Top 5 (+1) Movies that Reveal the Beauty of Rome

September 1, 2014
Enrico Catani

The wonderful city of Rome has been over the past century the setting for some of the world’s most memorable films. And also today, with its stunning landmarks such as the Trevi Fountain or Piazza Navona, the Eternal City is often chosen by several renowned directors as a location for their movies.
The city has a natural predisposition for being a cinematographic set, with innumerable corners and places permeated of a timeless beauty.  But also, Rome boasts strong cinematic traditions for the presence of the Cinecittà Studios, the largest film production facility in Europe and the main centre of Italian cinema, where many movie-cults were filmed.
Following is a list, made by ItalyXP, of 5 (+1) movies that have been filmed in Rome and that have represented in a unique way the eternal charm of the city and its treasures.

The Great Beauty

The Great Beauty (in Italian “La grande bellezza”) is a 2013 Italian film directed by Paolo Sorrentino. Completely filmed in Rome, the movie won Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards, as well as the Golden Globe and the BAFTA award in the same category. Furthermore, the movie won 4 separate European Film Awards including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Editor. 
Most of the film is focused on the main character, Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo), an aging socialitewho is has been the “king” of the lavish nightlife of Rome for decades. He appears to be repelled by it, but it is his life and he can’t bear an alternative. Since the legendary success of his one and only best-seller, he has been a permanent fixture in the city`s literary and social circles, but when his sixty-fifth birthday coincides with a shock from the past, he will start to question his life, looking back on his past.
Another protagonist of the movie is the city, Rome, with its streets and majestic attractions; a city that boasts a timeless and eternal landscape of sublime beauty
The Great Beauty does not show the classic “Rome postcards”, but the one hidden behind doors, walls and gates that always seem inaccessible. Yet there is a way to visit those magical places: with a cinematic tour of “The Great Beauty” locations, to eXPerience Rome from a unique point of view.
We’d suggest booking a private guided tour, for a more intimate eXPerience with the opportunity to tailor the tour as you like, moving at your own pace. Alternatively, you can choose a group guided tour.
But if you are looking for a more exclusive and complete eXPerience, check out our half-day private tour: longer and with a richer itinerary, and with a luxury car that will take you from a destination to another, visiting enchanting places such as the Caracalla Baths or the Fountain of Acqua Paola.

La Dolce Vita

The Rome of the ‘60 is the undisputed star of this cult movie directed by Federico Fellini. "La Dolce Vita" (which basically means “The Sweet Life”) is universally considered a cinematic masterpiece, winner of the Palme d'Or at the 13th Cannes Film Festival for Best Costume Design.
The main character, Marcello Rubini (played by Marcello Mastroianni), is a Roman journalist who deals with services tabloid, but who wants to become a writer. In the seven episodes that make up the film, Marcello lives the frivolous society of the fashionable markets and cafes of Via Veneto, in the centre of Rome, enjoying its lifestyle and its excesses.
The most epic episode of the movie is about the night adventure of Marcello with an American actress just arrived in Rome: Sylvia, played by Anita Ekberg. The scene when she walks in the basin of the Trevi Fountain with a black dress has become universally famous.
You can relive the magical atmospheres of this movie with a tour of the “Dolce Vita”, which will also give you the opportunity to admire the major attractions of Rome.

The Talented Mr. Ripley

Based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith, "The Talented Mr. Ripley" is a sophisticated movie directed by Anthony Minghella, with an amazing cast (Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Philippe Seymour Hoffman and more) and a brilliant screenplay. Released in 1999, it was filmed for the most part in Italy, between Sorrento, Naples, Venice and Rome.
The movie tells the adventures of a young boy, Tom Ripley, who is polite and cheerful, and can sing and play piano well. One day Tom is hired by an American billionaire, Mr. Greenleaf, to track down his wayward son Dickie who has been living in Italy. Tom, pretending to have attended the same university of Dickie, becomes initially his friend, but soon things are going to get nasty.
The Talented Mr. Ripley boasts incredible locations such as the Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona and Piazza Lovatelli. The film is reminiscent of Three Coins in the Fountain (an American comedy from 1954) in its picture-postcard prettiness but that’s where the comparisons end – there is something far darker at the heart of Ripley’s world.

To Rome with Love

This movie, written and directed by Woody Allen in 2012, consists of four episodes that tell the unpredictable adventures that will forever change the lives of all the different characters: a well-known American architect reliving his youth; an average middle-class Roman who suddenly finds himself Rome's biggest celebrity; a young provincial couple drawn into separate romantic encounters; and an American opera director endeavoring to put a singing mortician on stage. 
"To Rome with Love" was shot entirely in Rome, and Woody Allen does a good job showing in his film the best locations of the Eternal City: shooting, in fact, depart from Piazza Venezia, where the "pizzardone" (policeman) monitors the traffic on its platform; at the Altare della Patria, Michelangelo met Hayley while Milly lives his day between Piazza del Popolo and the Trident . Jack, Sally and Monica are walking at night in Piazza Navona, while Leonardo Pisanello walks on Via Vittorio Veneto, the street made famous by the movie “La Dolce Vita” (n°2 on this list).

Roman Holiday

The movie is a 1953 romantic comedy directed by William Wyler. It stars Gregory Peck and it was Audrey Hepburn’s first starring role, garnering her a well deserved Best Actress Oscar in 1954; the screenplay and costume design also won the Academy Awards.
The beautiful Anne (Hepburn), the crown princess of an unspecified country, has started a widely publicized trip of several European capitals. The last stop is Rome, and while she’s here, tired of the ceremonies and protocol, she slinks off and tries to mingle with ordinary people. She falls in love with an American journalist, Bradley (Peck), who is initially unaware of the true identity of the girl. When he will discover it through the newspaper, he will start to plan a big scoop… But things are not going as he expected.
Although a bit cheesy, this cult-movie is a veritable showcase of Rome, an exhibition of all the monuments and the most beautiful places of the city: from the Trevi Fountain to the Pantheon, from the Roman Forum to the picturesque Via Margutta, and from the Trinità de’ Monti to the Mouth of Truth.
Also, “Roman Holiday” forever welded Vespas to Rome in the popular imagination. And if you wish to relive the atmosphere of this romantic movie, riding a Vespa around the streets of the historic centre, you cannot miss a Tour by Vespa: a unique opportunity to admire the city from a different point of view. Further, if you want to enjoy this eXPerience during the night, when the monuments are illuminated and there is no traffic, the Night Tour by Vespa is the ideal choice!

Angels & Demons

Angels & Demons is a 2009 American film directed by Ron Howard and based on Dan Brown's namesake bestseller. The film it is the sequel ofThe Da Vinci Code, also directed by Ron Howard.
The movie tells the adventure of Professor Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) that discovers evidence of the resurgence of an ancient secret brotherhood known as the Illuminati, the most powerful organization in the coverage of history. Also, he faces a deadly threat to the survival of the most despised enemy by this brotherhood: the Catholic Church. Embarking on a non-stop hunt and full of action through sealed crypts, dangerous catacombs and deserted cathedrals, Langdon follows a trail of clues dating back four hundred years ago, composed by old symbols, which represent the only hope of survival for the Vatican.
With an intriguing tour of Dan Brown's ”Angels & Demons”  you can retrace the journey of protagonist, Robert Langdon, discovering some of Rome’s most mysterious places. An expert guide will take you along each step of the Path of Illumination, including visits at each of the “four altars of science” shown in the movie.
Also, you can enjoy this tour in a more exclusive way, aboard a luxury car.

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