Source: Wikimedia Commons
Did you know that Roman Holiday, the 1953 film that launched Audrey Hepburn‘s career, was the first American movie to be shot entirely in Italy? In addition to Hepburn’s career, it also launched Rome onto the world stage as a major cultural destination once more. Today, we’re touring of some of Roman Holiday‘s most memorable filming locations.
Close to the famous Spanish Steps (which were also featured in the film) is Via Margutta 51, the apartment where Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) lives. Because of the film, Via Margutta, a small yet picturesque street, went through a number of transformations. Prior to the film, it was known as an artist’s retreat, as big names like Fellini, Picasso, and Puccini were associated with it. Following the success of Roman Holiday, real estate prices soared, driving out many artists. Today, the street has reclaimed its artsy beginnings as a “design destination” lined with boutique shops and there are actually artist studios in the building where Peck lived in the film.
Joe bringing the princess back to his apartment, approximately 20 minutes into the film.
Via Margutta today, right outside the complex that contains Joe’s apartment
Palazzo Barberini and Palazzo Brancaccio both represented the embassy of Princess Ann’s (Hepburn’s) home country. Palazzo Barberini was used for exterior shots and Palazzo Brancaccio’s rooms were filmed for interior scenes. The two palaces are actually quite different in their histories and usages. Palazzo Barberini was constructed during the 1600s, commissioned by and for Pope Urban VIII, a member of the prominent Barberini family. In 1950, just three years before the film was released, the European Convention on Human Rights was signed at the palace. Today, it houses the Galeria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, which is considered one of the most important painting collections in Italy.
In contrast, Palazzo Brancaccio dates back to 1880 and was the last Roman palace ever constructed. Mary Elizabeth Field, the American wife of Salvatore Brancaccio, used the venue mostly for grand parties. Today, the banquet hall can be booked for weddings and other major events.