After filming wrapped, the cast and crew later remarked upon a number of supernatural experiences while filming on location in Italy. Alfred Molina reportedly felt an ice-cold hand grasp the back of his neck on a night-shoot, while Miranda Richardson felt her knee-high dress being aggressively yanked to the floor while waiting to film in an old castle. There were also several instances of crew-members having to leave the set after suddenly feeling unwell.
When Mellersh Wilkins is warned by local workmen about the boiler, but ignores them with disastrous consequences, he protests, 'I didn't know "pericoloso" meant "explosion"!' 'Pericoloso' is in fact Italian for 'dangerous'.
The Italian castle scenes were filmed at Castello Brown in Portofino, Italy, the very castle where Elizabeth von Arnim stayed in the 1920s while writing the novel of the same title, which the film is based on.
World War I looms large in this story set in the early 1920s. Everyone seems to assume that Mrs. Arbuthnot and Mrs. Wilkins are war widows since they travel to Italy alone. Lady Caroline's life is adrift because she lost her beau in the war. Mr. Briggs' bad eyesight is due to mustard gas used by the Germans during the war.