"Roman Holiday" Movie Walking Tour, Rome

"Roman Holiday" (1953) is a movie, filmed entirely in Rome and beloved by generations of people. Starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, the film won three Oscars, giving Hepburn a boost to her glorious film career. The main storyline centers around a day of freedom in the beautiful Italian capital for an otherwise duty-bound Princess Ann. Take the following tour to live the happiest day of her life in Rome!
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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"Roman Holiday" Movie Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: "Roman Holiday" Movie Walking Tour
Guide Location: Italy » Rome (See other walking tours in Rome)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 13
Tour Duration: 4 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 8.9 km
Author: ChristineT
1
Basilica di Santa Maria in Cosmedin

1) Basilica di Santa Maria in Cosmedin (must see)

Located at Piazza della Bocca della Verita, the Byzantine style Basilica of Saint Mary in Cosmedin (Italian: Basilica di Santa Maria in Cosmedin or de Schola Graeca) was built in the 6th century, later rebuilt in 1124 and got a new facade in the 18th century. The current interior has a nave with two aisles: these are divided by four pilasters and eighteen ancient columns. In the side walls, some of the old columns of the Statio Annonae are included. Other fragments of the ancient building can be seen in the crypt. Its bell tower is the tallest medieval belfry in Rome.

The church is home to the la Bocca della Verita, an ancient sculpture thought to be a drain covering, located in its portico; but it is worth visiting primarily for its exceptionally well preserved early medieval choir enclosure and its very fine Cosmatesque pavement. The 1st-century sculpture is believed to represent an ancient god of the Tiber River and was originally part of a fountain. It was relocated to Basilica di Santa Maria in Cosmedin in the 17th century.

***ROMAN HOLIDAY***
The Mouth of Truth ('Bocca della Verita'), considered the funniest scene in the movie 'Roman Holiday', is where Joe Bradley puts his hand into the sculpture's mouth at Basilica di Santa Maria in Cosmedin. According to legend, it would nip off the hand of a liar who'd put it in its mouth. In the film, Audrey Hepburn's reaction to the nipped Gregory Peck's hand was not an act, as he decided to pull a gag without telling her beforehand.

Why You Should Visit:
Most people come here to see the 'Bocca della Verita' (for a fee), but do take some time to visit the interior as well – you'll be amazed by the skill and beauty of the mosaic of tiles under your feet.
The exterior has a unique look, with its porches and slender bell tower.

Tip:
Across from the church is more ancient architecture in a grassy park with a fine fountain.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-5pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Roman Forum

2) Roman Forum (must see)

The Roman Forum (Italian: 'Foro Romano') is a rectangular forum (plaza) surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. It was for centuries the center of Roman public life: the site of triumphal processions and elections; the venue for public speeches, criminal trials, and gladiatorial matches; and the nucleus of commercial affairs. Here statues and monuments commemorated the city's great men. The teeming heart of ancient Rome, it has been called the most celebrated meeting place in the world, and in all history. Located in the small valley between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, the Forum today is a sprawling ruin of architectural fragments and intermittent archaeological excavations attracting 4.5 million sightseers yearly.

***ROMAN HOLIDAY: Joe Encounters Ann***
The Roman Forum would be a convenient place for Princess Ann and Joe Bradley to meet: she, on the escape from the palace; he, from a poker game at Irving Radovich's apartment. As Ann feels the effects of a sleeping pill, she rests on a brick bench near the Temple of Saturn (4th century BC) and the Arch of Septimus Severus (203 AD). That's where Joe finds her, takes pity on her and tries to take her home. Never managing to get her address, he takes her to his place by taxi. The road seen in the film, close to the ancient arch no longer exists. There used to be a road running along the northwest edge of the Roman Forum, but it has been closed for quite some time, part of it remaining as a cul-de-sac. The Temple of Saturn and the Arch of Septimus Severus are parts of the Roman Forum, a complex of the oldest and most significant constructions of the ancient city.

Why You Should Visit:
A natural follow-on from a visit to the Colosseum.

