Via Margutta made famous by Audrey Hepburn

August 15, 2011 by

Sightseeing, Travel Tips

Via Margutta - Photo courtesy of Stephen Sommerhalter via Wikimedia Commons

Roman Holiday did not only make Audrey Hepburn a star, it also shot a small back street in Rome to prominence. Via Margutta was the location of the flat (number 51) occupied by Gregory Peck’s character, Joe Bradley, where many of the couple’s scenes were filmed.

If you’re a fan of the film, you’ll often find the gate to the courtyard open and you can go in and see the steps up to the apartment and the arbor and the little balcony from where the landlady watched them. The street basically runs between the Spanish Steps and the Piazza del Popolo although you need to negotiate a few twists and turns and alleyways to find it. Once an area of Rome occupied by low-rent paying artisans (during the Renaissance and since), the area is now known for its famous creative residents and high-end art galleries.

Frederico Fellini, film director, lived here, as did Giulietta Masina who starred in two Academy Award winning films (La Strada and Nights of Cabiria) and won a Best Actress award at Cannes in 1957. During summer, the street is turned into a huge art gallery, the 100 Painters in Via Margutta exhibition of over 1000 artworks. The exhibition is backed by the mayor of Rome and includes both local and international artists.

For the remainder of the year, Via Margutta is a calm oasis in the midst of hectic Rome, lined by art galleries, cafes and restaurants. The Fontana delle Arti, fountain of the arts, with its carvings of paintbrushes pays homage to the long history of artists in the area.

-Philippa Burne

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