Quantum of Siena

Finally got around to seeing the new Bond flick. Heavy on good action, light on solid plot development...

But I did enjoy the use of Siena as this film's de rigore Italian backdrop! I haven't seen the specific locations there first-hand (other than the famous Campo), but the premises were certainly good. The underground tunnels would have been part of the medieval "bottini" waterworks that were built up in case the city ever had to withstand a long siege.

The horse race conveniently happening at the same time is of course the famous Palio, of which I've blogged before!

Last but not least, it seems that the chase climaxes in a fight among what looks to be restorations of the Cathedral of Siena. It's surely a soundstage, but they did do a nice job of echoing the black and white Romanesque marble walls of the city's duomo. I don't recall anything like a glass cupola though... and a quick search online reveals a Flickr shot of a characteristic Gothic style arched vault.

Oh well, I guess if the last movie could sink an entire Venetian palazzo, I should tolerate at least this tiny bit of artistic license. I'd give this movie an Italian versimilitude rating of "B."

(What can I say? The kicker was that the Sienese would not be partying like usual after the Palio if somebody had actually been shot during it! I once saw a trial gone horribly wrong in which a horse was injured, and that alone cast a pall over all the celebrations...)

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