Architales’ top 5 films set in Rome


With its rich history, culture, scenographic sites and a founding myth as dramatic as the story of Romulus and Remus, Rome is obviously one of the most magical cities in the World and a fantastic source of inspiration for film-makers. Let us see together 5 of the most famous films set in Rome:


Roman Holiday, William Wyler, 1953


Roman Holiday, released in 1953, was the first Hollywood film to be located entirely in Rome. Young Princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn) decides to escape from her royal duties and meets a charming journalist (Gregory Peck) who will take her on the most wonderful tour of the Eternal City and visiting some of Rome’s most iconic monuments. One of the most famous appearances by a Vespa in the history of cinema.


L’Eclisse, Michelangelo Antonioni, 1962


L’eclisse is famous for one of the most extraordinary final sequences in film history; young lovers (Monica Vitti and Alain Delon) fail to make a date at sunset by a building site in EUR. In the end scene, as the streets are empty and the sun goes down, life goes on, slow, boring and repetitious along EUR.


The Bicycle Thieves, Vittorio De Sica, 1948


De Sica’s Neo-realist film follows the unemployed Antonio Ricci (Lamberto Maggiorani) and his young son Bruno (Enzo Staiola) as they hunt for his stolen bicycle in a depressed, post-war Rome. By filming entirely on real Roman streets and locations while also employing locals instead of professional actors, De Sica’s portrait of Rome speaks to urban poverty.


Three Coins in the Fountain, Jean Negulesco, 1954


Every day, an estimated total of €3,000 in coins is tossed over shoulders towards Trevi Fountain. Three American girls working in Italy throw coins in the Trevi Fountain, each wishing for love. The film is an irresistibly picture-postcard romantic comedy about three young American women looking for love in the Eternal City.


La Dolce Vita, Federico Fellini, 1960


La dolce vita is recognized as one of the greatest portraits of the Eternal City. Many Roman settings are used in this movie including the Trevi Fountain, St. Peter’s Square, and the Via Veneto. Fellini’s film takes place over a week in the life of Marcello Rubini (played by Marcello Mastroianni), a young reporter in search of happiness and love who covers the social scene, and chronicles the “sweet life” of Rome’s elite.


2 thoughts on “Architales’ top 5 films set in Rome

  1. Nice post. Being a fan and, dare say, a praiser myself of Romem,through my photographic work, i feel, on the part of Her, truly flattered for this superb tribute. I think Rome is the most cimenatic city in the world because offers the variety and the warmth no other city can do in so incomparable way.

    Just to enrich your emblematic list i add the rather atypical -but still so cinematic!-film of Federico Fellini, the not so well known “ROMA”! A totally idiosyncratic film, with a lot of documentary on the one hand but no less fantasy and archeological -even hilariously religious!-fiction on the other, is a hybrid of cinematography never undertaken again. Humor, realism and surealism hand in hand with aesthetics of the highest order, as befits Rome after all.

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