More Vincenzo Filming Locations Worthy of a Standing Ovation

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by Mich KDL

Bravo, Vincenzo, bravo. You deserve all the standing ovations possible –– and then some.

Indeed, this drama was nothing short of incredible, and one that’s made an indelible mark on many viewers over the past months, Marion and me included. Not only has it consistently ranked in Netflix’s Top 10  shows over its run, it also has the fourth highest premiere rating and sixth highest to date on tvN, the 12th highest-rated drama in Korean cable television history (consistently ranking 1st in its timeslot), and not to mention having both lead actor Song Joong-ki and director Kim Hee-won being nominated for this year’s Baeksang Arts Awards –– while the drama was still airing. That is really some feat indeed.

Even as we bid farewell to #Chayenzo (or SenCha, or VinCha) and all the characters we grew to love (and loved to hate), it would be apt for us to round things up by covering the locations worth highlighting in the latter part of the show. So here we go, Vincenfam -– time to revisit the memories.

Note: This blogpost only covers locations seen in episodes 11-20 of Vincenzo. Spoilers ahoy if you’ve not watched the series, so proceed at your own risk.

Stradeum [스트라디움] (episode 12)

When it comes to classical music, nothing matters more than the quality of its sound. This explains why Vincenzo (Song Joong-ki) took a momentary break from his humble lodgings at Geumga Plaza to splash it out for an evening at Stradeum. An amalgamation of ‘strad’ (short for the famous string instrument Stradivarius) and ‘odeum’ (a concert hall or theater; from Latin ōdēum and Greek ōideion), it eludes to the idea of ‘a space where you can enjoy good sound’ –– exactly the place that he got to savor Vivaldi’s La stravaganza (The Eccentricity) in all its sonic glory. For those who are keen to know, Vin listens to Op.4 No.6 in G minor RV. 316a, I. Allegro.

Elim Arts Center [엘림아트센터] (episodes 13-14)

Elim Arts Center only had two other dramas to its name before its Vincenzo feature: the 2019 orchestra-themed I Wanna Hear Your Song and the 2020 lawyer-led Hyena. Now, it will forever be etched in K-Dramaland history as the theater that had pig’s blood rain down from the ceiling — an upgraded (literally) yet classic Italian mafia move to “show [the rival family] what [they’re] capable of”, according to the consigliere himself. It’s uncertain if this is an actual real-life mafia move (the writer may just have been inspired by Stephen King’s Carrie?), although I did come across this random article about the Italian mafia and pigs; possibly with blood, but just not from the oinkers.

KT&G SangsangMadang Chuncheon [KT&G 상상마당 춘천] (episode 14)

Ragusang Art Gallery may have hosted many special events in its time, but surely none were as elaborate (and surprising) as the proposal from ‘Mr Anderson’ to ‘Ms Bening’. Though catching our undercover couple by surprise, “Darling” and “Sweetie” gamely pulled it off –– right down to sealing it with a kiss… and then some. Needless to say, it was a night that no Chayenzo supporter would ever forget either!

In real life, the building is actually revitalized culture complex KT&G SangsangMadang Chuncheon, formerly Chuncheon Children’s Hall [춘천어린이회관] back in the 1980s. Even before it reopened in 2014, the building was already a filming site way back in 1981, for the mystery thriller movie On the Road (노상에서).

The Botanical Garden BCJ [벽초지 문화 수목원] (episode 16)

Going on a (wheelchair) stroll in a garden was more than just a luxury for Oh Gyeong-ja (Yoon Bok-in); it was a precious moment shared with the son she wished she had never given up. This tearjerking scene between Vincenzo and her took place at K-Dramaland staple Byukchoji Gardens, more popularly known as The Botanical Garden BCJ.

Maiim VisionVillage [마임비전빌리지] (episodes 16-17)

[SPOILER ALERT]
One of the most bloody, yet oddly satisfying scenes of Vincenzo took place at Maiim VisionVillage, known more popularly as the Secret Garden house, among others. Last seen in 2018’s Why Secretary Kim as the sprawling home of Lee Young-joon (Park Seo-joon), this location ––namely the walkway towards Church of the Heart and its Welcome House–– made a brilliant comeback as the place Vincenzo mercilessly stalked his mother’s killer, then shooting him point blank in his fury-filled entrance before Team Babo.

