Decameron Nights (1953) Alhambra

The film is an adaptation of Bocaccio’s Decameron starring Joan Fontaine with studio work in England and locations for authentic Italian scenery filmed in the Moorish Alhambra palace of Granada.

While in Granada the actors stayed at the Hotel Alhambra Palace. The Alcázar castle of Segovia was also used, as was the walled town of Ávila and the Catalan resort of Sitges.

Perhaps Spain was chosen because it was cheap or perhaps because, in the film at least, the players were fleeing from Florence, and all the rape and pillage going on there. Italy is indeed unbearable in the summer!

Hugo Fregonese was the director, and John Cabrera, who collaborated in the film, told us an amusing anecdote about how an electrician was stopped just in time as he was about to hammer a six inch nail into the priceless mosaic walls of the Alhambra palace.

The Alhambra portrays the Sultan’s palace, where Fontaine sells a parrot and wins the Sultan’s support to deceive her beloved Bocaccio (if that makes any sense).