Top 10 Rome Movies

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  1. Roman Holiday (1953). The iconic film with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck whimsically takes the viewer on a ride (quite literally on a Vespa) through some of Rome’s most famous sights. This well-loved film features many landmarks of Roma- such as The Spanish Steps and Giolitti Gelateria. Princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn) takes the day off with American reporter Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) and has the secret service tearing Rome apart looking for her. It’s easy to fall in love with the on-screen couple and Rome while watching this Oscar-winning film. Preview the Roman Holiday
  2. La Dolce Vita (1960). Famous for it’s Trevi Fountain scene, the raucous life of Rome’s upper class and Marcello Rubini, the journalist, unfold on-screen in this 1960 film. “The sweet life”- including love, murder, and the pursuit of happiness are found in this classic film and the film continues to shock today.  La Dolce Vita is one of the top five highest-grossing foreign films of all time. At the Milan premiere of the film, director Federico Fellini was spat on by audience member! Preview the Sweet Life
  3. Spectre (2015). This James Bond film with Daniel Craig excites with a car chase through St. Peter’s Square and even in the Tiber River. This installment of the Bond series does not fail to entice. Sprawling views and alleys of Roma are featured in the film, all with Bond’s Aston Marton in the shot. The Bond car was actually custom-built for 007. Bond entertains while he works to take down the evil organization, SPECTRE. Preview 007
  4. Angels and Demons (2009). Many of the churches of Rome are featured in this book-turned-movie thriller. Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon (played by Tom Hanks) follows a trail of clues in order to protect the Roman Catholic Church against the Illuminati. The lovely Piazza Navona, Santa Maria della Vittoria Church, Pantheon, and more classic Roman sites are included in the film. The Catholic Church banned the producers of “Angels and Demons” to shoot at the Vatican, so the effects specialists had to digitally recreate St. Peter’s Square. Preview Angels and Demons
  5. To Rome with Love (2012). This whimsical romance film by Woody Allen makes viewers fall in love with Rome and the cast of the film. The grand Piazza Venezia and romantic Capitoline Hill are featured. Penelope Cruz, Alec Baldwin are also noted actors in the film set in the Eternal City. Allen artfully uses Roman streets and piazzas as locations in the films that are natural occurrences in Rome but look like they could have been constructed by a movie crew for hours. Look out for the hipster Trastevere alleys in the film. The movie truly shows how naturally beautiful Rome is, without it even trying. Preview the Lovely Rome
  6. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999). Matt Damon stars in the psychological thriller set in Rome. This Oscar winner shows Damon’s pursuit to start his life over again. Mr. Ripley, played by Damon, kills his friends and assumes another’s identity in the film and the viewer sees a variety of Italian cities. While walking through Piazza Navona, Damon says: “I’ve never been happier. I feel like I’ve been handed a new life.” Other famous locations include the Spanish Steps and Capitol Hill. Preview Mr. Ripley
  7. Cleopatra (1963). The most expensive movie ever made features Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and Rex Harrison. The film’s budget equivalates to roughly 30 million US dollars now. Cleopatra attempts to manipulate Julius Caesar and Marc Antony and save the Egyptian Empire. The Forum is in the film but was copied at the Italian Film Studio, Cinecittà, to appear three times larger. Apparently the construction of the large sets in the film caused a shortage of building materials in Italy at the time. Preview Burton & Taylor
  8. Ladri di biciclette (1948). This Oscar-winning film starts with a man’s bicycle being stolen from under the Quirinal in Rome. The film follows the poor father in post-World War II Rome searching for his bicycle, which is necessary for him to keep his job and provide for his family. Most of the cast was made up of non-professional actors, and Lamberto Maggiorani, a factory worker at the time, was cast as the lead, Antonio Ricci. Preview the Bicycle Thieves
  9. La Grande Bellezza (2013). Featuring the Colosseum, Villa Medici, and countless other Roman sites, this film follows a writer reflecting on his life as he explores Rome. This 2013 artistic drama is beautiful and unexpected. The film contemplates beauty and life in Italy. The film won twenty-eight awards, such as an Academy Award for Best International Feature Film and European Film Award for Best Actor and Best Film. Preview the Great Beauty
  10. Caro Diario (1993). This 1993 film shows off some of the less filmed, but still spectacular locations of Rome, such as the Gianicolo and Parioli. Nanni Moretti drives through Rome on a Vespa and even meets Jennifer Beals near Via Appia. This journal-type film is comical but moving even as it deals with great tragedy. The lines between life and art are blurred in this film by Italian director Nanni Moretti. Preview Caro Moretti


Written by Sarah Lackey

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