Rome was the city that once stood as the centre of Roman Empire, and according to legend was established by Romulus who was brought up by a wolf.
Today it is the capital of Italy and an embodiment of greatness, culture and romance. The city has served as an inspiration for poets and filmmakers for years and many of the most recognisable and ravishing movies have been filmed on Rome’s streets.
We have gathered together the best of the best of these, presenting our Top 5 movies shot in Rome…
Roman Holiday (1953)
This was the first American film shot entirely in Italy and tells the story of Princess Ann seeking an escape from her responsibilities.
The film earned Audrey Hepburn an Academy Award for Best Actress and the movie is not only a symbol of romance but also a beautiful representation of Rome in the 1950s. As the film follows Ann and Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) the viewer encounters Via Margutta street, where the reporter’s flat is located. Ann’s palace was shot in both the Palazzo Barberini and the Palazzo Brancaccio while other locations were used for its interiors and exterior.
It would be shameful not to mention famous scene at the Bocca della Verità, where Joe convinces Princess Ann that the statue’s big mouth ate his arm. Legend has it that the mouth would bite off the arms of liars and would be a symbol of pure love.
La Dolce Vita (1960)
The famous director Fellini’s comedy also has its origins in Italy’s capital.
The most recognisable scene is probably the one shot at the Trevi Fountain, where Sylvia (Anita Ekbert) splashes around under the running water in a strapless evening gown just minutes before falling into the arms of Marcello Rubini (Marcello Mastroianni). The 18th century fountain took 30 years to build, and has become a famous symbol of the city. Other scenes include shots at the Terme di Caracalla and the palace Bassano di Sutri.
Allegedly, Mastroianni was completely drunk when filming at the fountain, to make him forget about the cold and dirty water! Anita, on the other hand, played her role in her thin dress without complaining.
Angels and Demons (2009)
Dan Brown’s bestseller novel finally made it to the big screen in 2009 and, like in the book, the main story and plot takes place in Rome.
Similarly to preceding film, The Da Vinci Code, the production did not have a permit from the Vatican to shoot on their grounds, so director Ron Howard, had to use optical illusions to make the viewer believe they were actually shot in the See of Rome.
Locations in the capital were easier to use, however, and the Piazza del Popolo — where Tom Hanks finds his first clue — was one of the first destinations featured in the film. Some of the locations are quite exclusive and rarely seen in movies, including the Pantheon, the Biblioteca Angelica or St Peter’s Basilica.
The 24th James Bond adventure also had parts of its story filmed in Rome.
The movie featured 18 different locations from the city; however, most of them pass by quickly during a famous car chase between an Aston Martin DB10 and the Jaguar C-X75. Two honorable mentions should go to “Passato” – a secret passage leading from the Vatican to Castel Sant’Angelo – and the Sisto Bridge.
In order to be able to shoot some of the scenes, the cast had to go the extra mile as many of the locations were covered with graffiti and the cast had cleaned these themselves! They also had to obtain a special permit from the Mayor to shoot the chase, as it took part on one of Rome’s busiest streets.
Ladri di Biciclette (1948)
This movie was entirely filmed in Rome, with multiple locations now being considered as classics thanks to the production.
The number of locations used in the film is countless, but some of the most memorable include Porta Pinciana and Porta Pia, where main character Antonio Ricci (Lamberto Maggiorani) arrives to pick up his son.
The search for the stolen bike “Fides” takes us through the streets of the Piazza Vittoria and the Trastevere district. It is interesting to note that Maggiorani was not a professional actor at the moment he was casted, and he was in fact selected by accident by the director when his son was applying for the role of the little boy.
What’s your favourite movie filmed in Rome? Let us know below…