Get La Dolce Vita in Rome

Rome is known as the ‘eternal city’ and there is no doubt that its appeal to visitors – whether on educational travel excursions or just visiting for pleasure – is, indeed, eternal. It has attracted visitors for many decades and was always a stop of the Grand Tours that were popular from the 17th to the 19th centuries. It’s easy to see why visitors have flocked to this marvellous city, and these are just a few of the reasons.

Inspirational Settings

The Baroque beauty of The Spanish Steps is perhaps one of the iconic sights of Rome and it has been the backdrop to many of the great filmic moments of this city. The 1991 film, The Talented Mr Ripley, which was adapted from Patricia Highsmith’s novel of the same name, used the CafĂ© Dinelli on the Piazza di Spagna at the foot of the steps as a setting. Another great filmic moment was also filmed there, with Audrey Hepburn eating a gelato in Roman Holiday.

However, it’s not only film lovers that will be inspired by a visit to the Spanish Steps during their educational travel excursion; literature fans will be following in the footsteps of the English Romantic Poets Keats and Shelley. Both of these poets loved Rome and on the right hand side at the foot of the steps, at 26 Piazza di Spagna, you will find a museum dedicated to them. The house was the final home of John Keats, who died there in 1821 when he was 25. His bedroom is preserved as a shrine and a wonderful collection of artefacts is housed in the museum; there is also a library containing around 8,000 works. The Museum also has a bookshop, a gift shop and a small cinema where they show a film about the Romantics. There are also two beautiful terraces from which you can get great views of the area.

If you feel energetic enough to climb the steps, turn right at the top and follow the Via Crispi to the Porta Pinciana. Continue on and you can turn right into the Via Veneto, which was once known as the most elegant street in Rome. Unfortunately it bears little resemblance to the elegant thoroughfare used in Marcello Mastroianni’s film La Dolce Vita, but is still worth a visit with its faded glamour.

Many of the stars who used to film at the Cinecitta Studios hung out in the many hotels, bars and restaurants that were once here – Richard Burton and Audrey Hepburn among them. The stars have all moved on but you can still visit the studios where they filmed most of Federico Fellini’s films. Cinecitta was founded by Mussolini, as he was a strong believer in the power of cinema. The studios went on to make some of the epic classic films, such as Ben-Hur and Cleopatra. One of the more recent international films to be filmed there was Scorsese’s Gangs of New York. Students can visit the studios but bookings must be made in advance.

For film buffs or literary students, a visit to Rome during an educational travel experience will take them to the places that have inspired great work and where great works have been created.