Suju Palbong Campsite [수주팔봉야영지] (episode 17)

[POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT]
After laying his mother to rest, Vincenzo and Cha-young (Jeon Yeo-bin) found momentary respite along the calming waters of this campsite –– though its picturesque tranquility may have been contradictory to the sorrow and regret that raged within. “It was brief,” said Cha-young of both paths crossing as mother and son, “But you gave your mother eternal happiness. And your mother did the same for you as well.”

Located along the Dalcheon (“Moon”) River in Chungju’s Daesowon Township, Suju Palbong Campsite is a popular location for families to visit in the summer. The 48m-long Suju Palbong Rock Bridge [수주팔봉 출렁다리], seen in the background of the Vincenzo scene, stretches across Sujupalbong Peak [수주팔봉].

Stone Hill [스톤힐] (episode 18)

Up till before this episode, we had actually never seen the exterior of Jang Han-seok’s (Ok Taec-yeon) house; an unusual move on the production team’s part. Then, its trailer showed him frantically dashing down a steep stone staircase in the middle of the night –– and this got me intrigued. I managed to do some sleuthing before the episode aired and came upon Seokparang [석파랑], a 19th century hanok designated as a Tangible Cultural Heritage place in Seoul. Interestingly, it shares its space with Italian restaurant Stone Hill, which is seen as Han-seok’s actual house exterior. Truly a fascinating coexistence of both the historical and the modern.

Seogang 8-kyoung [서강8경] (episode 19)

Seogang 8-kyoung is actually no stranger to K-Dramaland. It is a restaurant that has appeared in dramas since around 2013, like in My Love From Another Star, Why Secretary Kim, and even Itaewon Class. Its interior is a much more familiar sight (at least to us at KDL), so imagine our surprise when its building exterior briefly appeared in the episode instead! We can see why it presents such a striking visual impression –– and even more so for what was to happen moments later in the scene.

Jungangtap Historic Park [중앙탑사적공원] (episode 19, 20)

Why have a coffee at the Han River (or Hangang) when you can have one at the Namhan River (Namhangang)? This broadwalk would definitely make an ideal place for an afternoon stroll and chat, if it weren’t actually a 1.5 hour drive to/from Geumga Plaza in Seoul. Just like the Suju Palbong Campsite above, Jungangtap Historic Park is also located in Chungju, about a 20 minute drive to/from it. The park is best known for the 14.5m-tall Seven-story Stone Pagoda, the tallest among all remaining stone towers that date back to the reign of King Wonseong of Silla. The pagoda is also called the ‘Jungangtap Tower’ as it’s believed to have been constructed at the very center of the country — jungang (중앙) in Korean.

Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) [동대문디자인플라자]
(episode 20)

[SPOILER ALERT]
Out of the many attractions that could have been chosen for Vincenzo‘s ending scene, none would have been more visually stunning than Dongdaemun Design Plaza, better known as DDP. The smooth curves of the late Zaha Hadid‘s neofuturistic architectural creation is even more of a sight to behold at night, with feature lights reflecting off the building’s aluminium, steel, and concrete surfaces to create an ethereal glow. It was in this very setting that Vincenzo and Cha-young met again after a year-long separation –– and gradually, so did their lips. The building being an architectural wonder aside, I can already imagine why it would become even more popular than it already is!

*

Saying goodbye has never been easy, and even more so here: especially to the motley (and endearing) crew that is the #CassanoGeumgaFamily, our favourite pigeon (the real wingman –– #Vinzaghi4eva), and… best boy Hanseo.  But, at least we have an amazing show to remember these moments by, and one that we can binge over and over again when we miss them.

Vincenzo, vincero. Thank you for this rollercoaster of a watch, and thank you for being you.

Read the first part of this series (which covers E1-10) here, or view the full list of Vincenzo locations on KDL here. Have a favorite Vincenzo location that we should have added to the list? Tell us in the comments!

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