Well, we didn’t stoop down to jumping into the Trevi Fountain to reproduce Fellini’s Dolce Vita scene but we did try to mimic Audrey Hepburn on the Spanish Steps. We checked out the Colosseum and where the gladiators marched but didn’t run into Russell Crowe or Kirk Douglas. Lizzie McGuire didn’t sing for us either.
What we did, was remember Dan Brown and his book Angels and Demons. And even if we didn’t follow the plot in chronological order, we checked off the list of familiar scenes. And unlike Professor Robert Langdon, we did it all by foot.
Here is our search for the Path of Illumination.
1. Pantheon – Raphael Santis tomb, wild goose chase
2. Earth- Piazza del Popolo, Santa Maria del Popolo and the Chigi Chapel
3. Air- St. Peters Square
4. Water- Piazza Navona
Sitting by the fountain, I tried to remember how the scene played out. When we came back home, we just had to watch the movie again. The fountain absolutely did not look deep enough to require diving. And there is a small fence that separates the fountain from the rest of the piazza. So you can’t just drive your car up to the fountain and dump something in. And there are enough carabinieri and others that would stop you quickly.
It was a movie, so I understand the absence of tourists. Normally, there are hundreds swarming around, sitting by the fountains and in the restaurants. Not everybody can fit into St. Peter’s square.
5. Fire- Santa Maria della Vittoria
I’m really glad there really wasn’t a fire here. The stained glass windows were absolutely exquisite. And just check out the expression Bernini has put on Saint Teresa.
6. Castel Sant’Angelo- Illuminati Lair
7. And back to the Vatican
Freehand photography in the dark is definitely not my forte, but I think I got a decent one. Looking down from the cupola of St. Peter’s Basilica, it might just have been the kind of view that Il Camerlengo had when he flew off in the helicopter.
Rome is a beautiful place and it’s no wonder that it has been the setting for some great movies. This was actually the first time we thought of linking sightseeing with a movie. And it was fun. It took us to some places that we might have missed if we hadn’t tried to find the specific location.
Writing this, takes my mind to a couple of great flicks that might be an inspiration for future trips. Under the Tuscan sun and A Good Year immediately spring to mind, not forgetting Letters to Juliet. Tuscany, Verona and Provence, here we come!