When the Roy family and their associates went to Italy in season three of Heir, their obsessions and intrigues against great old-world fake paintings, thanks to three magnificent mansions with substantial screen time.
On the most recent episode of the hit HBO show, “Chiantishire” (episode 8), Roman Roy (Kieran Culkin) meets tech entrepreneur Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgard) at Villa La Cassinella, sitting right next to Lake Como. Meanwhile, Lady Caroline (Harriet Walter), the ex-wife of patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox), is incarcerated in La Foce, famous for its splendid gardens and located in Southern Tuscany. The third elegant home, Villa Cetinale, also appeared in the third season.
To find and rent these filming locations, the show’s producers relied on a secret weapon: luxury travel consultant Emily FitzRoy. “I just learned that my last name means ‘bastard of the Roy family’,” she said The Hollywood Reporter via a Zoom call from Venice. “I think it’s the fate that I joined.”
FitzRoy, founder of the private party and travel agency Bellini Travel, which she founded about two decades ago, has worked with Heir team to find all three houses, some of which had never previously allowed the crew to enter the facility.
“They were very, very lucky,” she said. “These places are booked years in advance. Because of the pandemic – people didn’t get married last year – we really managed to get our foot in the door on relatively short notice. “
Villa La Cassinella, located on the West bank of Lake Como, includes a main residence, an infinity pool with 22-carat gold reflective tiles, a pool house with a gym and tatami room and a courtyard house separate upper. The hotel can accommodate up to 17 guests. “I like it because you can only get there by boat and it’s incredibly private despite being right in the beating heart of Lake Como, which has become so popular over the past decade,” says FitzRoy. .
The production also spent a week shooting at Villa Cetinale, a 17th-century Baroque estate located near Siena and originally built for Pope Alexander VII. Edith Wharton included the beautiful landscape of the property in her 1904 book Italian Villa and Their Garden. “Ironically, the last party I threw [before the pandemic] was a wedding in Villa Cetinale in October 2019,” said FitzRoy. “I left Cetinale as a party host and went back to hosting a mock party this summer, it felt like a pretty good party.”
Perhaps the most famous property depicted on the show is La Foce, where Heir shot for three weeks. “The most beautiful gardens in Italy – ironically designed by an Englishman. He invented the beautiful twisted lane of cypress trees you see on every postcard,” says FitzRoy of La Foce, which seats up to 24 guests.
“It comes with a very interesting history,” she continued, “from this American woman, Iris Origo, who married an Italian who moved there before the war. During the war, they hid a lot of prisoners of war, Jews, all kinds of people, in the woods around the house. Iris Origo wrote these famous war diaries”. On the show’s first scouting trip to Italy, FitzRoy gave a copy of the diary to Heir executive producer and producer Mark Mylod.
Mylod, who discovered FitzRoy online, contacted her last March, but his email to her was turned into spam. “I was so lucky when I saw in my spam in March that it literally said, ‘Ma’am, I’m an executive producer on a show you probably don’t know about.’ I was like, Are you kidding? Of course, I know that. I was a huge fan of the show,” FitzRoy recalls. “We made a call at the end of March. I could immediately tell where Kendall wanted to be. He wanted sleek American bathrobes and a much more modern feel, and Lady Caroline wanted aristocratic gardens.”
All of the villas used as filming locations for the show can be rented – some for more than $100,000 a week – through Bellini Travel, whose clientele includes members of the British royal family. “We only take care of 100 clients a year,” says FitzRoy. It’s easy to advise [the Succession producers] Not only the houses these people will rent, but also what they will drink, what they will eat, what the flowers might look like to celebrate. For all of that, I hope I’ve made use of them. The show’s producers, she said, are “obsessed with detail and realism.”
Frank Rich, an executive producer of the show, became friends with Fitzroy during production. “She was just a force of nature, and she seemed to know everyone in Italy and every establishment, every hotel, every restaurant, every villa,” says Rich. “And part of her role – when we have these amazing locations she has found for us – is to be an ambassador for a company that has hundreds of people passing through these mansions. To ensure that the owners are not delayed in any way. All is smooth. “
During filming, FitzRoy also became the de facto travel advisor for the cast and crew. “I know there are great restaurants down the road where they can go and eat or nice hotels to stay at for the weekend or after the trip is over. Some of the restaurants have become real favorites, and there are some small hotels like La Bandita Townhouse in Pienza that are great. Everyone feels very at home. ”
Rich calls the show’s Italian shot “this magical moment. It was June to the end of July, still no tourists. We were like the only Americans almost everywhere we went. One of the actors went to see David [statue in Florence], and he was the only one there. Alex [Witchel, Rich’s wife] and I went through Rome. There were four people on the Spanish Steps one afternoon. [Emily] gave everyone tips on where to go. “
Of the places FitzRoy recommends staying nearby Heir shot – in addition to La Bandita Townhouse – there is the Grand Hotel Continentale in Siena and the Grand Hotel Tremezzo on Lake Como. Some of her favorite restaurants in the country are Ristorante Le Logge in Siena, Dopolavoro at La Foce estate, Osteria del Leone in Bagno Vignoni, Locanda Il Paradiso in Chiusure and Ristorante Pierluigi in Rome.
Fitzroy concluded about working on the show: “I loved every minute of it, and I had the best summer I’ve ever been on,” concluded Fitzroy. “I had fun. They were like an old-fashioned theater company. They really liked each other, and there was a warmth.”