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Visiting Hannibal Locations in Florence, Italy

written by Tiia / Fangirl Quest December 22, 2015

My trip to Florence, Italy was another great reminder of what a brilliant concept film tourism is. We got to see all the great sights, but also had some lovely, fun encounters with the locals while running around looking for the locations used while filming the third season of NBC’s Hannibal. 

I’ll tell you all about the city and its beautiful art, delicious food, magnificent views in a separate post, but let me start with the main reason me and my travel mate Karl flew over in the first place: NBC’s Hannibal. If you’re a fan of the show and plan to visit Italy some day, this filming location post and map (at the end of this post) is a great way of seeing a lot of the city!

10 Amazing Hannibal Locations in Florence

1. Palazzo Medici Riccardi

This was my first ever Hannibal filming location, hurray! I found the address on a blog somewhere, but it proved to be false (the garden we visited first looked very much alike, but wasn’t the same one). So, we ended up bothering the locals with screenshots from the show on our first morning in Florence.

“It’s right across the road”, he said. “The gate is probably closed but you can see the garden if you look through the cracks”, he said. Easily enough, we found the (huge!) gate and saw that it was locked. So disappointing! I snapped a few photos and we bothered another local, a polite salesman in a small shop next to the gate to see if he knew anything about the place and how to access it.

“Of course you can go in! It’s a museum. Walk around the building and you’ll find the entrance.”

Duh! A massive entrance on the other side, and we dummies were standing at the back gate being all miserable about it. Well, at least we made it in the end.

The rest is sceneframing history.

Hannibal Locations in Florence, Italy

Hannibal Locations in Florence, Italy

Hannibal Locations in Florence, Italy

The next two shots we completely forgot on the first day, so we went back the next morning. I politely asked the ticket salesman if I could pop in for just a few minutes “as I’d already paid the previous day and even saved the ticket if you’d like to see it.”

“Just go in, I trust you”, he replied, so I went and snapped these two shots. When I came back in, I showed him what my quick visit was all about. His face lit up completely.

“That’s Morpheus! Yes! I called my friend that day and told him that Laurence Fishburne is here, Laurence Fishburne is here! …but he didn’t understand.”

Hannibal Locations in Florence, Italy

Hannibal Locations in Florence, Italy

2. Sagrestia Vecchia

Fun fact: there is no phone booth in the square of Sagrestia Vecchia. You’re all a bunch of liars, filmmakers!

Hannibal Locations in Florence, Italy

3. Piazza Della Repubblica

Yay! Framing Gillian! The carousel seems to be permanent, so these photos turned out lovelier than I expected. A very happy day, this one.

Hannibal Locations in Florence, Italy

Hannibal Locations in Florence, Italy

4. Galleria degli Uffizi

Fun fact: “Primavera” by Botticelli is actually here. The room where Hannibal and Will meet in front of it… is not. So, if you’re interested in what it’s like to be a semi-professional filming location traveller like us, here’s a good example.

After queueing to get in we climbed many huge sets of stairs in search of the Botticelli room, but a sign told us that the original room was being restored and that the paintings were temporarily in another. Fine, we thought, let’s go see the paintings and ask someone. With about a million other tourists we stared at Primavera and this chick called Venus’ birth, but the room was nothing like in the show. So we asked a guide. She told us to go back around to the beginning of the huge, huge half-circle of hallways full of incredible paintings and sculptures. We found a familiar looking hallway, but it wasn’t the one we were looking for. We looked at our screenshots. We compared pictures to reality. Nothing matched.

We asked another guide. He told us to follow him, and we half-ran back to the other end of the first hallway, to look at the last room on that side. That wasn’t it either. The guy got confused, and asked two other guides. With broken English and our non-existent Italian skills the five of us tried to make sense of what we wanted exactly. I showed them our previous sceneframes, and they got it. We begged them to let us have two minutes in the room.

“Ha, we would get arrested”, they laughed. “We aren’t kidding”, they added with serious faces.

To convince us, they showed us photos of the original Botticelli hall. Yup. Not the same. At all. But hey, at least the Uffizi gallery courtyard is real and they were really there for this one!

5. Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore

This cathedral is amazing. We kept walking back to it every day – which is actually pretty easy as it’s right in the middle of the city. And of course, I bothered some locals and tourist by crouching in the middle of the street to get these shots.

Hannibal Locations in Florence, Italy
Hannibal Locations in Florence, Italy

6. Ponte Santa Trinita

AKA the Bridge of Feels. It’s the next bridge over from the famous Ponte Vecchio, so good views are a fact.

