in the United Kingdom. Even though we as the viewers have enough time to manage a kind of personal travel along the city of Venice. The script tends us to draw a nominal threshold to emphasize three unequal portions of the events. An amazing opening sequence with our two characters on their way to Venice as a scene to begin with. A number of then following chase scenes ensouled with movie magic to make a logic route between the locations. Thirdly, the Venice epilogue with James Bond and M on the line.
‘Casino Royale’ filming locations walking-and-boating tour would take you no more than 2 to 3 hours within the touristic milk and honey in one of the most beautiful cities in the whole world. One of the locations would be accessible only by means of the ‘Vaporetto’ water taxi in the GIUDECCA island and two more will reveal their secrets on your way along the Grand-Canal. All the other locations lay within a walking distance from each other. You should appreciate the moment when people will not pay attention to your admiring of the columns, narrow bridges and specific angles, connected with the ‘Casino Royale’ movie locations. I have also made a detailed map with all the main sites, described in this article.
JAMES AND VESPER ARRIVE IN VENICE
An incredible panorama of Venice accompanies James’ encrypted message to M: “I hereby tender my resignation with immediate effect”. Vesper manages a 15-meters yacht to the East side of the main Venice archipelago. Legendary Campanile di San Marco of 99 meters-high fills the right-side part of the scene and symbolize the very heart of the city with San Marco Square and Doge’s Palace. The left-hand side of the panoramic view reveals San Giorgio Maggiore, a magnificent XVII century cathedral, located on the island of the same name.
The new scene with bloody-color buildings and the wooden piers allocated us within the Grand Canal, the world-known water arteria of Venice. In practice, our two characters make their way in the reversed direction, as the San Marco square has its own pier. At the same time, it is not conceivable to image Venice without a boat ride along the Grand Canal. While James takeovers the boat, it goes between the Academia and Rialto piers. A moment later Vesper runs eyes over the merchant’s rows of the famous Rialto market. It is the very same location, which would witness Johnny Depp’s dive in ‘Tourist’ four years later.
JAMES AND VESPER IN A HOTEL ROOM
We satisfy a loving scene between the now-former agent with a license to kill and the former treasury supervisor. As Vesper makes her way to go out to the bank, James accompanies her along the hotel lounge, which indeed was shot within the Czech National Museum in Prague. Another shift of the scenes reveals us the fact that two loving hearts spend their vacation in a hotel with a panoramic view of the San Marco square. The camera and the magic of movie making present 007 with a smile, while he feels the moment. This very panoramic shot, in fact, may become a part of your travel photo collection, yet possible from the windows of Museo Civico Correr, which covers the so-called Napoleon wing of the assembly of buildings in the heart of Venice.
007 WITHIN THE SAN MARCO SQUARE
James reads a call from M through the lines and reveals the betrayal of Vesper. After spending another few seconds within the lobby, still shot in Czech National Museum, 007 rushes into San Marco square. The shooting crew was challenged to gain more than 400 extras to fill the front space. Hundreds of tourists, burned with curiosity were restricted in their mobility. The fact that 400 people do not tend to make a photo of Daniel Craig and the filming process, in fact, shapes the movie illusion.
Once we see James Bond near the columns with LOUIS VUITTON и PAULY & C. on the background, he cuts across the southern part of San Marco square by means of the pedestrian street gallery. 007 finds his way to the fictitious BASEL BANK to capture Vesper but only discovers confused staff and clients. It’s of interest that this location, in fact, a few steps from the column alley, where James was spotted before. It can be easily distinguished with DIOR and CHANEL stores on the background. In this respect, James’ rush across the square is a little more than a tricky montage. The fabricated ‘Basel Bank’ site now locates the VENEZIAUNICA tourist center.
After his first fail to find Vesper inside the bank. James Bond pushes along his hunting through the pedestrian gallery in an effort to capture Vesper among the thousands of tourists in San Marco square. The magic of the script allows 007 to succeed in that kind of search by noticing the red dress of Vesper within a small street turn-out. Sotoportego del Cavaletto starts at this alley and James makes a few-second stop behind the column to watch his loving.
VESPER CROSSES THE BRIDGE
The cinematic geography of the movie links San Marco square with a cozy Venice bridge, being crossed by Vesper and watched my James from the distance. In actual truth, ‘Ponte del Malpaga’ bridge is located at a quit far walking distance from the city center and it takes you approximately 30 minutes to cover this route. 007 observes Vesper from another short Venetian bridge, which connects Calle Lotto and Fondamenta Toletta streets.
VESPER GOES ASIDE/ BOND AT THE ARCH
This very filming location may become the toughest challenge for all followers of the ‘Casino Royale’ Venice route as the information on the web is incorrect or missed. Vesper walks Calle Barcaroli, a narrow street with shops and restaurants, indeed a few blocks aside from San Marco square. A moment later, she slips to a dark arch with the SOTOPORTEGO DE LE COLONNE inscription. James follows her and finds himself within a stone gateway. After some signal from the six sense, Vesper turns around and fail to see anybody as Bond has made his way to the shadow. This gateway is in fact located within the same location as it was depicted in a movie.
THE FINAL DRAMA AND VESPER’S DEATH
After a short scene on a bridge, James finally achieves his improvised objective and now observes the transference of money, still without notice of Vesper’s sacrifice. ‘’Conservatorio di Stato «Benedetto Marcello» di Venezia’’ gave its appearance to the inner courtyard of the scene with a gunshot. Whereas we pay attention to the ‘behind the scenes’ documentary, it is becoming clear that the location was in actual practice recreated within Pinewood Studios in the UK. This should come as no surprise regarding an intensive exchange of firepower, which obviously makes some damage to the building.
While following 007 to the poor lighted sinking palazzo, we still manage our way along the decorations of the studio. Relatedly the filmmakers, production designers, in particular, did find inspiration within the actual Danieli hotel in Venice. It is the same hotel which had already played its small part in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” and would do it one more time in “Tourist” for years from the ‘Casino Royale’ shooting.
In the context of the actual Venice locations, it’s of major interest to pay attention to the panorama of the building, being collapsed to the water of the Grand Canal. The film crew did make outdoor shots between the Rialto bridge and the market of the same name. Giant compressors were put under the water to create the water bubbling effect. These shots were later montaged with a studio miniature on the post-production stage. Thus, the ‘main’ building in the scene was replaced with the miniature and a bit of SGI. This ‘hidden’ building is located to the left of the Campiello del Remer street and we should not worry about the preservation of the Venetian buildings, as they were in complete safety.
BOND SPEAKS WITH M
Next to the lost a beloved woman, James makes his encrypted contact with M. Regardless of his attempts to hide his tragedy and to express his ignorance, Bond is cut to the heart, especially with an understanding of Vesper’s sacrifice. This scene was filmed on a bank of the GIUDECCA island to the South of the main Venice archipelago. The front left side of the scene is filled with Le Zitelle church and marvelous Basilica del Redentore basilic. A few moments later the perspective is being changed to a close-up view of 007 and we can see Basilica di Santa Maria Della Salute. This basilica is located on the opposite side of the river and you could hardly gain the same scaled perspective with the naked eye. The movie magic rises to the challenge to ‘correct’ this nuance. The pier itself would be also used as the pre-epilogue location in a “Tourist” movie.