I have Audrey Hepburn to thank for my first trip to Rome.
Growing up I always loved her as Princess Anne, a bored royal who escapes palace life for an adventure in the eternal city.
“Roman Holiday” was filmed in Rome in 1953, and inspired me to hop on a plane with one of my best friends, and see one of the oldest cities in Europe.
On my first trip to Italy I loved visiting a few of the majestic places featured in the film. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’ll want to add it to your watchlist, and if you’re visiting, add these gems to your Rome sightseeing list!
1. Mouth of Truth
Located outside the Santa Maria in Cosmedin church is a marble mask with a unique legend. If you’re the lying type, and you sticks your hand inside the statue’s mouth- you’ll come out with no fingers!
This filming location from Roman Holiday was number one on my wish list for my first trip to Rome. I was so grateful my friends hunted it down in the rain, and found the hidden portico of the “Bocca della Verità”.
It’s one of the most memorable moments of the film, because Audrey Hepburn’s reaction this scene with Gregory Peck was completely candid!
2. Piazza di Spagna
The longest and widest staircase in Europe at Piazza di Spagna, offers one of the most unique views of Rome. Named after the Spanish Embassy that once stood nearby, it’s long been one of the most beloved sites in the city.
In the film, Princess Anne gets out on the town and takes in the views with a gelato in hand. If you visit in person, I highly recommend buying yourself a nice treat after a hike up the 138 steps.
3. Trevi Fountain
The world’s most famous fountain makes a cameo in Roman Holiday, as Princess Anne decided to give herself a new disguise.
4. Palazzo Brancaccio
The romantic Palazzo Brancaccio’s rooms were chosen as the inside of Princess Anne’s embassy, because of it’s grandiose interiors. Her grand reception ball, and living quarters show off the glamour of her charmed royal lifestyle.
Today the palace is a popular wedding and event venue, and displays a museum of Asian artworks. It’s also a popular place for film and fashion shoots, with the perfect baroque backdrop.
5. Palazzo Colonna Gallery
One of the coolest scenes in the movie, is the long walk that Joe Bradly takes at the end of the film. He makes his way quietly through the grand Colonna Gallery, showing off the incredible beauty in this famous state room.
Comissioned in the mid 1600’s by by Cardinal Girolamo I Colonna and his nephew Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna, this jewel of roman baroque arhcitecure is now a museum showing off impressive artworks and frescos.
It’s one of the symbols of Rome for a reason! Believe it or not when gladiators roamed this ancient arena, it used to be covered in marble. All that lovely cladding has since been scattered across a few different religious sites in the city.
In the film Roman holiday, Audrey holds on tight as they race through the roads past the famous colosseum. The stars riding a Vespa made an iconic movie poster for the film, during an important era for Italian filmaking.
7. Castel Sant’Angelo
In the film, the Princess’s last wish is to enjoy an evening of dancing, on a barge next the Castle. While she tries to escape the secret agents sent to track her down, this storied landmark lights up the scene.
As one of the most famous fortresses on earth, it served Rome for centuries and it’s now a popular museum. Take a look inside Castel Sant’Angelo for yourself, and see all the sweeping views of the city.
8. Roman Forum
Once the most important center of Roman life, this filming location from Roman Holiday make the perfect meeting place for the main characters.
Not only was it a central point for all commerce dating back to 500 BC, but the Roman forum was vital for community and connection for all Romans.
9. Palazzo Barberini
One look at the striking symmetry of Palazzo Barberini, and you’ll see why the filmakers chose it for the exterior of Princess Anne’s Embassy.
This Renaissance palace was built in 1633, and holds some of Italy’s most prized artworks in the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica.
Thanks so much for checking out these filming locations to visit from Roman Holiday.
I hope if you haven’t checked out the film that you give it a watch! It’s a fabulous window into a beautiful era in Rome.
If you’re headed to Rome, be sure to add these princess approved sites to your sightseeing list! You can also check out more of my favorite famous sites in rome below here.