Hannibal Locations in Florence, Italy

But sceneframing Jack Crawford’s sad face as he says goodbye to Bella… right in the feels.

Hannibal Locations in Florence, Italy

7. Piazza di Santa Maria Novella

A small square in front of Basilica di Santa Maria Novella. I took these photos, Karl spent a few minutes playing a guitar and singing with a homeless man. A good moment, that.

Hannibal Locations in Florence, Italy

I was on my knees on the ground taking this photo for a couple of minutes. When I got up, a guy approached and asked “excuse me, what are you doing exactly?” so I had to show him a few sceneframes. He started laughing. “I was wondering why the hell are you taking photos of your tablet.”

Hannibal Locations in Florence, Italy

8. Two alleyways off Borgo Santi Apostoli

These two photos are a WIN! We had no idea (neither did the internet) where they filmed the scenes of Hannibal escaping from Jack, all bloody and hurt. The episodes shows only a few seconds of both, so we had to go on with just these two images. We could barely make out the river behind him (there’s the familiar fence and houses in the distance) and figured this has to be somewhere near the bridge (for the film crew’s convenience). So, we took a little walk around the blocks near the river and Ponte Santa Trinita, and tadah! After just half an hour of peeking into dark alleyways, we spotted this one.

Hannibal Locations in Florence, Italy

And right next to it, this one.

Hannibal Locations in Florence, Italy

We even posed this photo with Karl. Look. He’s right there with Hannibal!

Hannibal Locations in Florence, Italy

9. Stazione di Santa Maria Novella

I was nervous about finding the right platform, but in the end, it was easy. Head for platform three, if you want to stand where Gillian sat.

Hannibal Locations in Florence, Italy

Look at her sitting. Perfect.

Hannibal Locations in Florence, Italy

10. Piazzale Michelangelo

Again, a scene that lasts about 3 seconds in the show… but it’s there. It’s Jack, just before he heads off to the bridge to toss Bella’s ashes into the wind. We decided to try and capture this one between the narrow gap of the sun setting and the city lights coming on. I’m glad we did – I really like the dusk, the lights and the colors.

Hannibal Locations in Florence, Italy

I also shot this little video as I wanted to capture the incredible, relaxed atmosphere at sunset.

That’s it for Hannibal sceneframes! I still have a few great stories to go with the photos from the Hannibal film starring Anthony Hopkins, but I’ll get to those later.

Need a map and some handy links? Have some!

Here’s the map of Florence with pins pointing to all the filming locations we visited. It includes everything mentioned in this post and the two lovely hotels (Hotel Panama and Hotel Brunelleschi) that we stayed in during our trip. More about those too later!

  1. Palazzo Medici Riccardi (website)
  2. Sagrestia Vecchia’s square (Wikipedia)
  3. Piazza Della Repubblica (Wikipedia)
  4. Galleria degli Uffizi (website)
  5. Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore (Wikipedia)
  6. Ponte Santa Trinita (Wikipedia)
  7. Piazza di Santa Maria Novella (Visit Florence)
  8. A and B) Two alleyways off Borgo Santi Apostoli
  9. Stazione di Santa Maria Novella (Wikipedia)
  10. Piazzale Michelangelo (Visit Florence)

Bonus Florence photos: Assassin’s Creed and Anthony Hopkins

Sceneframing Assassin's Creed in Florence, Italy

A screenshot from the video game Assassin’s Creed aligned with the real life location in Florence, Italy

Sceneframing Hannibal (movie) in Florence: Anthony Hopkins

Anthony Hopkins in Hannibal, filmed in Florence, Italy.

 

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35 comments

J. Del Rosso December 24, 2015 at 5:54 pm

What an amazing work! <3

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Tiia / Fangirl Quest December 28, 2015 at 9:57 am

Thanks so much! We had a lovely time creating these :)

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M-L December 27, 2015 at 11:26 pm

Ohh! Ive always wanted to visit Italy and espeically Florence… now I want to go even more! Will my non-Hannibal fan husband be ok with the city?? :)

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Tiia / Fangirl Quest December 28, 2015 at 9:56 am

Absolutely! If he’s into good food, beautiful architecture, arts and lovely walks in the city, he’ll be fine! :)

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Alex January 6, 2016 at 10:39 am

Thank you so much, Tiia! I was in Florence yesterday and your article helped a lot to find shooting locations of Hannibal!! I especially would like to thank you for making map with pins!
Wish you all the best!

