The elderly owner of Bramasole, grateful for a sign that Frances is the "right" buyer, cries out, "Grazie, Santo Francesco!" when a bird defecates on Frances' head. "Santo Francesco" is Saint Francis, the patron saint of animals.
The visual part of Jeffrey Tambor's role as the divorce lawyer was cut from the film at Tambor's own insistence. Tambor was so impressed by Diane Lane's performance that he insisted to Audrey Wells that the scene would have more emotional impact if his character remained unseen.
Writer/director Audrey Wells said that when she was writing the script, the only actress she thought of to play Patti was Sandra Oh. They had worked together on Guinevere (1999). One of Oh's guests on the Italian location was her fiancé Alexander Payne.
The director wanted to cast actual Polish actors to play the immigrant Polish workers in the film, but couldn't due problems and delays getting work visas for the Polish actors from the Italian government.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
The original memoir is quite different from the film: the real Frances Mayes bought a house with her fiancé, after consulting with her family and they enjoyed the new pleasures of Tuscany together. In the film, Frances is already married in the beginning and becomes abruptly divorced after her worthless husband leaves her for an affair. She then finds the house while alone on a tour given to her as a gift.