Tip:
No secret tips needed here – it's all plain to see.
Plan more time in your schedule, because once you're there you'll want to get a better sense of everything from both the top and the ground level.
Make sure to wear sunscreen and comfortable footwear, and take a bottle as there are water fountains to fill up.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 8:30am-6:15pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Palazzo Colonna (The Interview)

3) Palazzo Colonna (The Interview)

Palazzo Colonna, featured in the final scene of the film, is where Princess Ann gives her interview to the press, finally choosing duty over love. One of the largest palaces in Rome, Palazzo Colonna acquired its present Baroque design in the 17th and 18th centuries, although some parts have been there since the 13th century. It is a palatial block of buildings in central Rome, at the base of the Quirinal Hill, and adjacent to the church of Santi Apostoli. It is built in part over ruins of an old Roman Serapeum, and has belonged to the prestigious Colonna family for over twenty generations. Facing Piazza dei Santi Apostoli, today it hosts the Colonna Art Gallery. Palazzo Colonna is distinguished for its famous Sala Grande Galleria, where the actual interview took place. You might vividly remember the closing scene when the interview is over and everyone has left, Gregory Peck walks alone through the empty hall, his steps echoing, with several levels of paintings on remarkably high walls.

The Colonna Art Gallery is open to the public on Saturdays morning, featuring free guided tours in English at 11.45 a.m.
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Palazzo della Consulta (Int. Police Station)

4) Palazzo della Consulta (Int. Police Station)

The late Baroque palace was built between 1732 and 1735, designed by Ferdinando Fuga. Originally built as the Papal Tribunal, today it is the Constitutional Court of the Italian Republic. Fuga ordered the two-storey facade with a piano nobile whose windows have low arched heads set in fielded panels, over a ground floor with low mezzanine. On the lower story the panels have channeled rustication and rusticated quoins at the corners. Pilasters are applied only to the central three-bay block, which barely projects, and to the corners. The roof-line of the facade is topped by a large coat of arms of the Corsini pope, and is similar to the one of Fontana di Trevi. Lower down, at the entrance, a King of Italy installed his coat of arms. The interiors have undergone a series of fresco decorations over the centuries.

***ROMAN HOLIDAY: Police Station***
As Joe, Ann and Irving take off from G. Rocca Cafe, the wild Vespa ride through the city begins! And while Joe has no trouble driving the stylish vehicle through Rome’s traffic, Ann smashes into a few sidewalk cafe tables and some street vendor stalls. Palazzo della Consulta is where the police station they were taken to was. While not much of it is seen, it is evidenced in the glimpses of Fontana dei Dioscuri, the fountain and obelisk in front of Palazzo della Consulta at Piazza Quirinale.
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Barber Shop at Trevi Fountain (The Haircut)

5) Barber Shop at Trevi Fountain (The Haircut)

After leaving Joe Bradley's apartment, Ann goes for a walk back to her palace. As she is enjoying her stroll through Rome’s narrow streets looking into shop windows and observing street life, her eye is caught by a young Italian woman with a short, trendy haircut coming out of a barber shop. She doesn’t hesitate to enter and ask the barber, Mario Delani, to cut her hair. That shop was located east of Trevi Fountain (1629), at Via della Stamperia 85, just left of the large rectangular entrance. Today it is a leather shop. Joe Bradley tries to steal a camera from a little American girl at Trevi Fountain to snap a shot of Ann getting her hair cut. Nowadays, as in 1953, the largest Baroque fountain in Rome is full of tourists. This fountain was also featured in Fellini’s "La Dolce Vita" in 1960.
6
Galleria Alberto Sordi (American News Service Office)

6) Galleria Alberto Sordi (American News Service Office)

In the film, Joe Bradley is a journalist at the American News Service Office in Rome. And if you have ever wondered where the actual headquarters is, it was located in Galleria Alberto Sordi (formerly Palazzo della Galleria Colonna) at Piazza Colonna. Although the actual filming of the interior of Mr. Hennessey’s office was shot in the studio, the view through his window is unmistakably the marble Column of Marcus Aurelius (193 AD) and the fountain in Piazza de Colonna (1577) in front of Galleria Alberto Sordi, a 1914 Art Nouveau building which is now contains a shopping arcade on the ground floor and offices on the upper floors.
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
G. Rocca Cafe at Pantheon (Meeting Irving)

7) G. Rocca Cafe at Pantheon (Meeting Irving)

