Rome is one of the most majestic cities in the world, so it’s no surprise that more than a few writers and directors have chosen to shoot their films in the Eternal City. Throughout the years it’s been used in several famous productions, its romantic, classy atmosphere providing the perfect backdrop to some of the cinema’s most memorable scenes. In fact, the Italian capital is inherently cinematic; the gorgeous architecture, beautiful weather, stylish inhabitants and that unmistakable Italian authenticity all serve to make it one of the most intoxicating cities ever put to celluloid.
If you happen to be planning that bucket list trip to Rome and fancy yourself as a bit of a cinephile, there are a few hotspots in the city that you simply shouldn’t miss; and the good news is that most of these places double as fantastic spots to visit anyway, regardless of their cinematic pedigree. Hop on to BUCKiTDREAM to get yourself suitably inspired by your fellow dreamers’ trips to Rome, then keep that BUCKiTDREAM planner handy, as we take you through six famous shooting locations in the Eternal City!
The Mouth of Truth (Roman Holiday) A fine film to start with as it encompasses what Rome is for many people; an unforgettable holiday to a different world. Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn star in this romantic comedy from 1953, which tells the tale of a princess and a reporter who serendipitously link up in Rome, and venture through the city together. One of the most iconic scenes occurs at the Mouth of Truth, a famous Roman landmark that is said to bite off the hands of liars. Peck scares Hepburn by pretending to lose his hand, when, ironically, Hepburn’s character is the one who’s pretending to be someone else. Roman Holiday plays like a love letter to the city itself and is considered by many to be the quintessential Roman film.
The Trevi Fountain (La Dolce Vita) Federico Fellini is regarded as one of the cinema’s great masters, and La Dolce Vita is considered his defining masterpiece. Arguably gifting the Trevi Fountain with international renown, more so than the breathtaking architecture of the piece itself, the pivotal scene occurs when Marcello and Sylvia wade into the crystal waters after an evening of backstreet Roman sightseeing. Unfortunately, you can’t just jump in the Trevi Fountain any old time you like, but you can certainly visit it and take in the good life of Rome.
Castel Sant’Angelo (Angels and Demons) Unlike the previous two entries, Ron Howard’s second installment of the Robert Langdon film series (based on Dan Brown’s wildly successful books) is not widely heralded as a masterpiece. Despite this, the film does showcase Rome in all its fascinating splendor, sending hero Tom Hanks off on a wild caper around some of the city’s most iconic sights. The film’s climax occurs deep within the imposing Castel Sant’Angelo, next door to the Vatican; you can call in and climb up to the tip of this stunning medieval fortress when you’re out and about in the city.
The Spanish Steps (The Talented Mr. Ripley) One of Rome’s most famous landmarks is considered Spanish rather than Italian; nevertheless, the Matt Damon picture The Talented Mr. Ripley immortalized the famous stairway in a crucial scene where Damon’s character attempts to set up an important meeting. The Spanish steps were also put to use in many films set in and around the city; if you watch closely you’ll see them crop up in many a frame of Roman-flavored films.
The Colosseum (Gladiator) A little bit of imagination will be required with this entry, as Ridley Scott’s epic masterpiece was not actually filmed in the magnificent Colosseum; the crew recreated it from scratch exclusively for the copious amounts of blood-splattered scenes that take place within its circular arena. But when visiting the real thing, it’s impossible to not recall the searing images of a scowling Russell Crowe, sheathed in metal and leather, hacking his way through hordes of lesser men. Nothing’s stopping you from shouting out his famous speech from the center of the arena either…
Banks of the Tiber (Spectre) While the latest Bond outing fell flat for some, one of its highlights was a glittering Rome-set sequence which culminated in a heart-stopping car chase along the banks of the city’s famous river, the Tiber. Unfortunately for the adrenaline junkies among you, your chances of encountering a real life high-speed car chase are slim to none; however, this shouldn’t stop you enjoying an enchanting evening stroll along the Tiber’s spacious banks.
Rome is a city bathed in history and culture, and should rank highly on any serious traveler’s bucket list! Whether you love cinema, art, food, architecture or simply the weather, there’s something for every BUCKiTDREAMER in the Eternal City. For more Roman-tinged ideas, check out Delving into the Fascinating Dark Side of Rome or Five Authentic Rome Trattorias, and fill up that BUCKiTDREAM planner in preparation for your very own dream trip!