Famous restaurants in Rome spotted at the cinema
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«From The Great Beauty to Eat, Pray, Love, here is a journey among the most famous restaurants in Rome, those that we have seen at the cinema and that have become famous for the memorable scenes shot there»
Who has never dreamed of eating in a restaurant seen on the big screen, so as to feel a bit like the protagonists of the film? Italy is home to the best cuisine in the world and cinema has always managed to tell our story: Rome, in particular, is a perfect setting and the multitude of films shot in the capital have always been able to best describe our life style focused on good food, so as to export it abroad. From neorealism to Italian comedy, from foreign cinema to that of Sorrentino, there are many scenes shot in Roman restaurants and bars, which have become famous and have also become tourist destinations. After having discovered the historical cinemas and having advised you on the best cinema-themed shops of the capital, here is a special cine-gastronomic tour among the most famous restaurants in Rome that have been the setting for emotional and unforgettable moments of Italian cinema and beyond.
- La Veranda (The Great Beauty by Paolo Sorrentino)
Impossible not to start from the Oscar-winning film that, most of all, marked the rebirth of Italian cinema. Sorrentino’s film is entirely a hymn to Rome and to the “great beauty” of this city, celebrated in every scene thanks to the mastery of the director. One of the most particular moments of the film is set inside the luxurious La Veranda in Borgo Santo Spirito, near San Pietro. The scene starring Gep Gambardella (Toni Servillo) and Ramona (Sabrina Ferilli) engaged in a gallant dinner and intent to observe those present in the hall, including many priests and nuns and even a cameo by Antonello Venditti, a famous italian singer.
In the scene, it is impossible not to notice the charm of the location: located in a former convent inside the Palazzo della Rovere, The Veranda of the Hotel Columbus is a restaurant with a refined and unique elegance, with an impressive hall dating back to 1490 where you can admire walls and ceilings entirely frescoed by masterpieces by the master Pinturicchio. With a menu based on refined and revisited Mediterranean and Italian cuisine, dining in this restaurant is a unique experience that will make you relive the feeling of luxury typical of the film. A real Oscar location and the first of the famous restaurants in Rome for one of the most famous italian movie in the world.
- Necci dal 1924 (Questione di cuore by Francesca Archibugi)
Thanks to the Necci dal 1924, a restaurant located in the heart of Pigneto, in via Fanfulla da Lodi, we take our culinary tour among the famous restaurants in Rome, as seen in the movies, from the luxury to the typical poverty of the Roman villages. A true symbol of the neighborhood, the restaurant was founded in 1924 as a simple bar. It was founded by Enrico Necci, one of the many country laborers who poured into the capital in those years. The place has lived through all the ages, from fascism to the second world war, resisting the bombs that killed Enrico Necci, right in front of his bar.
Necci makes an appearance in the world of cinema in 2009, when Francesca Archibugi selects him to shoot some scenes of her Questione di Cuore, showing bits and bobs of suburban life. The restaurant (recommended even by The New York Times as one of the best restaurants in Rome), is both a bar and a restaurant and the simple and genuine cuisine is its trademark. Recently renovated following a fire, the place still retains an old and nostalgic charm, especially thanks to the presence of a magnificent outdoor garden. It is an unmissable stop if you want to get to know the true suburban spirit seen in Pasolini’s film. It is definitely one of the most famous restaurants in Rome.
- Cencio la Parolaccia (Fracchia la belva umana by Neri Parenti e Simpatici & antipatici by Christian De Sica)
More than a restaurant, it is a true symbol of Rome.
Cencio la Parolaccia is not just an institution in the Trastevere area, it is also one of the most bizarre places where to eat. Located in Vicolo dei Cinque, the place was born in 1941 and in origin it was called Osteria da Cencio, but it was renamed the Parolaccia (“swear word”) own by the owners, who decided to accompany the typical Roman food with the entertainment of Roman songs, without neglecting the vulgar language…! The place is therefore famous among the restaurants of Rome for the insults and the unflattering appreciation that the staff addresses the customers with, between a plate and the other, as well as the musical animation, which is tailored to the clientele. The place is the destination of our cine-gastronomic tour among the famous restaurants in Rome because, due to its particular nature, it has been the protagonist of many local films, especially from the Italian comedy genre.
