Rome Movies To Watch before your next Trip
Rome Movies to Watch before your Next Trip
Take a trip to Rome through the movies!
Rome – the eternal city that has seen the rise and fall of the Roman empire with gladiators, emperors and Egyptian queens parading through the Roman forum and Colosseum.
The films and TV series featuring Roman history takes some historical license, but provide an entertaining picture of the greatness of this empire. Modern films take advantage of piazzas and fountains for memorable romances and thrilling adventures in this eternal city.
Order some pizza and gelato and enjoy these TV historical series and movies about and set in Rome!
An eternal masterpiece by the great Federico Fellini. In La Dolce Vita, Marcello Mastroianni plays a journalist beset by existential crises who tries to lose himself in Rome’s gilded and decadent cafe society.
In the most famous scene of the film, Anita Ekberg wades into the Trevi Fountain at dawn, wearing an evening dress.
Rome Movie Locations: Filmed in several neighborhoods in Rome. In the most famous scene of the film, Anita Ekberg wades into the Trevi Fountain at dawn, wearing an evening dress.
Overwhelmed by her suffocating schedule, touring European princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn) takes off for a night while in Rome in Roman Holiday.
When a sedative she took from her doctor kicks in, however, she falls asleep on a park bench and is found by an American reporter, Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck),who takes her back to his apartment for safety. At work the next morning, Joe finds out Ann’s regal identity and bets his editor he can get exclusive interview with her, but romance soon gets in the way.
Roman Holiday is the film that introduced Audrey Hepburn to the world and made her an instant star. Audiences everywhere fell in love with her, and she won an Academy Award for her performance. Roman Holiday also introduced American audiences to the Vespa, sparking its popularity.
Rome Movie Locations: Filmed entirely in Rome featuring the Mouth of Truth, Piazza Bocca della Verità, Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. Caffè Rocca, Piazza della Rotonda and Pantheon.
Eat, Pray, Love (both the book and movie) have become a worldwide sensation and likely needs no introduction as it has that launched many women’s trip to Bali and solo female travel in general.
Gilbert’s novel follows her year long journey to Italy (Eat), India (Pray), and Bali (Love) as she takes a year for self-examination and immerses herself in each culture to spark magic and joy back in her life. The book and movie both highlight the beauty of Italy and its nuances including wanderings through Rome, gelato decadence and pizza in Naples.
Rome Movie Locations: Elizabeth’s Rome Apartment can be found at 18 Via dei Portoghesi. Eat gelato from the organic chain San Crispino gelateria by the Chiesa di Sant’Agnese in Agone in Piazza Navona. Eat spaghetti at Caffè della Pace in Via Della Pace as Elizabeth did with her Italian teacher or Osteria dell’Antiquario and Ristorante Santa Lucia, both of featured in the film.
Naples Movie Location: Eat pizza at Da Michele
In Angels & Demons, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon discovers the resurgence of an ancient brotherhood known as the Illuminati, he flies to Rome to warn the Vatican, the Illuminati’s most hated enemy.
Joining forces with beautiful Italian scientist Vittoria Vetra, Langdon follows a centuries-old trail of ancient symbols in the hope of preventing the Illuminati’s deadly plot against the Roman Catholic Church from coming to fruition.
Rome Movie Locations: The second Dan Brown movie made into a film will take to some of Rome’s most iconic sites and Vatican city.
In Only You, a childhood incident has convinced Faith Corvatch (Marisa Tomei) that her true love is a guy named “Damon Bradley,” but she has yet to meet him.
Preparing to settle down and marry a foot doctor, Faith impulsively flies to Venice with her BFF (Bonnie Hunt) when it seems that she may be able to finally encounter the man of her dreams. Instead, she meets the charming Peter Wright (Robert Downey Jr.).
The movie is just good fun – the gorgeous scenery, a melodious score, and a romance-filled plot as it take you to some of the most popular spots in Italy.
Italy Locations: Venice (Hotel Danieli), San Gimignano, several locations in Rome including Piazza di Santa Maria, Trastevere and the Mouth of Truth in a recreating of the famous Roman Holiday scene, and the Amalfi Coast’s Portofino (Hotel Le Sirenuse)
In When in Rome, disillusioned with romance, Beth, an ambitious New Yorker (Kristen Bell), travels to Rome, where she plucks magic coins from a special fountain.
The coins attract an assortment of odd suitors, including a sausage merchant, a street magician and an artist. But when a persistent reporter (Josh Duhamel) throws his hat in the ring, Beth wonders if his love is the real thing.
Rome locations: The movie is set in Rome, but few scenes were filmed there. The Fountain of Love is based on Rome’s famous Trevi Fountain, was actually a prop constructed in the Piazza Borghese, about 500 meters north of the Pantheon.
The movie is a remake of the 1954 Three Coins in a Fountain Three featuring the Trevi Fountain where the coins are retrieved from.
Four tales unfold in the Eternal City in To Rome with Love.
