The area around Lake Como in northern Italy is a very scenic place. So scenic that it was used as the setting for Naboo in Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones.
We took a Star Wars tour of the area, visiting some of the filming locations.
You pass this old farm house on the way to the picnic meadow.
This is the meadows where Anakin and Padme had a picnic. The mountains in the background were digitally enhanced in the movie.
Today, the field contains cows instead of large Naboo Shaaks.
We then went back to the lake shore.
In a park, there is a spot that was filmed but never made it into the final movie. The scene was supposed to show Anakin and Padme leaving for Tatooine.
This building was used by the film crew as their headquarters. Although there were many months of preparation beforehand, the film crew were here between 28 August 2000 to 2 September 2000.
This beautiful villa is located on a peninsula and the most beautiful way to visit it is to arrive by boat.
The boat arrives at this dock.
The Villa del Balbianello has spectacular views of the lake. At the time of filming, these pots contained yellow flowers. But they were replaced with the red flowers that you see in the movie.
Here is where Anakin and Padme have a long talk.
The terrace was also filmed from the other side where they kissed.
Here Padme arrived by boat.
The Loggia (or Lodge) is the most iconic building at the Villa del Balbianello. It appeared in the movie Casino Royale, where James Bond was recuperating.
The creeper figs have been tended for many years.
Inside the western wing is a small room. This room was filmed as Padme’s bedroom, but those scenes never made it into the movie (but they can be seen on the DVD extras).
This side of the building was filmed as a part of Padme’s parent’s home. Again, this scene never made it into the movie, but the Naberrie family home can be seen in the DVD extras.
The wedding scene from the end of Episode II was filmed here.
And to end with the obligatory photo at the Villa del Balbianello.
If you want to visit, don’t come in winter when the Villa del Balbianello is closed. That’s what happened when I was previously in Italy. The villa is a higlight of the area, so you don’t want to miss it.
The Star Wars tour was conducted by Gigliola Foglia, a professional guide who worked with the film crew when they were there. I highy recommend her tour, but I don’t know if she is still running them (it has been over 10 years) nor how to contact her. Alternatively, Star Wars fan Mark Dermul has written a book on visiting the area.