17 of Rome’s famous film locations
Often times when one thinks of Rome, the first image that comes to mind is the Colosseum- rightly so. The second thought may involve food, and the various delicious culinary options that Rome offers. The third instead may have something to do with a little thing called the Vatican and its Sistine Chapel, which automatically brings you to think about all the art in Rome as well. And what about the fountains? The hand gesturing as part of the language? The vespas scurrying through the narrow side streets? The list goes on, but the point of the matter is: Rome is picture-perfect.
When I say “picture-perfect”, I mean picture as in movie. With all of its monuments, scenic neighborhoods, and cobblestones everywhere, is the Eternal City not a movie set already? Not only does Rome look good on camera, but it also has an impressive cinematic history. Thanks to Cinecittà (the leading Italian cinema studios established back in 1937) Rome has welcomed numerous directors and their respective visions. During the 1950s it was even named “Hollywood on the Tiber” due to the many international films being shot in Rome at the time. From Federico Fellini, Martin Scorsese, Ron Howard, Paolo Sorrentino and more, Roma has been home to many.
And speaking of R(h)ome, October is the month of cinema nella capitale thanks to the acclaimed Rome Film Fest. This year marks the 13th edition of the Festival del Cinema di Roma, and like always, the expected guests and films stir up quite the excitement. Held at Renzo Piano’s Auditiorium Parco della Musica, the official program has yet to be announced. However, big names like Cate Blanchett, Martin Scorsese, and Sigourney Weaver have already been announced as expected guests.
On that note, it is safe to say that whether the scenes were shot on location or at Cinecittà, Rome’s cinematic influence and history is without a doubt, monumental. And much like the other monument-based tours in Rome, here’s an additional, yet equally picturesque tour to go on as you’re #romeing around.
CIAK SI GIRA!
Before you start strolling around town going from one spot to the next, what better way to start the tour than at Cinecittà itself? Visit the studios for a dip in the past and the chance to see the stages with your own eyes. Some of the films shot at the studios include:
Cleopatra directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1963
The English Patient directed by Anthony Minghella, 1992
Gangs of New York directed by Martin Scorsese, 2002
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou directed by Wes Anderson, 2004
Roma Città Aperta (Rome, Open City)
Directed by Roberto Rossellini, 1945
When Don Pietro walks into the antique shop to collect the money destined to the partisans.
Via Margutta 41
Ladri di Biciclette (Bicycle Thieves)
Directed by Vittorio De Sica, 1948
First attempt at finding the stolen bike.
Directed by William Wyler, 1953
When Joe Bradley pretends to lose his hand to the Mouth of Truth statue.
Bocca della Verità statue
La Dolce Vita
Directed by Federico Fellini, 1960
When Anita Ekberg walks into the fountain, followed by Marcello Mastroianni
Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1961
When the Accattone professes his love for Stella
The church of S. Felice da Cantalice
Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni, 1962
Where Piero offers Vittoria a drink
Piazza di Pietra
C’eravamo Tanto Amati (We All Loved Each Other So Much)
Directed by Ettore Scola, 1974
When the four protagonists, towards the end of the film, meet again in front of the school.
Scuola elementare Cesare Battisti, Piazza Sauli
Directed by Nanni Moretti, 1993
The last scene of Nanni’s vespa ride when he reaches Pasolini’s commemorative statue
Pasolini Commemorative Statue, Via dell’Idroscalo, Ostia
The Talented Mr Ripley
Directed by Anthony Minghella, 1999
When Tom and Meredith walk over the bridge aligned with statues
Directed by Steven Soderbergh, 2004
When Brad Pitt meets Catherine Zeta-Jones for the first time
Angels & Demons
Directed by Ron Howard, 2009
When Tom Hanks understands the first clue
Piazza del Popolo
Eat Pray Love
Directed by Ryan Murphy, 2010
Where Julia Roberts enjoys her famous pasta dish
Osteria dell’Antiquario, Piazza di San Simeone
To Rome With Love
Directed by Woody Allen, 2012
Where Monica and Jack shop for groceries at the market
Piazza Campo De Fiori
La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty)
Directed by Paolo Sorrentino, 2013
The fountain where Jep washes up
Fontana del Mascherone di Santa Sabina, Piazza Pietro D’Illiria
Spectre (James Bond)
Directed by Sam Mendes, 2015
Where James Bond’s Aston Martin car disappears into the Tiber River
Lungotevere della Farnesina, right near Ponte Sisto
The Young Pope
Directed by Paolo Sorrentino, 2016
The garden strolls that Jude Law and Diane Keaton go on
The gardens at Villa Pamphili