Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn

posted Nov 9, 2011, 7:14 AM by Stefano Capoccioni
Roman Holidays Film

Roman Holiday is a film from 1953 directed by William Wyler, starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn and filmed entirely in Rome.

The splendid Princess Anna, heiress to the throne of a mysterious and powerful kingdom, goes on a diplomatic trip to the main European capitals: London, Amsterdam, Paris…and lastly Rome, the Eternal City. The night of her arrival, fed up with royal duties, formalities and clichés, she decides to flee from the embassy where she is staying as a guest.

Hidden in the caterer’s van, she starts her adventure amid the city’s streets and alleyways. An adventure that lasts one whole day and is never to be forgotten. The princess falls asleep in a street near the Roman Forum where she is found, in a bewildered state, by Joe Bradley, an American journalist working for a press agency.

Having picked up on the possible scoop, he accompanies her to his apartment in Via Margutta where she spends the night. The day after, the princess starts to wander around the city, pursued by Joe.

As so this is the start of a tour of the capital’s most charming locations, including:
• Via Margutta (the journalist’s home and neighbourhood market);
• Trevi Fountain (scene of cutting of hair);
• Spanish Steps (meeting with Bradley while enjoying an ice-cream);
• Pantheon (at the bar with the journalist’s photographer friend);
• Across Corso Vittorio Emanuele, the Colosseum, Piazza Venezia... on the legendary Vespa ride together with Joe,
• Bocca della Verità (scene of the unmentionable secret);
• Castel S.Angelo (party on the Tiber and scuffle with plain-clothes policemen looking for the princess).

At last the princess can feel free to “have a coffee, look at the shop windows, mingle with the crowds, just the same as everyone else” and manages to truly experience the city, a city with a pulsating soul. Rome is described in its everydayness, through the eyes of the locals, from the watermelon seller in Via Margutta to the barber at the Trevi Fountain, the florist in Piazza di Spagna and the ice-cream seller at the Spanish Steps...

Magical locations, timeless monuments, the traffic, colours, laughs, meetings and heated discussions. The romantic atmosphere of the River Tiber’s banks acts as an accomplice and the princess and journalist share a passionate kiss: a love story has begun.

A love story which may prove impossible to be pursued, and impossible to be forgotten, just as the spectator’s love for the city which grows, scene after scene.

The princess goes back to the embassy, the fairytale is over, but the memory remains just like the eternal nature of Rome’s marble monuments.

Her answer to the journalists who ask her what is the most beautiful place she has ever visited is “I have recently visited lots of cities ... but my favourite is most definitely Rome! Yes, Rome, without a doubt. The memory of my visit will stay with me forever, as long as I live.”


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