Many iconic movies have been set in Rome. Discover the best locations in the Eternal City for who love to visit the sets of their favourite movies

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You can explore Rome in many different ways: walking along the ancient streets, choosing the sacred paths or those of traditional food. But if you are a true movie lover, then we suggest you discover the places chosen by great Italian and foreign directors for the set of some scenes of their movies.

Among these places, there are also numerous attractions that the city of Rome offers to those who decide to spend a short or long vacation within its walls. To visit these attractions and places, one of the best ways is to get the Visit Rome Pass, a tourist pass that grants you free access or significant benefits to many museums, attractions, historical sites, and locations throughout the city.

But now, camera or smartphone in hand, here are 10 iconic films set and shot in some Rome locations.

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Rome in cinema: a journey through iconic places and film history

iconic films  set in Rome, trevi fountain

Exploring Rome means immersing oneself in a city rich in history and culture, but also with a remarkable cinematic presence. A backdrop for iconic films, the Eternal City offers visitors the opportunity to relive scenes that have made their mark on cinema. From the picturesque alleyways of Trastevere to the majestic Colosseum, the places that have inspired memorable films prove to be a journey through cinema history. Follow in the footsteps of the actors of 'Roman Holiday' or immerse yourself in the epic of 'The Gladiator'.

Rome is an unmissable destination for film lovers and those who wish to combine historical beauty with the unique atmosphere created by these cinematic works. Plan your visit for an experience that fuses past and present in an evocative and authentic setting, thanks to the iconic films shot in Rome that have immortalised the city in the cinematic world.

10. Roman Holiday: the most famous film set in Rome

Iconic rome films, Roman Holiday


Everyone knows the iconic film starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck set entirely in Rome. Discover the magic of Roman Holiday (1953) by following in the footsteps of the two protagonists in the fascinating locations of Rome.

The location tour of Vacanze Romane starts at Via Margutta, one of the streets in Rome's bohemian, art-rich district. Passing through the Spanish Steps, an icon of style, you can take a break in the enchanting setting of the Trevi Fountain, a place of 'desires' where a stop is almost obligatory. Another unmissable stop in the film is to admire the city from the Orange Garden on the Aventine Hill.

The iconic location of this film, however, can only be the mysterious sculpture of the Mouth of Truth, made famous by the scene in which Gregory Peck pretends to get his hand stuck. It is an ancient reliquary in the Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. This evocative location, with its intricate legends and timeless charm, offers a compelling dive into Roman history and entertainment.

Discover the fountain in Piazza Navona

9. Ben-Hur and Circus Maximus

Ben-Hur, Circus Maximus

Explore the magnificent Roman locations of the film 'Ben-Hur' (1959) and immerse yourself in the epic grandeur of ancient Rome. The Circus Maximus, the setting for spectacular chariot races, will transport you to the overwhelming atmosphere of the film. Relive the thrills of Ben-Hur in the heart of this ancient stadium, imagining the breathtaking races that made this location famous.

The vast spaces of the Circus Maximus, one of the largest game arenas of the period, offer a unique perspective on the grandeur of ancient Rome. Admire the majesty of the ruins and be enveloped by the history that permeates every stone. Located between the Palatine and Aventine hills, the Circus Maximus also offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Roman Forum and Colosseum, allowing you to embrace some of the most iconic icons of the Eternal City in a single glance. An unforgettable experience that will take you right into the heart of ancient Rome and into the epic of one of the most iconic movies set in Rome in cinematic history.

8. Fellini's La Dolce Vita in Rome

La dolce vita, trevi fountain

La dolce vita (1960) is among the best-known iconic movies set in Rome of Italian director Federico Fellini. It is a fresco of those years, of the different social realities in Rome at that time. The most famous scene is when the beautiful Anita Ekberg bathes in the Trevi Fountain and says "Marcello, come here!". As mentioned above, this is an essential stop on your trip to Rome!

But in the film there are many other beautiful locations ready to be admired: such as the luxurious Via Veneto, with its glamorous cafés and trendy haunts; Villa Borghese, a Renaissance park that enchants with its lush gardens and art museums. Don't hesitate to explore the famous Terrazza del Gianicolo, offering breathtaking views of the eternal city, and immerse yourself in the Roman movida of Piazza Navona, where nightlife comes alive amidst street performers and typical clubs. You will then conclude your journey in the picturesque Via della Conciliazione, overlooking St Peter's, offering a unique perspective of the city. Discover the Roman dolce vita with an authentic experience, amid history, art and charm, discovering the locations that made Fellini's masterpiece unforgettable. Your adventure in the heart of Rome passes through here but also through the Terme di Caracalla and the Parco degli Acquedotti.

Visit the underground passages of the Trevi Fountain

7. James Bond in Rome

iconic films rome, Ponte sisto

Immerse yourself in the breathtaking atmospheres of Rome with 'Spectre' (2015), yet another iconic movie set in Rome in the James Bond saga! From Villa Fiorano to the Museum of Roman Civilisation in EUR, explore the locations that made this epic chapter unique. The unforgettable scene at Ponte Sisto on the Lungotevere, with the chase between 007's Aston Martin DB10 and Mr Hinx's Jaguar at 200 km/h, made this area a true cinematic landmark.

