"Roman Holiday" Movie Walking Tour (Self Guided), 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!

Getting to Sight #1. The first tour stop (Palazzo Brancaccio) is a short walk from Termini Train Station or can be reached by Bus: 105,16,70, 75, 714; Train: FC3, FL4, FL5; Metro: A, B; Tram: 5 and 14.
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: 9.0 Km or 5.6 Miles
Author: ChristineT
1
Palazzo Brancaccio (Princess Ann's Embassy)

1) 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.
2
Palazzo Barberini (Princess Ann's Embassy)

2) 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.

***Movie "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
3
Spanish Steps

3) Spanish Steps (must see)

The famous Spanish Steps is one of Rome's iconic destinations and a favorite meeting point. The steps got their name from the Spanish Embassy that once stood nearby, in Piazza di Spagna. Built around 300 years ago, this is the longest and widest staircase in Europe leading up to a beautiful 16th-century church, called Trinità dei Monti (Trinity of the Mountains).

Nowadays filled with tourists from all over the world, from as early as the 18th century it has been a popular spot with artists, poets, and later Hollywood filmmakers. The latter, in turn, attracted to the steps many beautiful women seeking to become models, as well as rich Romans, international travelers and people from all the other walks of life. The tradition of meeting at the Spanish Steps is now firmly embedded in the Romans as well as the guests of the Italian capital.

Sitting at the foot of the steps, to the right, is the house-museum of John Keats, the famed English poet of Romanticism, who used to live here. Also nearby is Babington's tea room, a place that has survived two world wars and numerous hardships prior to becoming a staple tourist attraction.

***Movie "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:
If you like places with a great deal of history and photogenic appeal, the Spanish Steps is definitely the one.
In terms of tourist activities, you can enjoy carriages, as well as many shops and bars.
And the main drag here is the picturesque views of Rome opening from the very top of the staircase, particularly at sunset. A truly unbeatable sight!

Tip:
Best time to visit it is in the afternoon and later – also because of the heat.
4
Via Margutta 51 (Joe Bradley’s Apartment)

4) 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.
5
Castel Sant'Angelo (Night of Dancing on the River)

5) 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.
6
Oratorio dei Filippini (The Bell Tower Moment)

6) 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
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
Galleria Alberto Sordi (American News Service Office)

8) 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
9
Barber Shop at Trevi Fountain (The Haircut)

9) 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.
10
Palazzo della Consulta (Int. Police Station)

10) 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.

***Movie "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
11
Palazzo Colonna (The Interview)

11) 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
12
Roman Forum

12) Roman Forum (must see)

Perhaps one of, if not *the* most celebrated meeting spot in the world of all times, the Roman Forum, for centuries, had been the nerve center of ancient Rome's public life.

It is believed that people first gathered here around 500 BC, initially for day-to-day trading at a marketplace. Over the next few centuries, as more activities started to take place here, such as voting, public speaking, social gatherings, criminal trials, gladiator matches, religious ceremonies and business deals, this small valley between the Palatine and Capitoline hills gradually turned into a multi-purpose hub filled with buildings, arches, streets and monuments.

The ancient Romans were incredibly well organized and the placement of sites within the Forum still makes a lot of sense even today. The best-known sights here include the Senate House, the Temple of Saturn, the Arch of Titus, the Temple of Vesta, the Rostra, the Temple of Castor and Pollus, Via Sacra, and others.

Unlike the Imperial Fora modeled on an ancient Greek town square, the Roman Forum developed gradually and organically. It was reconstructed many times throughout the existence, attesting to which are the traces of influence of different architectural styles from different periods. Most of the ancient Forum was destroyed in the 5th century AD, around the time when the Roman Empire fell into decline.

Even though now reduced to crumbling ruins, the Forum still remains a historic relic of incalculable value attracting annually some 5 million visitors.

Allow yourself sufficient time to explore this location, as you may find it captivating and be eager to see more of it as you go. It is also recommended to wear sunscreen and comfortable shoes, plus to carry a bottle of water.

***Movie "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; an amazing place to wander through and relive the glory that was Rome.

Tip:
No secret tips needed here – it's all plain to see, although a guide is really helpful to explain the centuries of information involved.
It is also possible to hire an audioguide from a small booth just above the Arch of Titus near the Colosseum. The guide contains an audio jack meaning that two people can easily share one.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 8:30am-4:30pm (Jan 2–Feb 15); 8:30am-5pm (Feb 16–Mar 15); 8:30am-5:30pm (Mar 16–last Sat of March); 8:30am-7:15pm (last Sun of March–Aug 31); 8:30am-7pm (Sep 1–30); 8:30am-6:30pm (Oct 1–last Sat of Oct); 8:30am-4:30pm (last Sun of Oct–Dec 31)
Last admission always one hour before closing time. CLOSED: Dec 25, Jan 1.
13
Basilica di Santa Maria in Cosmedin

13) 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.

***Movie "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

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