The Great Beauty Tour
From the Janiculum to the Aventine, from the park of the aqueducts to the Baths of Caracalla, a journey through the eternal city to discover the places of the Oscar-winning film as best foreign film. Let's start from the Acqua Paola fountain, in via Garibaldi on the Gianicolo. Called by the Romans "the fontanone", it was built between 1608 and 1612 under Paolo V by Flaminio Ponzio with the collaboration of Giovanni Fontana. The monumet is inspired by the triumphal Roman arches with three arches and the angels reggistemma signed Ippolito Buzio. Remaining in the area, the small temple of San Pietro in Montorio on the Janiculum represents the setting for the meeting between Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo) and the mother in search of her hidden daughter. The monument is located in one of the two cloisters of the convent and was built by Bramante in the period from 1502 to 1507; in 1628 Bernini created access to the crypt. It became a model for the architecture of the early '500, is characterized by the use of classical elements, the balance and the plasticity of the forms.
We continue our walk towards the Gianicolo cannon; the tradition of the cannon shot dates back to Pius IX who established this service in 1846 to avoid confusion of time. Before arriving at the Janiculum, the cannon fired from the towers of Castel Sant'Angelo and then from Monte Mario. Let's now move towards the Colosseum, the amphitheater that can not be missed in any film about Rome; the attic by Jeep Gambardella, protagonist of Sorrentino's film, directly overlooks the Flavio Amphitheater, which looks like a real vision. From here you can also see the Imperial Forums and the Circus Maximus that appear almost unreal, real sets designed for the future of history.
Piazza Navona appears in the film at night, on the west side of the baroque church of Sant'Agnese in Agone, built between the eighth century and 1123 on the place where the saint exposed naked to the pillory was covered by her hair dissolving in wonder. Completed by Borromini between 1653 and 1657, the monument has a concave façade surmounted by a high dome and twin bell towers, while the interior is filled with gold and marble.
The amazing view from the door of the Priory of Malta building on the Aventine Hill could not be missing: looking from the keyhole, one can see the dome of St. Peter through a gallery perspective formed by an avenue of specially cut plants. Continuing towards Palazzo Sacchetti, in Via Giulia, the building will amaze us with the interiors that house works by Francesco Salviati and Pietro da Cortona. The building is attributed both to Antonio da Sangallo the young man and to Nanni di Baccio Bigio and to Annibale Lippi who would have built it in 1552.
Another jewel of the eternal city that is used as the setting of the film is the Parco degli Acquedotti, in the Appia antica Regional Park, which attends the film to the performance of Talia Concept, crazy artist who gives head to one of the ancient stones. Comprised between via Appia and via Tuscolana, the park is characterized by seven aqueducts (Anio Vetus, Anio Novus, Aqua Marcia, Tepula, Iulia, Aqua Claudia and Acquedotto Felice) and other ancient buildings including the villa called delle Vignacce dating from between II and IV century AD, probably built by Q. Servilio Pudente.
The Baths of Caracalla represent one of the largest and best preserved thermal complexes of antiquity, built in the south of Rome on the initiative of Emperor Caracalla and inaugurated in 217 AD. Here there is the scene that is more Felliniesque than La Grande Bellezza: a friend of Jep who is the magician is trying to make a giraffe disappear. Fontana di Trevi could not be missing in this round of wonders but it appears in a very gloomy scene succeeding in capturing the gaze and the imaginary. Wonderful example of fusion between architecture and sculpture, it was begun in 1732 under Clemente XII, by Nicola Salvi, continued after 1751 by Giuseppe Pannini and inaugurated under Clement XIII, in 1762. It is linked to symbols, legends and traditions, among which that to throw a coin to make sure you return to the eternal city.
Villa Medici, on the Pincio hill in Viale della Trinità dei Monti (above Piazza di Spagna to be clearer) closes the night walk of Jep Gambardella with Ramona. The elegant 16th century residence, which Cardinal Ferdinando de 'Medici bought in 1576, embellishing it with the gallery of statues, has been the seat of the French Academy since 1804: a cultural reality founded by Louis XIV in 1666 to allow young Frenchmen to Rome and which has a library with over 25,000 volumes.
Palazzo Braschi, between Piazza Navona and Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, was used by the Sorrentino for some interior scenes. Built in 1791-96 according to the project of Cosimo Morelli da Pio VI for his family, it is home to the Museum of Rome. The works, interrupted by the French occupation, ended only in 1811. In the chapel and perhaps in the staircase the hand of Giuseppe Valadier is recognized.