Cencio la Parolaccia is in fact a synonymous of Fracchia La Belva Umana, a film by Neri Parenti starring Paolo Villaggio, as well as Trastevere by Fausto Tozzi, or even Simpatici & antipatici by Christian De Sica. More than a culinary choice, dining in this restaurant is a surreal experience to try at least once in a lifetime.
The protagonists of the film Simpatici & antipatici while dining at Cencio la Parolaccia
Here is a scene of Fracchia la Belva Umana, starring Lino Banfi (commissioner Auricchio)
- Santa Lucia (Eat, Pray, Love by Ryan Murphy)
Let’s now move on to foreign cinema which, when it speaks of Italy, never forgets to mention our kitchen. In fact, food is the true protagonist of this 2010 film, or rather of a part of it. Eat, Pray, Love is a film starring a Julia Roberts who decides to embark on a journey to rediscover herself, starting right from Italy, where the pleasures of life and good food will help to heal from the failure of her marriage. The film shows a slightly stereotypical image of our country, but we must admit that the scenes concerning food could not be more true. The Rome that is the background to the film is that of the historical center, where in Via Largo Febo 12 you can find the Santa Lucia trattoria, location of the famous spaghetti scene, immortalized in a very mouth watering shot. The restaurant not only served as a backdrop to a scene in the film, but served dinner to actors and crews, delighting them all with Roman pumpkin flowers and bucatini alla gricia. In the film, the protagonist goes arounf many Roman trattorias in the company of Giovanni, an Italian friend who acts as a cicerone interpreted by our Luca Argentero. The food to cure the soul: never truer was a message. If you’re on a tour to discover the famous restaurants in Rome, this is an unmissable stop!
Here is the famous spaghetti scene.
- Al Biondo Tevere (Bellissima by Luchino Visconti)
Just before the end of via Ostiense, on the Lungotevere San Paolo, you can find Al biondo Tevere, one of the restaurants in Rome where history intertwines with Italian cinema. Opened in 1914, Ostiense’s most famous restaurant (here our article featuring the films that Ferzan Ozpetek filmed in this neighborhood) has a typically Roman atmosphere and cuisine, consisting of simple and traditional dishes. The most evocative area of the place (and also the one that made it famous) is certainly the large terrace near the Tiber: it is right here that one of the scenes of Bellissima was filmed, the 1951 film by the master Luchino Visconti, starring Anna Magnani. The restaurant has also gone down in history to be one of Pasolini’s favorite, who had dinner there even the night before he was killed. Inside, in fact, you can find many testimonies of the restaurant’s history, from Alberto Moravia’s scene shots and the same Pasolini. A jump in the Rome of Neorealism that no longer exists.
- Osteria Margutta (To Rome with Love by Woody Allen)
Another American film of recent years is set in the Eternal City: To Rome with Love by Woody Allen, in which he and other Hollywood stars starred, including Roberto Benigni (read here his speech for the latest David di Donatello). Not particularly appreciated by our local critics for the clichés about Italianity (like the abovementioned Eat, Pray, Love), the film tells four different stories all set in Rome, one of which sees a scene shot inside and outside of the Osteria Margutta, one of the most unique restaurants in the city.
A few steps from Piazza di Spagna, Osteria Margutta opened in 1965. Besides the excellent food and the environment with its refined furnishings, you can also enjoy excellent music, especially jazz. Always frequented by American showbiz characters such as Meryl Streep, Cameron Diaz, Mel Brooks and David Letterman, in 2011 it captured the attention of Woody Allen who, after a single glance, decided to shoot a scene of the film there. A peculiarity of the room is that of dedicating a chair to every illustrious person that it houses: for this reason, among the tables, you can find chairs dedicated to Federico Fellini, Edoardo De Filippo, Giulietta Masina and indeed Woody Allen himself, making it one of the most famous restaurants in Rome.
Ready to book? After all, why choose between dinner and cinema if you can have both?
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