Rome’s Mayor Ignazio Marino delivered his promise and the Oscar-winning movie the Great Beauty has turned into three tours for locals and tourists.
The movie Roman Holiday in 1953 showed Rome’s squares and beauty for the first time while seven years later Fellini’s La Dolce Vita shed light on Roman souls. Allen’s To Rome With Love was a pretty superficial film, full of stereotypes about the Eternal City, while Sorrentino aims at unveiling the real life behind Rome’s breath-taking landmarks, a stark contrast between its majestic historical sites and unprincipled characters.
The City Hall’s website also offers an online map of the three different itineraries, covering a total of 26 landmarks (the main character’s house is not included since it is a privately-owned flat), with two more key scenes – the Aqueduct Park and EUR’s big Fountain Hall – that had to be left out because they’re too far from the others.
All of the itineraries are in downtown Rome. One is 2-hour long, while the other two require 3 hours each.
We hope these tours will help expand the usually short stay of the standard 3-day/2-night tourists and have them discover new areas of the city where the ordinary life of real Romans takes place.
ITINERARY NUMBER ONE
Itinerary n. 1 brings you into western Rome, which includes the panoramic Janiculum hill, a portion of the city center and the Vatican. Strangely enough the film director Sorrentino didn’t shoot in Trastevere, which is possibly the city’s most authentic borough, nor in Monti, the city’s #1 neighborhood, from a chronological point of view.
I’d begin the tour where the movie starts and exactly at the same time: 12pm. With the big, loud cannon fire marking mid-day, a tradition at the Janiculum from 1904. A rite that however started at Castel S. Angelo in the mid-19th century. A sort of heads-up for indolent Romans.
The last stop of this tour is the restaurant La Veranda, a perfect ending!
Navona square is included in this 3-hour itinerary.
ITINERAY NUMBER TWO
This tour must necessarily start from Rome’s Monumental Cemetery Verano and finish at the Aventine keyhole. You wouldn’t want to find yourself in a cemetery when it’s dark. Furthermore, the view from the Aventine hill is much better after dusk.
If you feel like extending your tour with a visit in one of the spots of this itinerary, enter the Caracalla Baths if it’s warm/sunny, the Capitoline museums if it’s cold or rainy.
The Colosseum is part of this 3-hour walk.
ITINERARY NUMBER THREE
The last itinerary (2 hours) features a museum at both ends. Choose the direction you like.
A quick, cheap and very typical stop can be Il Buchetto with its traditional Roman style pizza in Via Flaminia. If you’re after something cooler, Tree Bar with its glass and wood design is a perfect destination for both a meal and a drink. Also in Via Flaminia.
You might also want to extend the walk with a detour into Rome’s biggest downtown park, Villa Borghese.
If you want to see one of the museums included in the itinerary, I’d strongly recommend the Etruscan Museum which will show you beautiful items of the sophisticated civilization that predated ancient Rome in current Tuscany: the Etruscans.
Following path n.3, you’ll go through the Dolce Vita’s key street, Via (Vittorio) Veneto, which starts at Barberini square.