Roman Holiday is probably one of the best known movies on Rome. Shot obviously in Rome, this 1953 movie by William Wyler tells the love story between a foreign princess (played by Audrey Hepburn) visiting the city and a U.S. journalist (Gregory Peck). This film skyrocketed Audrey Hepburn to stardom and her dressing style set a fashion trend. After the firm was released, the number of visitors to Italy from the U.S. increased considerably, above all for the views of Rome included in the picture.
Federico Fellinis 1960 movie La Dolce Vita was quite popular at the time in the States. This was not so much because of its social contents, but on account of the views of Rome that were included in the film. In a famous scene Anita Ekberg walks straight into Trevi Fountain – and to stardom: this has become a classic scene in the history books of the world’s movie industry. Not surprising, seeing that Fellini himself adored Rome, which was not his native city (he was born in northern Italy)and yet seemed to suit him perfectly.
Why would anyone throw a coin in a fountain and nobody standing around would find it strange? To find out you should see Jean Negulesco’s 1954 movie Three Coins In The Fountain. The title actually refers to the old tradition of throwing a coin in Trevi Fountain as a good omen for your return to Rome again in the future. Of course the background of the love story running through the movie is all of Rome, with many scenes being set in various typical parts of the city.
Ben Hur, the first colossal movie of all times, is set in Rome. There must be a reason for this. In actual fact film director William Wyler was anxious to shoot this picture because, after directing Roman Holiday, he felt that he wanted to go back to Rome and re-live part of the history of this city where past glories and present charm blend beautifully to make a perfect mix.
Have you seen The Talented Mr. Ripley? If so, where is it set? The answer will probably be, mostly in Italy. Do you realize, though, that some scenes were actually shot in Rome? They certainly were, in a tiny square called Piazza Mattei. This square is known to all Romans as Turtle Fountain Square because of the lovely fountain in its centre.
If you ask anybody what is the movie of Ancient Rome that they recall best, probably the answer is The Gladiator. Believe it or not, this movie, that provides a complex picture of power, love, hatred, greatness and cruelty, was not shot in Rome at all. Still, Ridley Scott – who also directed Blade Runner – managed to create an atmosphere and a physical reconstruction of Ancient Rome that very closely resembles the true original. Russell Crowe fits the part perfectly and so do all the other actors in the movie.
Ever been to Rome? If you are planning to go there you can’t miss visiting Trastevere. This is an ancient suburb in the very heart of Rome that for anyone living or visiting this magic city is an absolute must! Norman Jewison shared this opinion when he set his 1994 movie Only You partly also in Trastevere.