A journey to discover the locations of La donna del fiume, the film that consecrated Sofia Loren as an international movie star.
La donna del fiume is a melodrama directed in 1954 by Mario Soldati. The movie is based on Nives, a strong and brave woman, played by Sophia Loren – barely in her twenties at that time and making her debut in a dramatic role – and her unlucky love story with Gino (Rik Battaglia), a smuggler.
The film was entirely shot in the Po Delta: in Comacchio, in the area of Lido di Volano, Taglio della Falce and the beds of reeds of Pila in Porto Tolle, involving, as extras, workers or simple viewers, several local inhabitants.
STOP 1_Manifattura dei Marinati, Comacchio
Some of the most famous scenes were shot in the “Sala dei fuochi” inside a local eel processing factory, formerly called Azienda Municipale Valli and now named Manifattura dei Marinati, where many locals used to work, as does also the main character played by Sophia Loren.
STOP 2_Lido di Volano
Lido di Volano is the location chosen by Soldati to shoot the village festival scene where a very sensual Loren dances on the notes of “Mambo Bacan” making her admirers jealous and where the locals from Comacchio fight against the bikers from Bagnacavallo.
STOP 3_Località Taglio della Falce
The house where Nives lives during the first part of the film can still be seen at Taglio della Falce, at that time it was inhabited by a family who hosted the Roman film crew for forty days during the summer of 1954.
The building is a state property and has been refurbished several times but in a conservative way, keeping its original shape and architecture.