Many memorable films have been filmed in Italy’s historic capital. With picturesque landmarks like the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish steps, it easy to see why directors choose the Eternal City as their backdrop. The 1953 classic film, “Roman Holiday,” starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck may be one of the best known movies filmed in Rome. It includes many famous Roman sights and its most memorable scene features Bocca della Verita, a marble sculpture in the Church of Santa Maria. Another popular film, “National Lampoon’s European Vacation,” features the beautiful Piazza dell’Esquilino and its 1600-year-old Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.
Recently many Hollywood blockbusters have been filmed in Rome. In “Eat Pray Love,” Julia Roberts embarks on a journey of self-discovery and heads to Rome’s 2,000-year-old city square at Piazza Navona. The famous square is also the backdrop for the film’s poster which features Roberts enjoying gelato on a stone bench. Dan Brown’s thriller, “Angel and Demons” takes place in St. Peter’s Square, however, the Catholic Church would not allow filming to take place in there. The movie features photo stills, scale models and computer generated images of Vatican City. Another movie that many people do not realize was actually filmed in Rome was Martin Scorcese’s “Gangs of New York.” A whole neighborhood of 19th century New York buildings was recreated in Cinecitta Studios in Rome and scenes were also filmed in the Villa Borghese gardens.