After Joe runs into Ann eating gelato at the Spanish Steps, and the two of them agree to spend a holiday, "sit at a sidewalk cafe and look in shop windows, walk in the rain—have fun, and maybe some excitement," Joe claims to know "just the place. Rocca's" to fulfill her first wish. G. Rocca Cafe next to the Pantheon (126 AD) at the northwest corner of its facade, is the place where Ann drinks champagne at breakfast, meets Irving Radovich, Joe's colleague and photographer, and smokes her first cigarette. At the corner of Via della Rotonda, it is no longer a cafe but a trendy fashion store.
8
Oratorio dei Filippini (The Bell Tower Moment)

8) Oratorio dei Filippini (The Bell Tower Moment)

If you happen to be on one of Via Margutta's numerous balconies facing south, you can see the beautiful Baroque bell tower seen from the window of Joe's apartment. The one that rings to awaken Joe the day the Princess' interview is canceled. It is really located on the opposite side of downtown. The bell tower, which is actually a turret, belongs to the Oratorio dei Filippini (Oratory of Saint Phillip Neri), a building erected between 1637 and 1650 under the supervision of architect Francesco Borromini. The fabulous turret was added in 1649 at the corner of the oratory and faces Piazza dell'Orologio. The oratory is adjacent to the Chiesa Nuova Santa Maria in Vallicella, the mother church of the congregation. In front of the two sides was a small closed square, now integrated in the Corso Vittorio Emanuele II.
Sight description based on wikipedia
9
Castel Sant'Angelo (Night of Dancing on the River)

9) Castel Sant'Angelo (Night of Dancing on the River)

You surely remember when Princess Ann is invited to a night of dancing on a barge on the Tiber River by Mario Delani, the barber who gave her the new haircut. The excitement and fun of the scene is truly terrific, especially the scuffle and mess created by secret agents chasing the Princess, and her priceless move, hitting an agent with a guitar, making him the "crowned head" of the night. Although it is no longer there, the barge used to be moored between Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II (1886) and Ponte Sant'Angelo (134 AD), located at the foot of Castel Sant'Angelo, a 2nd century mausoleum of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. Over the centuries it has served as a castle, papal residence, prison and is now the National Museum of Castel Sant'Angelo. The night of dancing ends with an escape jump into the river.
10
Via Margutta 51 (Joe Bradley’s Apartment)

10) Via Margutta 51 (Joe Bradley’s Apartment)

Joe Bradley’s apartment on Via Margutta 51 is a famous address. And while the apartment's interior, along with the spiral staircase were a studio set, all the outside features of its courtyard are real. The arched wooden entrance is just two doors north from Vicolo dell'Orto di Napoli. If you go inside you'll find yourself in a wide court, on the right is the apartment that was featured as an artist’s studio, and far in the back a tunnel passageway (note the eagle sculpture atop the entrance) leads up to another landing. This landing is featured in the film when Joe lends Ann money and you can spot the landlord's balcony above the tunnel. If you want to find Joe's apartment door you'll have to go up several flights of stairs, keeping to the right. The view we get from Joe's terrace was surely shot from one of these courtyard apartments.
11
Piazza di Spagna

11) Piazza di Spagna (must see)

Piazza di Spagna and the Spanish Steps are among the most popular tourist attractions in Rome, a popular meeting point for many. Completed in 1725, these famous 138 famous steps (the widest staircase in Europe) link Piazza di Spagna and Piazza Trinita dei Monti with Chiesa della Trinita dei Monti.

One of the most famous squares of Rome, Piazza di Spagna owes its name to the Palazzo di Spagna, seat of the Embassy of Spain among the Holy See. In the middle of the square is the famous Fontana della Barcaccia, dating to the beginning of the baroque age, sculpted by Pietro Bernini and his son, the more famous Gian Lorenzo Bernini. At the right corner of the Spanish Steps there is the house of the English poet John Keats, nowadays changed into a museum dedicated to him and his friend Percy Bysshe Shelley, full of books and memorabilia of English Romanticism. At the left corner there is the Babington's tea room, founded in 1893. The side near Via Frattina is overlooked by the two facades of the Palazzo di Propaganda Fide, a property of the Holy See. In front of it, there is the Column of the Immaculate Conception, erected in 1856, two years after the proclamation of the dogma.

