Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Just like in The Movies

Once more Rome has become 'Hollywood on the Tiber' with no less than three major films in production at Cinecitta Studios and locations in the city itself - Ben Hur, Zoolander 2 and Spectre (the latest James Bond movie).
You could imagine that you are in the movies too as there are many places that have featured in films over the years that you can visit.

The Movie - Roman Holiday
The Scene - Princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn) meets the press
The Place Palazzo Colonna.( Via della Pilotta, 17 www.galleriacolonna.it )

The Gallery of Palazzo Colonna is only open on a Saturday morning but the entrance fee to the palazzo includes a chance to see the Sala Grande where the above scene was filmed. Indeed, in a small room before you reach the Grand Hall you will see that very scene played on a flat screen TV. Note how the production team very cleverly hide the cannonball embedded in one of the steps!

The Movie -  The Talented Mr Ripley
The Scene - Tom Ripley (Matt Damon) covers up Freddy's death
The Place -  Piazza Mattei
In the middle of this tiny piazza stands the delightful Tortoise Fountain. The tortoises were added by Bernini when the fountain was restored. The green door in the right hand corner of the piazza belongs to the apartment rented by Tom Ripley in the film.

This piazza also appears in our next movie.

The Movie - To Rome with Love
The Scene - John (Alec Baldwin) reminisces about his student days in the city
The Place - Café della Pace (Via della Pace 3/7)

Caffe della Pace is one of the historic cafes of Rome, it has been established for over 100 years and has been in the Serafina family for the last 40. 
A haunt of the great & good from the world of the arts , the story goes that during the filming of Godfather III, Diane Keaton reportedly became so angry with Al Pacino that she slapped his face. The cafe's staff helped avoid a delay in filming by rushing out a bag of ice to keep the swelling down! 
The café is open from 8.30am - 2.00am so it is your choice whether you go for coffee, aperitivo or something in between. My favourite time is after dark.

Café della Pace also appears in our next movie

The Movie - Eat, Pray, Love
The Scene - Liz (Julia Roberts) practices her Italian  by ordering for her friends whilst dining 'al fresco'
The Place - Santa Lucia (Largo Febo)

Whilst Liz and friends dined at lunchtime, I think there is no more romantic spot than the terrace of this lovely restaurant in the evening when it is illuminated by candles and twinkly lights in the trees.

Even more romantic would be to precede your meal with an aperitif in the rooftop bar of the Raphael Hotel which looks down in to the cloisters of Santa Maria della Pace, designed by Bramante.
The hotel is literally two steps from Santa Lucia.
The Movie - The Great Beauty
The Scene - Jep (Tony Servillo) enjoys lunch in his favourite restaurant
The Place - La Veranda ( Borgo Santo Spirito 73)
To my mind the star of the Oscar winning film 'The Great Beauty' is Rome itself. Scene after stunning scene shows the city at its best, especially some of the lesser known sights such as the Fontana dell'Acqua Paola.
 If you have read my previous post you will know that 'The Great Beauty' fills the number one spot on my Rome bucket list but in reality this film deserves a whole bucket list of its own. Included would be dining under the frescoed ceiling of La Veranda, housed in the 15th century Palazzo dei Penitenzieri.
A Great Beauty indeed.

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