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Wednesday July 17th 2024

The Twilight Saga: New Moon | 2009

The Twilight Saga: New Moon filming location: Piazza Grande, Montepulciano, Italy
The Twilight Saga: New Moon location: Edward travels to the town of ‘Volterra’: Piazza Grande, Montepulciano, Italy | Photograph: Wikimedia / Ayuntamiento / Montepulciano

If the original Twilight harked back to Pride And Prejudice, the model for New Moon is unashamedly Romeo And Juliet.

For the previous film, the town of ‘Forks’ was shot primarily in Portland, Oregon, but for New Moon, the location moves further north, across the Canadian border to Vancouver, British Columbia.

So there are a few changes. The home of Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and her dad was recreated (with the addition of a new bay window required by the story) on a vacant plot on 28 Avenue, at the northeast corner of 188 Street in Campbell Heights, in Surrey, southeast of Vancouver. The set was kept for the subsequent films, but has since been dismantled, and the plot is now empty again.

Likewise, there’s a new Cullen house – though this is a real property. It’s a large five-bedroom house at 118 Stevens Drive, Glenmore Park, on a half-acre private creek-side property in West Vancouver. If you like the look of it, I'm afraid you’ve missed your chance to own it. After filming, the property was sold for $3.3 million.

‘Forks High School’, where the newly pumped-up Jacob (Taylor Lautner) presents Bella with a dream catcher, is David Thompson Secondary School, 1755 East 55th Avenue, at Gordon Park, south Vancouver.

Jacob himself lives east of Vancouver in Coquitlam. His house is on the east side of a road called Gilley’s Trail, just south of its junction with Victoria Drive, in Minnekhada Regional Park. Again, this is a private house, which needed a coat of red paint to match the book’s description.

With Edward (Robert Pattinson) and the Cullen clan relocating, Bella consoles herself at the cinema, going with her pal Jessica to see Back From The Dead. Don’t bother to seek this out – the only film of this name was actually an obscure 1957 B-movie. And be warned if you’re planning a trip to the ‘Port Angeles’ movie house, as well. It’s not just that it’s not in ‘Port Angeles’, which you probably guessed, or that it’s a mix of two different locations.

The exterior, the Paramount Theatre, 652 Columbia Street in New Westminster, was built in 1910, but now functions as an adult strip club called the Paramount Gentlemen's Club. The Paramount was previously seen in the 1990 mini-series, Stephen King’s It, but it”s no longer a cinema.

The cinema’s lobby, seen later when Bella sees Face Punch (yes, that’s made up too) with Jacob and Michael, was the 1950-style Ridge Theatre and Bowling Alley, 3131 Arbutus Street at 16th Street. Previously seen in Dennis Hopper’s 1980 drama, Out Of The Blue, the cinema/bowling alley complex was sadly demolished in 2013, to be replaced by condos.

Back at the Paramount, Bella and Jessica are heading east on Columbia Street when Bella spies a bunch of biker boys hanging out on McKenzie Street. It’s not really as dangerous as the mysteriously materialising Edward makes out – there is no shady-sounding ‘One Eyed Pete’s’ (the corner ‘bar’ is actually an antiques shop). Craving excitement, Bella accepts the offer of a ride along Front Street, beneath the concrete pillars of the raised parking structure.

Spending time with Jacob, Bella sees Sam and the other lads cliff-jumping at Parthenon Park, a tiny, hard-to-find beachfront park in West Vancouver (which is actually across the bay, north of Vancouver), reached from the end of Parthenon Place.

After being outed as a werewolf, Jacob walks with Bella on the beach at Incinerator Rock at Long Beach, where he explains to her that lycanthropy is not a lifestyle choice, he was born that way. The beach is on the Pacific Rim Highway, immediately south of Tofino Airport.

Although Bella also appears to leap from the cliff, her splashdown and rescue were filmed in the relative safety of the Central Park Outdoor Swimming Pool, in Central Park, a 90-hectare park on the border between Vancouver proper and the city of Burnaby.

The most exotic location, of course, is 'Volterra', the ancient Italian city which is home to  red-eyed vampire royalty, the Volturi. Volterra  is a real city in Tuscany, but that’s not where the scenes were shot.

The film uses the beautiful Medieval hilltop town of Montepulciano, about 55 miles to the southeast of Volterra in Siena. This is not an easy place to get to if you’re not driving. The nearest airport is Perugia, about 50 miles away.

The clock tower is that of the Palazzo del Comune (the town hall) in the Piazza Grande, from the top of which you can get great views of the surrounding country. Best wait till you get back down to earth before you sample the area’s famed red wine, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (not to be confused with Montepulciano d’Abruzzo).