“The Gods gave us many gifts,” young Diana is told in the trailer of Wonder Woman. “One day you’ll know them all.”
The Gods were certainly kind when they gave the Amazons the idyllic island of Themyscira. With its cobalt-blue sea, tranquil beaches, craggy cliffs and lush greenery, Diana’s homeland is a feast for sore eyes.
The island nation of Themyscira is usually depicted with Greco-Roman architecture, but director Patty Jenkins decided that would be a bit too masculine and too well known.
“When the comic originally came out, people had not travelled so extensively to Greece and Rome, so they were considered completely exotic”, she says. “I wanted our Themyscira to inspire awe like it did originally: a fantastical place that nevertheless feels like it could really exist… not primitive but not futuristic, either.”
Young Diana enjoys the stunning views
In addition to looking ancient and exotic, Themyscira had to fulfil several practical functions: it needed a beach large enough to hold a battle with the Germans; it needed to be somewhere warm enough for scanty clothing; it needed an imposing cliff; and it needed to be, above all, as magnificent as one would imagine paradise to be.
The challenge for production designer Aline Bonetto, then, was finding such a place. “It’s a beautiful vista with a coastal landscape, but not the kind you think of for your holiday. It’s still wild, rocky, green… Problem was, all the beautiful beaches in the world that sit below big cliffs disappear beneath the tide, so for a part of every day you have no beach. And we were shooting in March, which in Europe is still cold.”
The Amazons’ city-state is more Hanging Gardens of Babylon than Greco-Roman
Bonetto and her location manager Charles Somers considered 47 different countries and visited several of them before they found what they were looking for: Italy’s dramatic Amalfi Coast.
“Italy had beautiful weather, a beautiful blue-green sea, not too much tide, not too much wave,” explains Bonetto. “Our effects team added some cliffs in post-production, and it was the perfect way to go”.
The real Amalfi Coast
Sadly you won’t find any Amazons striding around in skimpy outfits and clashing swords if you venture to the Amalfi Coast this summer. But you will find plenty of sun, sparkling sea, atmospheric towns cascading down the steep mountainside and fabulous food. Plus, it’s only a short train ride away from the buried Roman city of Pompeii and the city of Naples, which is the birthplace of pizza.
How could Diana bring herself to leave?
Wonder Woman is in cinemas now. Read our review
Radio Times Travel
Ravello, Positano and the beautiful Amalfi Coast, 7 nights from £719pp. Based in perfect holiday haven Maiori, with its vast beach, tree-shaded promenade and bustling harbour, this wonderful holiday includes three memorable excursions, taking in ancient, charming Amalfi, hill-top Ravello, the exhilarating Amalfi Drive and picture-book Sorrento. You’ll also wander through the ruins of extraordinary Pompeii and enjoy an unforgettable boat trip to romantic Positano. What’s included:
- Spend seven nights in a classic Southern Italian resort
- Discover and explore ancient Amalfi and beguiling, hilltop Ravello
- Catch your breath on the famously vertiginous Amalfi Drive
- Visit delightful Sorrento, above the blue Bay of Naples
- Wander the startling remains of once-thriving Roman city Pompeii
- Enjoy a memorable boat trip to idyllic Positano
- Seven nights’ half-board accommodation at the four-star Hotel San Pietro, Maiori, or for a small supplement, at the four-star Reginna Palace Hotel, Maiori, on a bed and breakfast basis
- Return flights to Italy
- Click here for more details and to book