Rome in the movies
Rome has been affectionately referred to as ‘Hollywood on the Tiber’, thanks to its impressive cinematic history dating back to the 1930s. It’s the home of Cinecittà, Europe’s largest film studio, and the city hosts a prestigious annual film festival now in its 13th year, keeping the city firmly on the cinematic map. Let’s take a look back at some of the city’s film highlights.
Roman Holiday (1953)
As seen on screen ‒ The Spanish Steps
Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck star in this classic romantic comedy where they fall in love with each other and Rome. Famous scenes in Roman Holiday include riding around the city on a Vespa and visiting the Spanish Steps, just a short stroll from Hotel Eden. The film’s enduring appeal is closely linked to the exquisite beauty and history of its incredible location.
Eat, Pray, Love (2010)
As seen on screen ‒ Piazza Navona
If you want to channel your inner Julia Roberts watch Eat, Pray, Love, before following in her footsteps by making your way to Rome’s spectacular Piazza Navona. Embrace your love of food as she does by indulging in a delicious gelato and some people watching in front of Borromini’s baroque masterpiece, Sant’Agnese Church. The square’s distinctive shape comes from the Domitian Stadium that lies beneath it, which was the first permanent venue for competitive athletics in Rome.
La Grande Bellezza (2013)
As seen on screen ‒ Parco degli acquedotti
This public park, known for its towering aquaduct, is one of the stars of La Grande Bellezza. It’s situated on the outskirts of Rome and was chosen by director Paolo Sorrentino for an artistic performance amongst the ancient arches. As one of the city’s most amazing archaeological sites, this place give you a glorious sense of travelling through history. It’s a great area to explore and then relax with a picnic in the park
As seen on screen ‒ Lungotevere
The banks of the river Tiber starred in Spectre where James Bond has an adrenaline fuelled chase, which ends with his Aston Martin plunging into the river. Enjoy a slightly slower pace with your own trip to Lungotevere by hiring a bike to ride along the river bank. It’s a wonderful way to live like a local yet still experience your very own 007 movie moment.
Zoolander 2 (2016)
As seen on screen ‒ Palazzo della Civiltà del Lavoro
This cult comedy takes the main character on a journey around the city, including a visit to the southern neighbourhood of Eur. The area was chosen by actor and director Ben Stiller for its striking architecture, including the distinctive Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana building which features as the headquarters of the film’s villain, Alexanya Atoz. Locally the building is known as the Square Colosseum, it demonstrates a very different side of Roman architecture and offers visitors plenty of great photo opportunities.
Plan your next trip to Rome and track down these beautiful film backdrops for yourself.