***ROMAN HOLIDAY: Joe Meets Ann Again***
Fresh after haircut, Princess Ann sits on the steps, enjoying the view, eating gelato. After taking compliments for her new look, she confesses to Joe Bradley that she had run away from school and takes his proposal to spend the day together before she returns. And here the holiday begins!

Why You Should Visit:
Lovely central place where you can take beautiful photos.
If you like crowded spots with history, nice fountains and tourist activities like carriages and bars, then this is the place for you.

Tip:
Best time to visit it is in the afternoon and later – also because of the heat.
Sight description based on wikipedia
12
Palazzo Barberini (Princess Ann's Embassy)

12) Palazzo Barberini (Princess Ann's Embassy)

This magnificent Renaissance palace completed in 1633, with several generations of architects working on its design, Carlo Maderno and Francesco Borromini among them, today houses Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, one of the most important painting collections in Italy. The palace also houses the Italian Institute of Numismatics.

***ROMAN HOLIDAY: Princess Ann's Embassy***
Palazzo Barberini, Via delle Quattro Fontane, is where Princess Ann’s Embassy is during her stay in Rome. Note its wonderfully ornate gate featured in the film welcoming Princess Ann’s delegation, and also in the scenes of her escape from the palace. Either due to availability issues or for aesthetic purposes, interior shots were made in Palazzo Brancaccio, while the interior of Palazzo Barberini was not featured in the film.
Sight description based on wikipedia
13
Palazzo Brancaccio (Princess Ann's Embassy)

13) Palazzo Brancaccio (Princess Ann's Embassy)

Palazzo Brancaccio was the filming location of all the interior shots of Princess Ann’s Embassy. Although the location is supposed to be Palazzo Barberini (and we see its exterior in the movie), Palazzo Brancaccio's rooms were chosen to be the inner set. Built in 1880 and considered to be the last noble palace of Rome ever constructed, several rooms are featured in the film. Most remarkable would be the magnificent Baroque room where the Reception Ball was held, Her Highness' dormitory and the Hall of Mirrors. Remember Ann, looking through the window at people dancing in the nearby garden party and wishing she were there? This shot, along with the general view from the window were surely filmed from Palazzo Brancaccio. You might also remember Ann escaping her room from the balcony. Some of the palace's exterior decorations can also be seen. Palazzo Brancaccio is located on Viale del Monte Oppio, between the Colosseum and the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore.

Walking Tours in Rome, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Rome

Create Your Own Walk in Rome

Creating your own self-guided walk in Rome is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Monti and Celio Walking Tour

Monti and Celio Walking Tour

To stay close to the action in Rome but be able to mingle more with the locals, look no further than the districts of Monti and Celio. Although Monti – the city's oldest district – doesn't boast grand monuments, it more than makes up for that with its lively, friendly atmosphere. Sitting on the fountain steps at Piazza Madonna ai Monti and watching the world go by is as rewarding as any visit to the Colosseum or Palatine Hill. Neatly enough, you'll find both of these in the neighboring Celio. There's much more, however, than impressive archaeology that you can discover by taking this tour.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 km
Trevi and Colonna Walking Tour

Trevi and Colonna Walking Tour

The Trevi rione (district) of Rome, which is the 2nd rione, is most famous for the Trevi Fountain, as well as for being home to several magnificent public libraries. Colonna is the 3rd rione of Rome and takes its name from the rione's most famous landmark, the Column of Marcus Aurelius in the Piazza Colonna. Colonna is also home to several palazzos, churches and other landmarks.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 km
City Orientation Walk II

City Orientation Walk II

The glory of Ancient Rome is known throughout the entire world and each year millions of tourists travel to Rome to visit its ancient sites. Rome's historic center is packed with so many landmarks and works of art, that it would take days to see it all. The following tour offers you a walk by the most remarkable, must see sites in Rome's ancient center.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 km
Pincian Hill Area Walk

Pincian Hill Area Walk

Pincian Hill, overlooking the Campus Martius, lies outside the original boundaries of the ancient city of Rome. It was not one of the Seven hills of Rome, but it' is located within Aurelian wall. The Hill is home to the Pincio Gardens, an impressive park with terraces offering great views of Rome. Take this tour to explore the Pincian Hill and visit such famous sites as the Galleria Borghese, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna and Bioparco.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 km
Holy Sites Walking Tour

