Roman Holiday: Audrey Hepburn, Italian Vespas, and Iconic Rome with Dr. Sara Magister

Roman Holiday: Audrey Hepburn, Italian Vespas, and Iconic Rome with Dr. Sara Magister


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On an online journey riding a Vespa Piaggio, we will follow the steps of Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn from the movie Roman Holiday in a discovery of Rome through its iconic sites and monuments. Most of them are easy to recognize and well known, like the Colosseum or the Spanish Steps. But where else in Rome did this romantic couple venture to? What is the meaning of the ‘Mouth of Truth’? Is the shining hall in the last emotional scene open to the public? And lastly, how is Rome and Romans different today in comparison to 1953?

This conversation seeks to address these questions as we learn just how and why Rome managed to seduce and touch the heart of the mysterious princess. Through the lens of a Vespa, we will visit its most iconic sites as well as open unexpected doors to the many lesser-known squares, markets, and the banks of the river Tiber. Coupled with the highlight sites, these smaller dashes of beauty allow for us all to revel in the glorious Eternal City.

Roman Holiday was reportedly inspired by the true love story of Princess Margaret (sister of Queen Elizabeth II) and Peter Wooldridge Townsend. We’ll use this context as we discuss the gorgeous Italian scenery in the film as we hop from the secret Italian holiday in Rome filmed between Cinecittà (a film studio) and real Roman locations. We’ll learn how the film consecrated the talent of the young and introduced the world to the unknown Audrey Hepburn. The film led to three winning Oscars (best actress, best story, and best costumes), along with a wealth of other international acclaims. Yet Hepburn was not the only rising star of the movie. She shared the stage with the Italian Vespa Piaggio, who showed up for the first time on the international scene. We’ll discuss how this noble steed quickly became a symbol of freedom and airiness.

We’ll conclude our conversation as we note how the movie catapulted onto the worldwide scene namely for its beauty, the romantic atmosphere, the chaotic vitality, and the shining and unforgettable light of the Eternal City. Led by Sara Magister, a local Roman art historian, this seminar is the perfect opportunity to see Rome through an alternative light as we discuss its iconic monuments, lesser-known treasures, alongside its warm, passionate, and friendly citizens.

Note: We recommend an advanced viewing of the 1953 movie, Roman Holiday in advance of attending the seminar.

Sara is an art historian with doctoral degrees in Medieval and Modern Art History and Classical Antiquities. She is the author of a book, published by the Accademia dei Lincei, on the antiquities collection of Pope Julius II and has written various articles in important scholarly journals on the history of Renaissance and Baroque collections. More recently, she had published a book on some of the most famous paintings of Caravaggio in Rome which introduces a new interpretation of the works, based on philological data, and which is changing the way we look at this artist.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 9 reviews
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S
S.-.B.M.
A fun ride through iconic Rome
K
K.S.
Delightful way to tour Rome
I
I.C.
A
A.
C
C.
Roman Holiday Review

Customer Reviews

Based on 9 reviews
100%
(9)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
S
S.-.B.M.
A fun ride through iconic Rome
K
K.S.
Delightful way to tour Rome
I
I.C.
A
A.
C
C.
Roman Holiday Review