The series portraits real-life couple Sandra Mondaini and Raimondo Vianello who play themselves as show-people and screenwriter. In the series there are indeed often references to real events and people of the Italian showbiz, including former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi as owner of the Mediaset television group which produced this and other shows featuring the couple. Starting from season 5 there are also several appearances of the Filipino family the couple adopted in real-life, playing themselves.
The episodes always end with Sandra and Raimondo in bed at the end of the day. Sandra always complains about being bored of her daily life with no interesting events, despite having regularly had a busy and adventurous day. Then she turns off the light in order to sleep, but then immediately begins shaking her legs under the sheets due to nervousness. In season 1 Sandra's complaints were part of a dialogue with Raimondo, while he was reading a book. Starting from season 2 the scene switched to a monologue of Sandra, with Raimondo reading the sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport saying no word. Actor Raimondo Vianello was indeed a huge sports fan, former footballer and boxer. During the production of the show he was also the presenter of football show Pressing, aired on Italia 1 (also part of the Mediaset group producing Casa Vianello) after football matches of the Italian Serie A or UEFA Champions League. He also owned and played for a football team called SAMO, which appears in several episodes.
The series is almost entirely set in Vianello's apartment, with only a few exceptions of external settings or other interiors.
Actresss Giorgia Trasselli played the maid Tata in all episodes starting from the third of season 1. In an interview she stated that she was initially cast for the role of a neighbor.
Sandra and Raimondo are supposed to own a dog named Zorro as stated in several dialogues. The dog is only briefly shown in the intro of seasons 2, 3 and 4, but never appears in the episodes.
The series is initially set in Rome, the city where real-life Sandra Mondaini and Raimondo Vianello lived when the production began and where season 1 was filmed. The production moved to Milan starting from season 2 due to the real-life couple's moving. However, in the first episode of series 2 they are supposed of having moved in another apartment but still in Rome. Starting from season 3 there are no more references to the location.
Tata's real name is never revealed in the series. Only her surname, Pellecchia, is revealed in season 4.
Another real-life reference is Raimondo's football team SAMO. Raimondo Vianello really owned and played for a football club with this name, which is made of the initials of his wife Sandra Mondaini.
The Studio Clodio in Rome where season 1 was filmed is now transformed into a supermarket. Prior to being a TV studio, it was a cinema. In 1988, when season 1 was filmed, the studio produced other two TV shows for Canale 5: the quiz show Il pranzo è servito (1982) and the court show Forum (1985). The first one was hosted by Corrado Mantoni, in real life a close friend of Raimondo Vianello and Sandra Mondaini. The second one was featured in episode 1.02, which is partially filmed on its set.
It's the longest running TV series ever produced in Italy, running from 1988 to 2007.
Raimondo's best friend Arturo was played in season 1 by actor Enzo Guarini. From season 2 to season 14 the role was taken over by Roberto Marelli. In the last two seasons the character doesn't appear: the role of Raimondo's best friend moves then to neighbor Nicola Pernove, played by Nicola De Buono, already present since season 2.
In the series the doorkeeper is played by four different actors: Gregorio Palma (season 1), Pino Pellegrino (seasons 2-6), Antonio Cornacchione (season 7) and Raffaele Fallica (seasons 8-16).
In December 1991 a TV advertisement for the department store chain Standa, owned by Canale 5 owner Silvio Berlusconi, was filmed on the set of Casa Vianello and starred Sandra Mondaini and Raimondo Vianello.
Sandra Mondaini and Raimondo Vianello had already often played themselves as a couple in some short sketches aired during the TV shows they had presented both for state-owned broadcaster RAI (until 1981) and for Canale 5, in particular Beware of Us (1982) and SandraRaimondo Show (1987) (1987). The intention of the TV series Casa Vianello was to extend such sketches, which were greatly appreciated by the audience.
Many of the paintings hanging on the walls were painted by Giacinto Mondaini, the father of Sandra Mondaini. He was a painter, humorist, writer and screenwriter, and started his career in the 1930s at the magazine Il Bertoldo together with Giovanni Guareschi, the creator of the character Don Camillo, later portrayed on screen by Fernandel. Sandra Mondaini often posed as model for her father's drawings and paintings, in particular for advertising.
Parodies of the series, in particular of the final bed scene, are often made in other shows, mainly on networks of the same Mediaset group producing the series. In the show Le iene (1997) (Italia 1) comedians Luca Bizzarri and Paolo Kessisoglu played Casa Saddam, a version of Casa Vianello where they played respectively Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. The same duo did another parody of the series in the comedy show Camera Café (2003) (Italia 1). In 1998 in the show Striscia la Notizia (1988) (Canale 5) actors Tullio Solenghi and Gene Gnocchi starred in Cascina D'Alema, playing respectively Italian politicians Massimo D'Alema and Walter Veltroni. A parody was also applied to the 4th edition of the Italian Big Brother Grande fratello (2000) by the satiric show Mai Dire Grande Fratello (Italia 1).
Three spin-offs of this series were made. Mini-series Cascina Vianello (1996), followed by I misteri di Cascina Vianello (1997), are set in the countryside where Sandra and Raimomdo moved. Crociera Vianello (2008) is a movie made for TV in 2008 after the series ended and is both Sandra Mondaini's and Raimondo Vianello's last performance.
In season 6 the cars of the couple are shown. Raimondo owns a Lancia Trevi and Sandra a Fiat Panda. In the spin-off I misteri di Cascina Vianello (1997) they respectively drive a Nissan King-Cab and a Peugeot Partner. In one episode of Casa Vianello Raimondo shows interests in buying an SUV.