Volterra in Art: “SANDRA” (Orig. “Vaghe stelle dell’Orsa”) Film by Luchino Visconti

Luchino Visconti’s SANDRA, starring Claudia Cardinale, Jean Sorel, Michael Craig and Marie Bell. The film was released as “Vaghe stelle dell’Orsa” in Italy, and “Of a Thousand Delights” in the UK. The Italian title is taken from the poem “Le ricordanze” by Leopardi, and can be translated into English as “Glimmering stars of the Great Bear”, or more colloquially as “Of a thousand delights”.


The poster of the Italian version of the film, and the moment when Sandra and her husband enter Volterra, Porta San Francesco in front of them.

The 1965 Italian release features Cardinale as a young woman returning to her ancestral home in Volterra.  There, on the eve of a ceremony commemorating the death of her Jewish father, she revives an intimate involvement with her brother (Sorel), which troubles her American husband (Craig).

A Franco Cristaldi production, SANDRA won the Golden Lion (Grand Prize) at the 1965 Venice Film Festival. It was written by Suso Cecchi D’Amico, Enrico Medioli and Visconti, from their original story. Armando Nannuzzi was the director of photography. The musical score is taken from works by the Belgian-French Romantic composer César Franck.


Sandra (Claudia Cardinale) returns home – featuring Palazzo Inghirami
in Via dei Marchesi