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Peku January 17, 2016 at 8:33 am

Fantastic post and most amazing photos.

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Jennifer January 18, 2016 at 10:32 am

Very cool. I really like the way you impose the movie shots in to the very spots you’re standing in.

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Laura January 27, 2016 at 1:59 am

I’m totally flabbergasted and completely in awe! And it sounds like you had a great adventure asking the Florentines too! I’m going to do this, I’m going to Florence soon! Thank you for all your hard work! (And such a shame about the Uffizi Gallery! We should ask Bryan Fuller!)

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Alex February 7, 2016 at 4:53 pm

Does anybody know where he lived in Florence? Can’t find any information on that.
I thought it would have been possible to figure it out as of the scene where he’s drawing the Duomo near the window (S03E06).

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Tiia / Fangirl Quest February 8, 2016 at 5:19 pm

Sorry, no idea! I think all the interiors were filmed in the studio, so I’m not sure if there’s a particular address they wanted it to look like. Boo! We should know ALL of these things :)

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Leo March 11, 2016 at 9:43 pm

Amazing! Saludos desde México!

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Tiia / Fangirl Quest March 24, 2016 at 1:20 am

Hello from Finland, Leo!!

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Fede* March 29, 2016 at 3:56 pm

You’re too coll to be real!!I :D
in a couple of days i’ll be in florence too, thank you for your amazing guide!!

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Erin April 9, 2016 at 1:22 pm

Awesome. Loved Hannibal and the fact I stumbled on this post via tumblr. I visited Florence some years ago but of course not with this in mind. Next time tho … Can never have too many excuses to visit Italy

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Mean April 12, 2016 at 10:16 pm

wow , just wow…..

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korhan temırkan April 14, 2016 at 11:49 am

Tiia, I am stunned to see the storytellıng and the photo work you have done. ı was googlıng the places to vısıt durıng my trıp from ıstanbul to florence and thınkıng to make a hannıbal route of my own and wonderıng how to locate the spots. you are amazıng. your florence route work ıs lıke fındıng water ın the desert for me.
god bless you.
IF you ever vısıt ıstanbul, ıt’d be an honour for me to make a route for you.

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Rachel April 23, 2016 at 11:10 am

I have your answer to where Hannibal lives in season three because I’ve been there. Every year I go either once or twice to Florence and always stay in the Hotel Santa Maria Novella on the square of the same name. Utterly gorgeous hotel if you’re looking to go. I had a room with a view of the Piazza two years ago and spent many a happy moment avidly staring out the window. Directly opposite my hotel is the Grand Hotel Minerva and next door to that is a small building with the most amazingly ornate windows. I often looked at them and marvelled at their beauty, wondering what was on the other side. You can imagine my surprise when watching Hannibal there are Bedelia and Hannibal standing in front of those same windows and glimpsed between their faces is my hotel room out the window!

So you may well be right that some or even most of the interior shots are in the studio but the windows, the view and some of that lovely room at least are real and on Piazza Santa Maria Novella. If you stand looking at the Hotel Minerva, the building is next door in the left. My certainty is further reinforced by the fact we see Hannibal clinging to the striking black and White wall surrounding the Basillica of Santa Maria Novella and heading in the direction his home would be after his cataclysmic tussle with Jack Crawford. Ironically, if he staggered on about twenty steps he would be at the emergency department of the hospital on the square, which is directly to the right of the Minerva!

Fantastic post and ultra informative- thank you. Hope this helps next time you visit.

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Tiia / Fangirl Quest April 26, 2016 at 12:07 pm

Oh wow!! Amazing! Thank you so much for this – it kills me now that we didn’t know this before! We even showed the screenshots to a few locals, even people working in the tourism field and none of them recognized them. Oh well… just means we have to go back :D

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dc quotes March 17, 2017 at 1:20 pm

Years ago I would watch every rerun of Golden Girls daily. There were about four in a row every night. This was after seeing them originally. Love me some Golden Girls.However, that drawing on top kind of scares me.

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Rachel April 29, 2016 at 10:01 pm

Indeed! In fact in the picture you have of Bedelia and Hannibal in Piazza Santa Maria Novella, you’re standing right outside the entrance to my hotel. If you had turned to the right you’d have been looking right at Hannibal’s home. As you said, go back again. Florence is beautiful. I’m so impressed with your website. Really skilful stuff. Well done and thank you for giving me locations to check out next time I’m out there.

