Here at Trafalgar we’re always on the lookout for movies about travelling to share with you, and this month we’ve been particularly enjoying Hollywood’s most recent offering. Following the success of Elizabeth Gilbert’s autobiographical novel Eat, Pray, Love, you can currently see Julia Roberts gracing the big screen adaptation of this hugely popular book. Charting the author’s experiences in Italy, India and Indonesia, the story is an inspiring tale of self-discovery and has earned millions of fans from around the world.
The first section of the story – ‘Eat’ – is devoted to Italy, a country famous for its fabulous cuisine, stunning cultural sites and glorious sunny climate. With sumptuous scenes of Italy’s incredible capital city, Rome, the success of the book and film is boosting the city’s already thriving tourist scene, making it this year’s must-visit European destination. If you too feel inspired to take a Rome holiday, read on for our guide to some of the Eat, Pray, Love film locations you can see on a Trafalgar tour of Rome…
This beautiful sun-soaked piazza is an essential stop on any Rome tour. Once the setting for intense Roman athletic contests, its atmosphere is now rather more sedate. Watch the world go by as you enjoy a glass of wine in one of the restaurants at the edge of the piazza, and make sure you stop to admire Bernini’s mighty Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi – the Fountain of the Four Rivers. With an assortment of local artists selling their work, it’s also a great place to pick up a souvenir of your visit.
San Crispino Gelateria
Believed by many to offer the best ice cream in Rome, San Crispino is unlike any other ice cream shop you’ll see in the Eternal City. Offering a range of delectable flavours stored in silver vats, the ice cream is served in cups of varying sizes, and its location just round the corner from the Trevi Fountain means that you can savour the delicious taste of San Crispino’s superior gelato with a view that’s second to none. Our favourite flavour is caramel and meringue – what will yours be?
Arguably one of Rome’s most famous and romantic monuments, the vast Fontana di Trevi dwarfs its small piazza with cascades of turquoise blue water and an imposing neo-Classical façade. It took thirty years to construct, finally being completed in 1762 and drawing in the crowds ever since. Tradition has it that throwing a coin into its waters will ensure your return to Rome. We’re certain you’ll want to come back!
The most complete building surviving from antiquity, you’re guaranteed to find the Pantheon an incredible sight to behold. Its vast dome bears a large round opening which means that the building is, to a degree, open to the elements, and during Rome’s occasional downpours the sight of raindrops falling down to the marble floor is impressive. You’ll also see the remains of the great painter Raphael are interred here, marked by the moving words: “Here lies Raphael, by whom Nature feared to be outdone while he lived, and when he died, feared she herself would die.”
For a tranquil retreat from the hustle and bustle of Rome’s crowded streets, head to the gardens of the Villa Borghese. Art lovers can admire paintings by the likes of Caravaggio and Titian in the Galleria Borghese, one of the most famous art galleries in Rome, and afterwards stop for a rest in the shade of Rome’s characteristic umbrella pines. Don’t forget the beautiful view of Piazza del Popolo with its impressive twin churches flanking the main thoroughfare, the Via del Corso.
If Eat, Pray, Love whet your appetite for all things Italian, our tours of Italy offer a wonderful introduction to this beautiful country. Follow in Elizabeth Gilbert’s footsteps in Rome, and venture further afield to other famous Italian cities such as artistic Florence and enchanting Venice.
All images courtesy of Rachel McCombie of Rachel’s Rome Writings.
Have you seen Eat, Pray, Love? Did you like it and did it inspire you to travel?
Which other travel films do you enjoy watching?
Have you been to Italy?
Let us know – just leave a comment below!