The filming, carried out on board a speedboat, was an epic feat. Plan your visit and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of unforgettable films set in Rome! Discover the exclusive locations that have made cinema history in the Eternal City

6. Mysterious Rome with Dan Brown and Angels and Demons

Angels and Demons

Based on the novel by Dan Brown, Angels and Demons is a 2009 big screen masterpiece. The story takes place at the Vatican, recreated on the computer as there were restrictions on filming, but the protagonist's treasure hunt takes in the most beautiful places in the city of Rome. Follow in the footsteps of Professor Robert Langdon on a frantic hunt through symbols and secrets in a must of iconic movies shot in Rome. Your adventure begins in Piazza del Popolo, where Langdon begins his investigation. Then it moves on to Castel Sant'Angelo, with its thousand-year history and striking views of the Tiber, and on to the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo, full of symbolism and mysteries.

The focal point of the film is also the Pantheon, with its famous oculus. Experience the magic of 'Angels and Demons' by exploring Rome through Langdon's eyes. Plan your visit for an experience full of history and mystery in the Eternal City.

Find out more about Pantheon

5. Eat, Pray, Love in Rome

iconic films in rome, eat pray love

Scene from the film, wikicommons

One of the most recent iconic movies set in Rome, tells the story of the spiritual journey of Elizabeth, played by Julia Roberts, who arrives in Italy to get in tune with Italian food. Visit the Temple of San Pietro in Montorio and reflect among the frescoes of Villa Ada. Navigate the lively Piazza Navona, the beating heart of the city, and discover the evocative Church of Santa Maria del Popolo, scene of significant encounters in the film. Continue to the majestic Church of Santa Agnese in Agone, admiring its Baroque architecture and being enveloped by its spiritual aura. End the day with a sunset at Castel Sant'Angelo on the banks of the Tiber.

A spiritual tour in Rome with its mix of culture and culinary delights awaits you. Plan your itinerary and fully experience 'Eat, Pray, Love' in this eternal city.

4. Woody Allen's Rome

iconic films in Rome, imperial forums

To Rome with Love is a movie set in Rome by Woody Allen in 2012. In this iconic movie there are many locations you can visit such as the Monument to Victor Emmanuel II. Each scene is a beautiful postcard of the city. Start your journey in Trastevere, where getting lost in the historic streets and savouring authentic Roman life will be a unique experience. Discover the majesty of Michelangelo's genius with the stairs descending from the Campidoglio to Via del Teatro di Marcello with the Fountain of the Goddess Rome in the background.

End your adventure at Via Veneto, a street celebrated for its elegance. Sip a coffee in one of the trendy cafés and be enveloped in the timeless charm of Rome. Plan your visit and experience the enchantment of 'To Rome with Love' in every corner of the Eternal City.

Visit the Imperial Forums with a pass to the ruins

3. Rome on a Vespa between culture and architecture

iconic film in rome, garbatella

In "Caro Diario"(1993) by Nanni Moretti, the director explores Rome on board his Vespa, narrating the city through the eyes of a contemplative traveller. Starting from the Trastevere district, he crosses the Janiculum Hill, travelling along narrow, deserted streets, reflecting on cinema and life. Elegant neighbourhoods such as Parioli reveal the nuances of a semi-deserted Rome in summer, while Garbatella becomes his favourite retreat.

In this iconic movie set in the city of Rome, Moretti guides you through the city, admiring the penthouses on the Lungotevere Flaminio and revealing the architectural differences between neighbourhoods. The tour continues through piazzas such as Mazzini and the Spinaceto district, offering an overview of the different souls of Rome, from the historic to the contemporary. Rome reveals itself as a unique stage, captured from Nanni Moretti's perspective. 

2. The time of the colossals in Rome: Gladiator

iconic film in rome, colosseum

Some of the highlights of the most iconic movies set in Rome are the epic locations of Ridley Scott's 'The Gladiator' (2000) and experience ancient Rome. Begin your journey in the Colosseum, the largest arena in history that has survived to the present day where the protagonist Maximus (Russell Crowe) defies destiny. Stroll through the Roman Forum, scene of political intrigue and epic adventures. Head to the Circus Maximus, where spectacular chariot racing scenes take place in the film. Visit the magnificent Villa Adriana in Tivoli, filming location for the lavish residence of Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix).

Explore the atmospheric Vatican City, where the plot is intertwined with ecclesiastical politics. Continue to Campo de' Fiori and the Basilica of San Pietro in Vincoli, emblematic settings for the film.

Visit Colosseum

1. The Great Beauty of Rome

Iconic films in rome, the great beauty

Scene from the film, wikicommons

Discover the fascinating locations of another iconic film shot in Rome 'La Grande Bellezza' (2013) by Paolo Sorrentino and experience the city's enchantment through the eyes of the protagonist Jep Gambardella, played by Toni Servillo. Start your journey in the effervescent Roman nightlife, finding yourself in the elegant mansions of Piazza del Colosseo and Via Veneto, key settings in the film. Head to Hadrian's Mausoleum, where the plot unfolds amid monumental architecture and striking views of the eternal city.

Stroll through the ruins of the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana at EUR, an icon of Italian rationalist architecture immortalised in the film. Continue to the famous Pincio terrace, overlooking the Villa Borghese gardens and admiring the city at sunset. Conclude your itinerary in Trastevere, an authentic and lively neighbourhood where the beauty of Rome blends with everyday life.

Find out more about Villa Adriana

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