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Marko May 10, 2016 at 8:17 pm

Thank you so much for this. I loved Hannibal and I’m florence was in my top 2 cities to visit this fall. seeing your blog might be the tipping point.

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Tiia / Fangirl Quest May 18, 2016 at 3:14 pm

So glad to hear that! The city is amazing and the fact they filmed Hannibal there is a very, very good bonus :)

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Daniel Chaves da Costa June 26, 2016 at 11:00 am

I will Travel to Florence in 8 days. I will use your map. But I added the parfumestore from the movie (I’ll try to buy the Same handcreme Hannibal used, when writing a letter to Clarice, and of course the biblioteca caponi.(don’t Know If can go in). Also added a Café by the River where Rinaldo Pazzi Met Mason Vergers Buddies in the Movie. :-) I am very excited :-D

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Tiia / Fangirl Quest June 30, 2016 at 2:45 pm

Oooo very cool! Let us know how it all went! Good to know you’ve discovered new locations. We didn’t really have a comprehensive guide when we went, so had to go with what was recognizable or reported online :)

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Melani August 1, 2016 at 12:12 am

Hello Tiia and Satu!

a few weeks ago I was in Florence and is one of the most beautifull cities I have ever seen! I just loved it! And especially your Hannibal Tour. It was so nice to include your Locations Tips to my Trip. I saw every place mentioned -and was so happy about that! The combination of this series and the city is a wonderfull connection. And I just love Hannibal!

The only thing I also could not find, was Hannibals flat. I do not mean the interior, but the window outside. As you can see in the series, Hannibal is able to enjoy the nice view to the Piazza Santa Maria Novella and the famouse Church. But in reality there is nowhere such a nice Window with this little kind of balcony. It also would have to be a Brickhouse, just as seen in the Show. After I have read Rachel´s information about it, I was unsure if I had overlooked something, but even after checking on Google Maps etc., I could not find anything like that at the Piazza. So I guess we all still search for this place ;) Please let me know, if you hear something about it!

Again, thank you so much for all your work! You just made my holiday much more intense. It was a great bonus!

Many Greetings

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LucLeon August 26, 2016 at 9:38 pm

I am going to florence in about…15 days, and I pretend to visit all these places, i also love hannibal so this is gonna help me , thank you very much!

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Tiia / Fangirl Quest August 28, 2016 at 5:09 pm

Aww so happy this will be useful to you! Let us know how it all went, would you? :) ENJOY!! Florence is incredible.

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David September 13, 2016 at 4:31 pm

Currently visiting Firenze, imagine my excitement when I discovered I’m literally 100 metres from Palazzo Medici Ricardo ☺

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Hannah Chappell February 12, 2017 at 8:24 am

I’m a fan of the show as well, and came across this while doing a Europe project for school. This is a really interesting article! So cool you got to go to the places it was filmed, I really enjoyed looking through your photos!

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Tiia / Fangirl Quest February 12, 2017 at 12:26 pm

Very cool! So happy you found the article. What kind of project was it if you don’t mind telling?? :)

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sarah February 17, 2017 at 2:56 am

Thank you SO much for sharing all of this info! My husband and I just got back from a mini-break in Florence and we pretty much spent the entire trip following this travel guide. We found all the locations you mentioned above and it was so much fun. We saw some beautiful places we might have missed had it not been for this blog. I think the best moment was finding the little alleyway near Borgo Santi Apostoli and seeing that the graffiti on the walls was still intact. Thanks thanks thanks!

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Tiia / Fangirl Quest February 18, 2017 at 12:51 pm

This is amazing, Sarah! We’re so glad you came back to let us know about your trip. It’s always amazing to know we’ve made someone’s trip a tiny bit more exciting!! Let us know if you publish any photos, we’d love to see them! <3

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Karolina Wieczorek May 20, 2017 at 11:42 pm

Hi!
I am planning to go on a trip to Florence soon and am in awe of Your work! Being a high school student I wanted to do a simmilar project for my photography classes. Would it be possible for me to ask for the TV-show stills that you use in this blog for my little project? Of course, the full credit would go to this amazing blog, of which I am an keen reader. Pardon me for asking directly, of course if this is a problem I will look for the scenes myself, but if by any chance You would be willing to help, I will be thankful.
Kind greetings from Poland

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Tiia / Fangirl Quest May 22, 2017 at 9:57 am

Hello! Aw, I think I’ve already deleted those photos since it’s been a while :( sorry! But I really hope you enjoy your trip! Some of these locations are really stunning so I’m sure you’ll love it :)

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