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Now and Then: Five Film Locations in Rome

The streets of Rome have provided the backdrop for countless memorable moments in cinema, from Anita Ekberg in the Trevi fountain to Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck at the Mouth of Truth, just about every famous sight in the centre of the city has made an appearance on the big screen at one point or another.


Then again, the same can also be said for many of the city's quieter corners. One of the defining features of the Neo-Realism movement in the 1940s and 1950s was that filmmakers moved away from established film studios, and into the streets, in search of authentic outdoor locations which captured the physical and socio-economic landscape of the capital in the aftermath of the Second World War.

In the years that followed, Rome would become a film set in and of itself, as well as a constant canvas for the likes of Rossellini, De Sica and Fellini, who would collectively capture the city's many different faces, and shed light on the grit as well as the glamour. Here are a handful of locations which are often overlooked, but have nonetheless played their part in iconic works of Italian cinema over the years:

1. Giardino Degli Aranci and the Basilica di Santa Sabina

Paolo Sorrentino's The Great Beauty (2013) is without doubt one of the most colourful portraits of Rome to have been made in recent years, and amongst the glitz, glamour and debauchery, it also makes use of some stunning open spaces. One of those is Giardino Degli Aranci and the adjacent Basilica di Santa Sabina, which feature early on in the film as Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo) makes his way home after a feverish opening party sequence. 


Located on the Aventine Hill, this spot also features briefly in Fellini's The Nights of Cabiria (1957). Around the 90 minute mark of the film you can see Giulietta Mesina and François Périer walking along the viewing point with a glimpse of the city in the background.

2. Via Francesco Crispi

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