All the Real Places Diane Vivian Carol and Sharon Visited in Italy

PEOPLE spoke with Bill Holderman, the director of the film, and Erin Simms, the writer and producer about the beautiful locations in the movie.

Focus Features/YouTube <em>Book Club 2: The Next Chapter</em> (2023)

Focus Features/YouTube Book Club 2 – The Next Chapter (2023)

With four best friends, one life-changing book, and a cheeky bachelorette party set in Italy — Book Club: The Next Chapter Fans are sure to be enthralled by this crazy ride!

In the second installment of the fan-favorite series — premiering in theaters on Friday, May 12 — Diane (Diane Keaton), Vivian (Jane Fonda), Carol (Mary Steenburgen) and Sharon (Candice Bergen) embark on a dream vacation together after being inspired by their latest book club read, The Alchemist

PEOPLE spoke with Bill Holderman and Erin Simms to discover the secrets of each magical location in Italy where Vivian and her four best friends celebrated Vivian’s Engagement.

Simms credits Bergen with the European location, calling him the “fortune-teller” of the cast. She had an idea for a follow-up movie set in Italy even before the film was written. Simms also says it was the perfect location.

She tells PEOPLE, “We didn’t realize it at the time but Italy is a country that loves and preserves history. It also values time and ageing.” “I think we want to do that with these films.”

Related:‘Book Club 2’ Sends Pals Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen to Italy

Getty Images

Getty Images

The Tabularium at Rome

The girls begin their adventure in Rome by heading straight to the Roman Forum, “to see naked men,” or a.k.a. 1000-year-old sculptures, before sharing a sweet moment with the Tabularium.

Simms and Holderman first scouted the ancient records offices located within the forum. They found them “awesome”, Simms said.

Holderman says it was “this incredible corridor with these huge, massive arches overlooking Roman Forum” which “had everything we wanted” for this heartfelt scene.

Fabio Zayed/ 2023 FIFTH SSEASON, LLC

Fabio Zayed/ 2023 FIFTH SSEASON, LLC

“The architecture’s stunning. “We were dreaming of getting our four incredible and iconic actors in front” of this amazing view, he says.

When the girls arrive in their dream destination, they include the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain and Pantheon as part of the opening montage.

Holderman said that when they were not filming, they enjoyed “granita de caffe con pana” almost every single day. La Casa del Caffè Tazza d’Oro — about a 15 minute walk from the Roman Forum.

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Getty Images

Via dei Coronari in Rome

Via Dei Coronari, a street known for its restaurants, shops and cafes, is a historical street the best friends stroll down after sightseeing. Carol and Vivian stumble across a wedding dress boutique that they take as a sign from the shopkeeper to let Vivian have a look at some dresses before her big day.

Related:Jane Fonda on Why at 85 She’s the Happiest She’s Ever Been: ‘Life Gets Better with Age’ (Exclusive)

Riccardo Ghilardi/ 2023 FIFTH SSEASON, LLC

Riccardo Ghilardi/ 2023 FIFTH SSEASON, LLC

Holderman calls the street “one of the arteries that run through Rome”, a place that represents everything Rome is famous for. Simms concurs that it was an “magical” location to include in the movie.

“There is so much magic around every corner and behind every door of Rome,” she says.

Related:Jane Fonda on Past Relationships: ‘Life Would Have Been Very Different If I’d Noticed Red Flags’ (Exclusive)

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Getty Images

Grand Canal, Venice

“A large part of The Alchemist It’s about adventure, travel and trying to locate a pyramid. Holderman says that for Holderman, “the canals of Venice served as our pyramid in the film.” “We knew that we wanted to put these four icons in a boat going along the Grand Canal. To us, Italy is not possible without Venice, nor is there a sequel to this movie without Italy.”

While the Grand Canal was home to some of the funniest, and cheekiest, scenes in the movie — like when Sharon gets busted by the police for a late night rendezvous on a boat — Holderman and Simms say the stunning location certainly came with its challenges.

All the equipment must be brought in and out by boats. “Everything is done by canal,” he recalled. “And you cannot leave anything over night.” “You have to pack up and pack out every single day.”



Simms said that the location is worth it: “There’s no place like it in the whole world.” Holderman says that the “light sparkling off of the Grand Canal” was otherworldly.

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The terrace restaurant at Hotel Danieli Where the best of friends gather for breakfast after a wild evening out.

Holderman says, “It overlooks a lagoon at the end Grand Canal. You cannot help but feel awed by the beauty of the place when you are there.”

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