While vacationing in Rome, architect John (Alec Baldwin) encounters a young man whose romantic woes remind him of a painful incident from his own youth; retired opera director Jerry (Woody Allen) discovers a mortician with an amazing voice, and he seizes the opportunity to rejuvenate his own flagging career; a young couple (Alessandro Tiberi, Alessandra Mastronardi) have separate romantic interludes; a spotlight shines on an ordinary man (Roberto Benigni).
Rome Movie Locations: The movie is a love story to Rome featuring many of its infamous piazzas and fountains.
In Ocean’s Twelve, the second installment of the “Oceans” series, following the infamous members of the “Ocean’s Eleven” crew after their Las Vegas casino heist in the first film.
The owner of three robbed Vegas casinos, Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia), confronts each member of the team, demanding all the money back within two weeks. Coming up short, the group (Clooney, Pitt, Damon, Roberts, Zeta-Jones, etc.) stage another heist to pay off the debt, and this time it’s in Europe.
The movie was filmed in several locations around the world. Italy locations include:
Sicily Movie Locations: Scopello, Castellammare del Golfo, Trapani. The stars stayed in Trapani while in Sicily and encountered & mingled with the local Cosa Nostra (Sicilian mob)
Lake Como Location: George Clooney’s Villa Erba in Laglio
In Nine, a famous Italian director Guido Contini is ten days away from the start of principal filming of his latest movie, ambitiously titled “Italia”.
He is struggling both professionally and personally as he reflects on the women who has shaped his life. This musical comically and tragically shows his dramatic relationships with his wife, his mistress, his muse, his agent, and his mother.
Movie Locations: Most of the filming was in a studio, but a few scenes were filmed in Anzio & Sutri, two small villages near Rome.
Set in Roman times, the story of a once-powerful general forced to become a common gladiator.
The emperor’s son is enraged when he is passed over as heir in favor of his father’s favorite general. He kills his father and arranges the murder of the general’s family, and the general is sold into slavery to be trained as a gladiator – but his subsequent popularity in the arena threatens the throne.
For me, this movie brings the Colosseum to life and shows what Rome was life 2000 years ago.
Italy locations: The film is set in Rome, but filmed in England, Morocco, and Malta with a few scenes in the Val D’Orcia in Tuscany.
The epic drama, Ben Hur, is about an aristocratic Jew living in Judaea who incurs the wrath of a childhood friend, now a Roman tribune.
Although forced into slavery on a galley and compelled to witness the cruel persecution of his family, he survives, harboring dreams of vengeance. A battle at sea and a chariot race are among the memorable sequences.
The film used 300 sets at Rome’s Cinecitta Studios and won a record 11 Oscars.
A new version was created in 2016 – Ben Hur (2016) but the classic is the one to watch.
“Cleopatra” is a lengthy, sprawling, spectacular love story, helmed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, depicting Cleopatra’s manipulation of Julius Caesar and Marc Antony in her ill-fated attempt to save the Egyptian empire. This threesome in one of the most famous and gloriously powerful love triangles ever to be captured on film.
The movie was largely filmed on studio set in England and Rome. However, the depiction of Rome will give you an image of what the Roman Forum might have looked like in its glory days.
TV Series featuring Rome
Rome, the TV series (2 seasons / 22 episodes) is based on real life historical figures and follows the life of two soldiers Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo in Caesar’s Commentarii de Bello Gallico, who find their lives intertwined with key historical events.
The first season begins with Julius Caesar’s civil war of 49 BC against the traditionalist conservative faction in the Roman Senate (the Optimates), his rise to dictatorship over Rome, and his fall, spanning the time from the end of his Gallic Wars (52 BC) until his assassination on 15 March 44 BC (the infamous Ides of March). Against the backdrop of these cataclysmic events, we also see the early years of the young Octavian, who is destined to become Augustus, the first Emperor of Rome and Cleopatra.
The second season chronicles the power struggle between Octavian and Mark Antony following Caesar’s assassination, spanning the period from Caesar’s death in 44 BC to the suicide of Antony and Cleopatra in 30 B.C. after their defeat at the Battle of Actium.
If you are visiting Rome, this is a look into Roman life and the politics at the time of Julius Caesar.
The Borgias TV series follows the rise of the Borgia family as Rodrigo Borgia is elected as head of Roman Catholic Church becoming Pope Alexander VI. This pope maintained power in the through corruption, bribery, and murder thought he help of his sons, Juan and Cesare and his daughter Lucretia.
This TV series provides a glimpse into the political wrangling of the Renaissance with storylines interweaving historical events in Rome, Florence, Milan and Naples.
The Medici – the powerful family of the Renaissance period in Florence. Their banking practices led to the creation of a middle class while making themselves extremely wealthy.
They used this wealth to challenge traditional thinking, ushering in a new era of revolutionary art and science such as the world had never seen including public libraries and sponsorship of some of the greatest artists & scientists including Michelangelo, Raphael, Donatello, Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci, Brunelleschi, and Galileo.
Season One shows the rise of the Medici family through Cosimo de’ Medici.
Season Two starts twenty years later and follows the rise of Lorenzo “The Magnificent” de’ Medici (Cosimo’s grandson).
The series features locations throughout Italy including Florence, Rome, Milan and several small towns – Pienza, Montepulciano, Volterra
Inspired to visit Rome Italy?
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