Movies set in Rome

Movies set in Rome

We’re molto spoilt for choice with epic movies filmed in Rome.

Here is our pic of our top favs.

Enjoy with popcorn and red Italian wine.


Roman Holiday

It is the first American movie that is entirely shot in Rome, Italy.

A true, good and stylish romantic comedy, contrary to popular belief, is hard to make. 50s, without a doubt was the golden age of Hollywood as well as the golden age of romantic comedies. Roman Holiday is almost a lesson that teaches us how a perfect classical romantic comedy should be. Roman Holiday is not only a good romantic comedy, but also one of the best classical movies of golden age.

The movie contains many firsts. It is the first big role of Audrey Hepburn. Before the movie, Audrey Hepburn was not a star at all. She appeared in only a few movies and in un-important roles. Nonetheless it is the first movie that Audrey Hepburn wins an Oscar. Once nobody becomes a great Oscar winning star with her role Princess Ann. For a fairy tale like movie, it is almost a fairy tale like fate.

The Great Beauty


After his 65th birthday, Jep Gambardella, an aging intellectual and one-time writer, decides to dedicate his life to the search of a meaning. On the background of a mysterious and wonderful Rome, our main character slowly rediscovers beauty under the monotonous, empty shell of a lifetime between sinners. Following a boring night spent between the sheets of a boring and egocentric rich woman from Milan, Jep decides to stick on a quieter quality of life, but several, casual, meetings will force him to reconsider his priorities. A stripper on the verge of breakdown, the ex-husband of his first love, a bizarre magician and a living Saint from a far away reality, will soon allow Jep to discover his own, personal, Great Beauty.



Ridley Scott’s ancient Roman epic starring Russel Crowe and Joaquin Pheonix.
When a Roman general is betrayed and his family murdered by an emperor’s corrupt son, he comes to Rome as a gladiator to seek revenge.

Oscar’s galore.

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Whilst technically not a film, we couldn’t mention movies being filmed in Rome, and miss this one out. Filmed at Cinecitta film studios, this 20 part drama is a bit ‘Housewives of Rome’, if you will. Based around the women of Rome,  Octavian’s mother and her love rival, Cleopatra. With cat fights over Marc Anthony, back stabbing galore, and much more.

Created by John Milius, William MacDonald and Bruno Heller, it premiered on August 28, 2005 on HBO.


Mamma Roma

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An ex-prostitute, Mamma Roma (Anna Magnani), tries to start a new life selling vegetables with her 16-year-old son Ettore (Ettore Garofolo). When he later finds out that she was a prostitute, he succumbs to the dark side with the petty theft of a radio in a hospital and goes to prison.

Christian art

Pasolini’s obsession with Christian art can be seen in Mamma Roma. In the scene of Carmine’s wedding, Pasolini recreates the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. There is a long flat table at which newlyweds are sitting and a white wall behind them. When Ettore dies in a prison hospital, Pasolini recreates Mantegna‘s Lamentation over the Dead Christ. Ettore is lying on the wooden bed. He is stripped down to a shirt and underpants. His body is tied to the bed. The light coming from the ceiling emphasizes Ettore’s pale skin. The camera shoots his body from Ettore’s feet, similar to the Mantegna painting.

Pasolini often uses the word “sacred” to describe the images he creates or the images that he excludes from the frame. In the film, there are two long shots, and both of them are when Mamma Roma walks at night, working as a prostitute. The background is dark. Only lined street lights are dimly shining. The audience can’t see what is going on in the background. Mamma Roma seems isolated from the world. Greene explains what this cinematography technique creates in Pasolini’s film. “By fixing and isolating segments of what is visible, Pasolini creates the sense that what we see is merely one part of reality, and that the truly essential — and sacred — remains unseen.” Just as people can’t see God, Pasolini is attracted by something that is invisible to the audience’s eye, and the invisible images carry something mysterious. In this scene of Mamma Roma, the invisible background makes the scene more mysterious and outstanding than other scenes in the film.

La Dolce Vita

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1960 Fellini classic.

THAT famous scene of Anita Ekberg bathing in the Trevi Fountian.

Marcello is a young playboy journalist who spends his days between celebrities and rich people, seeking for ephemeral joy in parties and sex. When a film star comes to Rome, he does everything he can to meet her, and when he does, he is totally charmed by her.

Three Coins in a Fountain


50’s classic.

American girls dream of finding romance in Rome, but there is none for secretaries, Anita tells her replacement at the USDA. But Maria soon meets Prince Dino de Cessi at a party at her boss’s home who invites her to fly to Venice in his private plane. Frances, who has been in Rome for 15 years as the secretary of a successful American writer who talks a lot like George Bernard Shaw and is just as elusive as Professor Henry Higgins in “My Fair Lady,” tells her at first to say “no” and then decides that together they can handle the man nicknamed the predatory prince. Coins tossed in the Trevi Fountain can indeed work magic.


Ben Hur

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Judah Ben-Hur lives as a rich Jewish prince and merchant in Jerusalem at the beginning of the 1st century. Together with the new governor his old friend Messala arrives as commanding officer of the Roman legions. At first they are happy to meet after a long time but their different politic views separate them. During the welcome parade a roof tile falls down from Judah’s house and injures the governor. Although Messala knows they are not guilty, he sends Judah to the galleys and throws his mother and sister into prison. But Judah swears to come back and take revenge.


Angels and Demons

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Dan Brown’s novel turned movie, staring Tom Hanks, directed by Ron Howard.

CERN director Maximilian Kohler discovers one of the facility’s physicists, Leonardo Vetra, murdered. His chest is branded with anambigram of the word “Illuminati“. Kohler contacts Robert Langdon, an expert on the Illuminati, who determines that the ambigram is authentic. Kohler calls Vetra’s adopted daughter Vittoria to the scene, and it is ascertained that the Illuminati have stolen a canister containing antimatter — a substance with destructive potential comparable to a nuclear weapon. When at CERN the canister is stored in a unique electrical charger which ensures the antimatter’s stability but when removed its back-up battery provides power for 24 hours after which the anti-matter will self-destruct. The canister is somewhere in Vatican City, with a security camera in front of it, as its digital clock counts down to the explosion.




Spartacus is a classic. Kirk Douglas stars in this 1960 American historical drama film, directed by Stanley Kubrick.

The screenplay by Dalton Trumbo was based on the novel Spartacus by Howard Fast. It was inspired by the life story of the leader of a slave revolt in antiquity, Spartacus, and the events of the Third Servile War.

The film starred Kirk Douglas as Spartacus, Laurence Olivier as the Roman general and politician Marcus Licinius Crassus


To Rome With Love


Woody Allen directs Penelope Cruz and Alec Baldwin around Rome.

The dramas of different residents and tourists in Rome. The romances, adventures and predicaments they get into.

Bond: Spectre

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The latest Bond movie is set in Rome, directed by Sam Mendes, starring Daniel Craig as Bond and Monica Bellucci as Bond girl. Aston Martins wizzing around the Eternal City. A must see. Locations include the Ponte Sisto bridge and the Roman Forums.


Monty Python The Life of Brian

Must be mentioned.



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