Europe Travel Travel Tips

How to have a classic Roman Holiday

Ahhhh Roma! This “Eternal City” is often on everyone’s bucket list due to the food, people and ancient sites. Those are not the only reasons why you need to visit Rome. But alas, Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck’s 1953 movie, “Roman Holiday”. I’m going to show you a few of the sites shown in the movie but first, let’s talk about the film!


Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck put the legend to a test. Photo: Wikipedia

The Film

It was filmed entirely in Rome and the story centers around Princess Ann (played by Hepburn), who sneaks out of the embassy and explores Rome without her security guards.  She meets an American reporter, Joe Bradley (played by Peck) who finds her sleeping on a park bench near the Roman Forum. Later, Joe decides to take Ann on a tour of Rome all while getting a juicy story for the newspaper (unknowing to Ann.) It is on Netflix if you want to watch it for the first time or the 50th!


The Trevi Fountain

“You look nice without long hair, now it’s cool,” said the barber. Anne smiled coyly “it’s just what I wanted.” 

Make your way over to the Trevi Fountain, not only to toss a coin but to reminisce Joe trying to steal a camera from a little girl so he could get a snapshot of Princess Ann’s new haircut at the barber around the corner. Why was this haircut so important to capture? Princess Ann lives a strict and scheduled life where everything’s decided for her – including how to wear her hair. The haircut was definitely a rebellious act!


The Spanish Steps 

This is where it all began (well actually it did at the Roman Forum), halfway up the Spanish Steps Audrey Hepburn’s character sat and ate a gelato with her new friend, Joe. Around the corner from Piazza di Spagna make your way to Via Margutta where her cunning companion resided in a studio apartment at number 51. This is where he took Ann after finding her asleep on the park bench. Via Condotti is right in front of the Spanish Steps if you want to take a stroll and do some window shopping (one of Ann’s wishes for the day.)


The Pantheon 

“First wish – one sidewalk cafe coming right up! I know just the place, Rocca’s,” said Joe.

While Rocca’s does not exist around the corner, there are plenty of cafes and shops for coffee and champagne around the Pantheon. Don’t forget to visit the Pantheon before or after your coffee break, it’s over 2,000 years old. The enormous oculus is stunning as well as the exterior columns.


The Mouth of Truth

“The Mouth of Truth! The legend is that if you’re given to lying, you put your hand in there it’ll be bitten off!” Joe teased. Ann looked at him in disbelief, “Ooh, what a horrid idea.”

In this very playful scene between Hepburn and Peck’s characters they are testing out the Mouth of Truth. I have a blog post about the legend and the statue which you can read here. Ann put her hand in the statue’s mouth and of course it didn’t get bitten off. However, when Joe did it – he gave Ann a scare! I’ll let you watch the movie to find out what happened *wink wink*.


Castel Sant’Angelo 

This is the part of the movie when they go dancing at a party on a barge in front of this massive fortress. This is the party that Ann was invited to by the barber who cut her hair earlier in the film. She met the barber, Mario Delani and agreed to dance with him. I thought it was hilarious when he took his comb out of his pocket and fixed Ann’s bangs on the dance floor!

If you haven’t seen this movie and you’re a big fan of Rome, then you should watch it. It’s a great way to cure your wanderlust for classic Rome while you “Netflix and chill” on a Saturday night. Don’t forget the wine!









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  • Reply
    October 14, 2016 at 11:29 am

    Totally forgot about that film – I’ll watch in on the plane when I’m flying to Rome in a month. It’s a surprise trip for my boyfriend and how nice would it be to let him know where we’re going through this film 🙂

    • Reply
      October 14, 2016 at 1:17 pm

      Hi Kathi! Thank you so much for reading! Roman Holiday is such a classic and makes me want to visit Rome over and over again 🙂

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