Sunday, November 16, 2008
Have you ever seen the Audrey Hepburn/Gregory Peck movie Roman Holiday? Peck’s character lives in a small apartment on the street in the photo above, Via Margutta, Rome. To the right, below, is the door to the actual address he mentions in the movie. No peeking in on this day. My wife's been by before and says there's a pretty courtyard inside. Of course, there're pretty courtyards behind every door in Rome.
I show this as a gardening destination in that the narrow street is beautifully planted from top to bottom with greenery. Considering there is no "earth" to plant in, it is impressively verdant. Climbers, drapers, overhanging trees and planters keep the street quiet and cooler than surrounding streets.
There are natural-spring, continuously-running fountains up and down the street for drinking water (left). This is not a "top" tourist destination - it's not listed in any tourism info we saw. It's not far from the Spanish Steps - so if you're planning a visit, it's worth a walk down this quiet street. There's no shops or restaurants here, so it's a welcome peaceful walk in a hustling bustling city.
Much of the film was shot nearby, including the sequence with Hepburn’s princess driving a scooter through the streets while Peck hangs on for dear life. There are also scenes of the two interacting near the Coliseum, the Trevi Fountain, and Castel San Angelo, a round fortress used by past popes.
In one scene, Peck and Hepburn visit the Bocca della Verita (Mouth of Truth). Peck tells Hepburn, while his hand is in the mouth, the Roman legend–if one tells a lie while one’s hand is in the mouth, the hand will be bitten off. Then he scares her by screaming and grabbing for his mangled hand. Don't worry, it's not mangled, it's a romantic comedy, not Saw VI. We watched the movie before we went and my daughter was scared out of her mind that her hand would be bitten. She didn't want to touch the thing. She must have something to hide.