The 1995 fictional film, The Bridges of Madison County, tells the passionate love story between Francesca Johnson (Meryl Streep), an Italian war bride who lives in Iowa with her husband and two children, and National Geographic photographer Robert Kincaid (Clint Eastwood). Adapted from the best-selling novel by Robert James Waller, the film follows Kincaid as he visits Madison County, Iowa to photograph the famed covered bridges there. Upon meeting Francesca, the two engage in a brief but unforgettable love affair. The movie was directed by Eastwood and went on to become a box office hit, earning Streep an Oscar nomination. Often, big budget movies like this are filmed in Hollywood, so where was The Bridges of Madison County filmed? As it turns out, much of the movie was really filmed in Madison County, Iowa, the "covered bridge capital" of the state, and many of the filming sites can be visited by fans. Here's a list of filming locations from the movie.
The Roseman Bridge
Many of the Madison County covered bridges are located near Winterset, Iowa (which also happens to be the John Wayne birthplace), and The Roseman covered bridge is one of them. This bridge, which measures 107 feet in length, is the bridge Kincaid is looking for when he stops by Francesca's home for directions. It is also where Francesca leaves Robert a note inviting him to dinner, and it's the location of a very important event at the end of the movie. In a non-movie related fact, the bridge is also said to be haunted by a county jail escapee, who, while being pursued by sheriff's deputies, mysteriously disappeared.
The Holliwell Bridge
Another picturesque bridge that is featured in The Bridges of Madison County is the Holliwell Covered Bridge, located about 3 miles outside of downtown Winterset. This bridge is the longest one in Madison County at 122 feet long. In the film, this is where the couple meets before going back to Francesca's house for dinner.
Winterset City Park
Francesca and Robert have a picnic at Winterset City Park in the movie. This park is located in downtown Winterset and is also the home to the Cutler-Donahoe Bridge, which was featured in the book but not the movie.
The Northside Café
The Northside Café where Robert Kincaid meets Lucy Redfield (Michelle Benes) is still standing in Winterset, Iowa and can be found at 61 E. Jefferson St. Not only is the café famous for The Bridges of Madison County, but it has also been the site of many presidential candidate visits while on the campaign trail.
Pheasant Run Bar & Grill
This little bar and grill on 103 S 1st St in Winterset may look like a regular tavern, but it too was a filming location for the motion picture. This bar is where the scenes that took place at the Blue Note Lounge were filmed.
Middle River Ford
The film begins in the future, when Francesca's children are going through her things after her death and they discover her affair with Kincaid. The Middle River Ford is one of the locations they visit when they are discussing their mother's diary entries about the affair. This location is southwest of Winterset in Pammel State Park.
The farm house that served as Francesca's house in the movie is located 16 miles away from Winterset. The house had been empty for 35 years and was completely restored for the film. The home and tourist attraction was previously open for tours, but it was damaged by arson in 2003 and can no longer be toured. It is located about 4.5 miles off I-35 exit 65.
There are also sites in Madison County that were mentioned in Waller's novel, but were not shown in the movie. These include Cedar Bridge, Cutler-Donahoe Bridge and Hogback Covered Bridge. Imes Covered Bridge was not featured in the book or the movie, but it is another beautiful bridge to visit in Madison County.