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Must-Watch Movies Set in Rome

April 22, 2020
Rome is perhaps the most cinematic city in the world. With its countless historic monuments, grandiose tourist spots, and the passionate people who live here, who won't want a move that's set here. It's the perfect setting for any movie to go all out, whether a period epic or a romantic love story. So it's no surprise that many movies—some are award-winning masterpieces while others are box office hits—have not only set their movies in the Italian capital, but actually shot here as well. Here's a good number of them that you should see, especially if you're planning a trip to the city.

Must-Watch Movies Set in Rome

 

La Dolce Vita

If there ever was te "quintessential Rome-set movie" it'd definitely be Federico Fellini's "La Dolce Vita." The film, particularly its title, has since come to define what the luxurious, jet-setting lifestyle is all about. When you hear those immortal words, "La Dolce Vita," it's about the pleasures of living in Rome and the movie that has put it to light. Marcello Mastroianni stars as Marcello Rubini, a news reporter who explores Rome during its ungodliest hours. Throughout the film, he goes from one romantic and sexual escapade to another, all while revelling in the quirky, fantastical, and luxurious crowd in Roman society. 

Must-Watch Movies Set in Rome

Source: Wikimedia Commons

 

Roman Holiday

The film that introduced Audrey Hepburn to the world. For many movie-goers, it's the leading star's innocent charm and beautiful outfits that are often remembered about "Roman Holiday." However, the film itself is almost like a tourism ad campaign or cinematic postcard from the "Eternal City." As Hepburn, who plays a runway European princess, and Gregory Peck, who plays a new reporter assigned in Rome, travel throughout the city, both they and the audience get to see all of its beauty and charm. It's a dreamy romantic comedy that shows both Hollywood and Rome at their finest. 

Must-Watch Movies Set in Rome

Source: Wikimedia Commons

 

The Gladiator

During Ancient Rome, slaves and prisoners were forced to partake in duels to the death for the entertainment of the free and noble people. They were called the gladiators, and each literally had to fight for their own lives, all while throngs of people cheered and jeered from the stands. This was the setting for the box-office hit, "The Gladiator," starring Russel Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix. Through a tale of power-grabs and gory battles, the movie shows the city's violent and amoral past. It also highlights the Colosseum, one of Rome's most famous landmarks, as the primary setting for all the battle scenes. 

Must-Watch Movies Set in Rome

Source: Wikimedia Commons

 

Angels & Demons

The 2009 mystery thriller, "Angels & Demons" could easily be a great tourist ad campaign to lure visitors to Rome if not for the creepy plot and spine-tingling mysteries. Here, Tom Hanks reprises his role as Robert Langdon, a symbologist professor who has often worked with important agencies to solve mysteries and avoid world-changing tragedies. This time around, it's the Vatican who seeks his help. Whilst in the middle of an election for a new pope, they've gotten hints that a murderer plans to take out the top four choices for the papal seat. Furthermore, the master criminal allegedly plans to take out a good chunk of the population, so it's up to Professor Langdon to try and stop him. 

Must-Watch Movies Set in Rome

Source: Wikimedia Commons

 

Nine

With a city as opulent and grandiose as Rome, it's only natural that a movie musical will be set here. The film in question is the cinematic adaptation of the broadway musical, "Nine," itself an adaptation of the Federico Fellini's 1963 semi-autobiographical film, "8 1/2." With an all-star cast of Hollywood heavyweights, it's the kind of move that matches the Italian capital's extravagance. Daniel Day-Lewis stars as Guido Contini, Italy's most prolific director who's currently suffering writer's block for his next film, "Roma." In his search for his inspiration, he explores all the women in his life: his wife Luisa, his mistress Carla, his muse Claudia, and more. 

Must-Watch Movies Set in Rome

Source: IMDb

 

To Rome with Love

Rome has often rivalled the likes of Paris and Barcelona as the "City of Love." There seems to be something in the air here that leads people, locals and tourists alike, to fall in love. And it's this strange and wonderful phenomenon that acclaimed yet controversial director Woody Allen explores in his 2010 film, "To Rome With Love." The film is a collection of different stories, completely unrelated to each other, that each touch on the power o friendship and love within the "Eternal City." Even though each tale is not intertwined with each other, the common thread for all is that Rome seems to bring out certain emotions and affections in people. 

Must-Watch Movies Set in Rome

Source: IMDb

 

With its significant history, jaw-dropping opulence, and passionate lifestyle, Rome has become a filmmaker's dream. These incredible movies show that the Italian capital works wonders as both a backdrop and a central figure in their complex stories. 

 



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