The 1953 film Vacanze Romane is celebrating its half century this year. In order to pay tribute to the film Swide dedicates this article to its immortal protagonist: Rome.
Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn star in the 1953 Roman Holiday classic coming of age, love story movie. He: an American journalist. She: a foreign Princess. His steed: a Vespa. The setting for their romance: Rome. We have all watched the movie, gushed over Peck’s old age romance, wondered at Hepburn’s girly enthusiasm, and cried at the ending, hating the realisation that sometimes, love looses in the face of responsibility.
The film was shot at the Cinecittà studios and around Rome, and in many scenes, the latter steals the show from the Hollywood movie stars.
Fifty years on, we pay homage to the only everlasting protagonist from the film: Rome herself.
For all the fans of the film, who may want to mark its 50th anniversary by visiting its most iconic locations within Rome, here is where to go.
Bocca della Verità: Originally a manhole cover or a ancient roman fountain is located in the portico of the Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. The mouth is said to cut the hand off of anyone who speaks a lie, and it’s a testament to true love, being housed in the same place as the relics of Saint Valentine.
Pantheon: The Roman Pantheon is one of the most iconic monuments to grace the Italian capital. Originally built by Marcus Agrippa following the battle of Actium, in 27 BC, the structure was then consecrated as a Roman Catholic Church in the 7th century; it’s dedicated to St Mary and the Martyrs.
Fontana di Trevi: The largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most well known in the world. Gian Lorenzo Bernini was commissioned it by the Pope Urban VII. A pleasant superstition is attached to it, if you throw a coin in it one is guaranteed a return to the city. An estimate of €3000 are thrown into the fountain each day, the sum is used to subsidize a supermarket for Rome’s poor.
Castel Sant’Agnelo: or the Mausoleum of Hadrian, is a towering cylindrical building in Parco Adriano, in Rome. It was initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum to himself and his family. The building was later used by the popes as a fortress and castle, and is now a museum.
Piazza Venezia: It takes its name from Venice after the Venetian Cardinal, Pietro Barbo (later Pope Paul II) who had built the Palazzo Venezia to sit next to the church of Saint Mark, the patron saint of Venice. The square is at the foot of the Capitoline Hill and next to Trajan’s Forum. It is dominated by the imposing Monument to Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of unified Italy.
Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti: The Spanish Steps which lead from Piazza di Spagna to the Church of Trintità di Spagna are the widest in Europe. The 139 steps were built by French diplomat Étienne Gueffier’s bequeathed funds in 1723–1725. The aim of the stairway was to link the Bourbun Spanish Embassy and the Trinità dei Monti church that was under the patronage of the Bourbon kings of France, both located above .
Colosseo: or Flavian Amphitheatre is the most iconic symbol of Rome and a miracle of ancient roman engineering. Construction began in 72 AD under Vespasian and finished under Titus in 80 AD: its name derives from Titus and Vespasian’s family name, Flavius. It holds 50,000 seated spectators and was used for gladiatorial spectacles under roman rule. In medieval times it closed for entertainment and used for such purposes as housing, workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress a quarry, and a Christian shrine.
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