My “Roman Holiday”
I had 10 hours in Rome. I was on a layover with destination to Dubrovnik. I was so excited because I had not been since six years ago and I had a blast that time with my best friend and his family. This time I decided to do a self-guided tour of the locations where 1953 film “Roman Holiday” was filmed. Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck were the protagonists and it was Hepburn’s first film. She won an Oscar for it later that year!
You do not understand how big of a fan I am and to know that I was going to be walking the same areas as her gave me goosebumps so I googled my plan. I used GPS My City to help me with this venture, for which I am truly thankful. It had a route map with all the locations, numbered and a detailed history for each.
I decided for my first stop to be Mouth of Truth. I took the subway to get there but I got there too late. They close at 17:00 and I got there at 17:38. I didn’t really care because they weren’t going to let me put my hand in the mouth anyway. In the film, Reporter Joe Bradley tells Princess Ann that who ever put their hand in it, it would get nipped if they were a liar. That whole morning Princess Ann told Joe that she was a student who had run away from school and that whole morning Joe told “Annia” that he sold fertilizer. Princess Ann of course is very skeptical to put her hand in as was Joe but he did it anyways for a huge laugh. When he puts his arm in he fakes a great deal of pain and takes his arm out having tuck his hand in his coat appearing that his hand had gotten nipped. Actor Gregory Peck told director William Wilder he would do that and not tell Audrey Hepburn so the on camera reaction could be as genuine as possible. It turned out to be the funniest scene of the film.
After an amazing view and picture taking I kept going. I saw more Piazzas and more amazing Roman monuments. I even caught a glimpse of this guy.
So much walking made me hungry but I needed one more location before I could make my much needed stop. I wanted to find the location where Princess Ann needs to say goodbye so she could continue her royal duties. According to books and documentaries I have seen, she was having such a difficult time to be able to cry. The director gets fed up and he yells at her to get over whatever block she was going through and to cry! It is the final meaningful scene between her and Joe. That made her so angry and she finally cried. Princess Ann: I don’t know how to say goodbye. I can’t think of any words. Joe Bradley: Don’t try. [They sadly hug and kiss] Gets me every time. Are you all okay (sniffles) ? Okay me too. I didn’t find it. I’m so upset. BUT Palazzo Colonna is the venue where as Princess Ann, she gives the interview to the press. Final scene.
Great! Now I could finally eat. Even though I was dying for pasta or pizza or whatever fattening grotesquely delicious carb I could put in my body, I chose gelato.
Pistachio is my favorite Italian gelato and always will be.
My favorite location was Fontana di Trevi. This place is truly magical. From selfies to proposals to making wishes. Do not leave without throwing your coin in the fountain. I mean, guys…..
How could this not turn out to be your favorite spot? While Princess Ann doesn’t dwell much with the fountain, she does notice a young woman with a rather short haircut. She goes into the barber shop by the fountain and gets her own similar custom model. She looks lovely. Always.
Small but Meaningful Detour
I continue my venture to the Spanish Steps but I get distracted by Church of Sant’Andrea delle Frate. I was walking on Via delle Mercede and this church called out to me. Everywhere I go, I try and go to a church and just sit and pray and be thankful. This time I didn’t and I didn’t because to my right I saw an altar of Our Lady of the Miracle. My sister gave me the same image on a medal to hang from my neck. It looked so similar. So as the priest was escorting us out I stopped in the middle of the doorway mind you, and had to ask him if it was the same image as the one my little sister gave me. He kept shaking his head no. I kept pointing at it and showing it to him and he kept shaking his head. I think a couple of onlookers were either annoyed and wanted to keep the exit moving or something because Enrico answered my question. He said it was the image on my medal. I knew it! After further researching this inquisition I found that my medal is the Medal of the Immaculate Conception. It is known to Catholics however, as the Miraculous Medal.
“The front of the medal depicts Mary standing on a globe, with the head of a serpent beneath her feet. Circling the oval-shaped medal is the signature, “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.” On the reverse, twelve stars surround a large “M,” from which a cross arises. Below the “M,” the medal depicts two flaming hearts. The left heart, circled with thorns, represents Jesus. The right heart, pierced by a sword, symbolizes Mary.”
–Dan Valenti writes for numerous publications of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, both online and in print. He also authors “Dan Valenti’s Journal,” which can be found at thedivinemercy.org.
My medal 🙂
Enrico and his friend Veronica were walking with me outside of the church and not even have finished telling me the story about the church, Enrico started with more stories of Rome. He and Veronica were tourists in their own city and I felt like the luckiest girl because genuine Romans were talking to me about their history. Just like that we exchanged our Whatsapp info and talked about when we would meet again but not before Enrico and Veronica told me about where their favorite pizza spot was so I could try pizza napoletana. We walked to Piazza di Spagna first, took pictures just like tourists and then they walked me to ReCafé, a pizzeria along Piazza Augusto Imperatore. I ordered a margherita pizza with my white wine and a glass of water. I was of course alone at this point and looking at my surroundings and day dreaming. All of a sudden the waiter places the pizza in front of me and it was a pizza in the shape of a heart! I did not know if it was something they did but I looked around and others were not like that. The couple next to me were happily surprised as well and I am pretty sure they said something in Italian to me but I did not understand. I motioned to the waiter about my pizza and he pointed to the chef inside. The chef gleefully waived and I waived back and smiled. That was such a sweet gesture. I will never forget it. It positively made my night. Speaking of pizza, this is a great link about the top 10 pizzerias in Rome. Enjoy 🙂
“I wasn’t as lucky as Princess Ann.”
The last time I came to Rome, The Spanish Steps was my favorite place but in this trip they were being cleaned and it was fenced off. It was so unfortunate because this is the scene where Princess Ann buys her gelato right after getting her haircut and is sitting on one of the cement blocks in between the steps just chilling out. It was so funny because in the film she is looking at flowers and the flower shop owner practically puts the flowers in her hand and she kept saying she didn’t have any money. He finally takes them away and lets her keep one. The same thing sort of happened to me. This is my story. There was a flower vendor (gypsy) around there and he kept placing the flowers in my hand and I kept saying I didn’t have any money and he kept saying “Okay okay, flowers here are good luck!”. I said thank you, kept them and started walking. I mean who wouldn’t? I honestly thought he was just giving them to me. Here I am showing off about what a world traveler I am. H-E-L-L-O! Never ever take anything from anyone without expecting to pay for it. He then continued to follow me and asked me where I was from. I always say México. He then said “Hey, a little money. Something.” I kept saying I didn’t have any so I gave him back the roses. This man did not let me keep scrap. Boooh. So on I went. I wasn’t as lucky as Princess Ann.
As you can see in the picture above, it was already getting late and I had a very early flight to Dubrovnik the next day. I walked all the way back to my Four Seasons Hostel that evening. It seemed forever and although I was walking alone, I did not feel threatened. There were people walking all around me. The history this city emanates. The power that walked these streets gave me a kind of inexplicable empowerment. I did not let my guard down by any means but instead of hopping on an uber, I really wanted to take this city in. I did not know when I would be here again; wait, I would be back on my return lay over!
Deys of Summer Travels- Ch. 3 My “Roman Holiday”
Below are images from the movie from my route around Rome.