Holy Sites Walking Tour

Being the cradle of the Catholic Church, one of the world's biggest religions, Rome has a large number of valuable, sacred places of worship. Crowded with architectural splendors from different periods of time, each church and basilica represents a significant part of Rome's culture and history. Take the following tour to discover Rome's magnificent religious heritage.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.9 km
Museums Walk

Museums Walk

As an ancient and cultural city, Rome is packed with museums which demonstrate its value in the world of culture and civilization. When it comes to art, Rome contains the most significant artifacts in the world, including sculptures, paintings, pottery, and porcelain; all hidden within the splendid palaces of the city. Take the following tour to better acquaint yourself with the splendors of Rome.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.7 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


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Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Rome for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Rome has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes


To save yourself time and money visiting Rome's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as the Rome Tourist Card, OMNIA Card, Best of Rome Sightseeing Pass, or Omnia Vatican and Rome Pass.

A city pass combines all of or multiple Rome and Vatican City's top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows you to skip the lines at major attractions, thus saving you precious time. Some of them you don't even have to pick up but can scan straight on your phone at any of the city's major attractions/museums!

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels


Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Rome hotels that are conveniently located, but at the same time, also not so ridiculously expensive: Corso 281 Luxury Suites, Hotel Cosmopolita, Hotel Piazza Venezia.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Rome, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours


We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of Rome typically costs from around US$20 up to US$80 or more per person:

- Board a hop-on hop-off double-decker to enjoy sightseeing of Rome and the Vatican City from the open top of the bus, listening in the headsets to the commentary provided in a variety of languages, and be able get off at any of the stops along the route.

- Cruise along the river Tiber on a similar hop-on hop-off sightseeing boat to view Rome's top attractions from a different angle and be able to get on and off as often as you want at any of the stops along the Tiber riverbanks. The ticket is valid for one day (24 hrs) and may be upgraded to include a hop-on hop-off bus tour as well.

- Embark on a self-balancing Segway tour – this usually lasts 3 hours and allows visitors to get a real sense of the city. Most people (even those aged 70+) find it quite fun and convenient, enabling to cover much more ground than you otherwise would have done by walking.

- Pedal your way around Rome on a 3-hour bike and food tour to visit the city's most spectacular sights, stopping at each of them for a bit of rest, watching the surroundings, and learning much about the Eternal City from an informative group leader, plus savor some of the iconic food of the Italian capital.

- Come see all of Roman highlights at a great discount on the Rome Super Saver tour combining two best-selling guided tours for the price of one! Be guaranteed to skip the lines to all the major sights like Colosseum, Roman Forum, and more.

- Take a guided walk to explore Rome's renaissance after the demise of the Roman Empire, learn about the contribution of many popes towards the Eternal City's rise to its present glory. Along with viewing the iconic landmarks, on this tour you will also get a chance to taste Rome's famous gelato (ice-cream).

- Step back in time to the days of the Roman Empire on a 3-hour night tour of Rome to discover the city's top attractions in a different light. Experience Rome's nighttime ambiance amid the twilight and the evening lights adding a romantic touch to the famous sights.

- Explore the artistic trail of Caravaggio in the Italian capital on the Caravaggio walking tour of Rome paying tribute to the great artist's legacy manifested in numerous paintings throughout the city (churches and monuments). Ideal for those on a short visit to Rome and not sure where to start!

- Combine sightseeing with cooking on a 4-hour experience incorporating the “best of Rome” walking tour and the authentic pizza-making class led by a professional Italian pizza chef.

Day Trips


If you have a full or half day to spare whilst in Rome, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations, like the chic island of Capri, ancient Ostia, Siena and San Gimignano, Assisi and Spoleto, Amalfi сoast, or the ancient city of Pompeii. For as little as US$70+ to US$170+ per person you will get a chance to discover the highlights of the UNESCO World Heritage sites including gorgeous coastal scenery, historic seaport, charming medieval structures, birthplace of St. Francis, founder of the Franciscan religious order, ancient Roman ruins, and more. For any of these tours you will be picked up either straight at your hotel or a designated place in Rome, and transported by a comfortable air-conditioned bus, boat or a private vehicle (whichever is applicable) to the destination of your choice and back again.