Gladiator in Italy

When the ageing Emperor chooses Roman general Maximus as his heir instead of his own son, a power struggle ensues, resulting in Maximus being condemned to fight in the gladiator pits. Fuelled by the loss of his family, Maximus rises up to exact revenge.

What takes place at the scene: In a series of dreamlike moments, Maximus takes viewers to the beautiful and peaceful rolling hills of Tuscany where his family lived. These vignettes motivate Maximus to continue fighting, and motivate us to reach for our passports!

People who starred: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Oliver Reed, Connie Nielsen

Year of release in UK: 2000


Insider blogger tips to Tuscany, Italy

The hazy, golden fields that Russell Crowe stumbled through in Gladiator are no mirage. They stretch between San Quirico and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre town of Pienza in Italy’s Tuscany, just south of Siena. It’s a sensuous, tumbling landscape of vineyards, cornfields and swaying sunflowers and you don’t even need to ride ‘til dawn in fear of your life to reach it. Instead, hire a car, chase the sunrise or sunset for the best photos and spend the day indulging in the local delicacies of cured meat, honey and pecorino cheese. Simple food has never tasted better.

Fun Fact

Both Hugh Jackman and Mel Gibson were considered for the role of Maximus, but Ridley Scott wanted a fresh face on screen and cast then-unknown Russell Crowe.


In summer visitors can enjoy high temperatures of 31°C, but with a destination full of attractions to be seen, the best time to visit is between March and June, when temperatures are at a comfortable 20°C.


Florence and Siena are popular city destinations in Tuscany, but the rolling hills which feature in Gladiator are some of the most iconic landscapes associated with Italy. The fields used in filming are located outside of Pienza, an hour’s drive from Siena.

Find out more about Tuscany


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