To celebrate the 2022 Rome Film Fest taking place this week, here at Ristorante Amedeo we have decided to dedicate a blog post to two of our greatest passions: cinema and good food.
Rome’s cuisine on the big screen
From Federico Fellini to Massimo Troisi, from Alberto Sordi to Monica Vitti, from Sophia Loren to Anna Magnani, a great number of directors, actors and actresses have helped bring Rome’s cuisine to the big screen with what have become some of Italy’s most classic films d’auteur.
The first references to Rome’s cuisine in films came with the advent of Italian neorealist cinema after World War II, both as a symbol of the country’s wealth and economic growth in that period, as well as a way of representing Italy’s deeply rich food culture and of bringing the traditional dishes of Rome to the wider world.
Rome’s traditional dishes in cinema
Everyone knows the famous scene from An American in Rome (1954) in which Alberto Sordi wolfs down a plate of spaghetti. However, that cooking scenes in cinema are so often associated with pasta, the Italian dish par excellence, is no coincidence. Between bucatini all’amatriciana, gnocchi alla romana and spaghetti alla carbonara, the traditional dishes of Rome that have come to dominate the silver screen are the very same first-course dishes that are most loved in the Italian Capital (and beyond).
A good plate of pasta is never missing from work of Aldo Fabrizi, who along with Anna Magnani and Alberto Sordi became the face of the spirit of Rome in cinema – just take some of the most famous examples: Rome, Open City (1945), Cops and Robbers (1951), and We All Loved Each Other So Much (1974), to name but a few. Lastly, who could forget the work of the great Ugo Tognazzi, who brought the most authentic passion of all for Rome’s cuisine to the big screen with a great big tray of penne all’arrabbiata in La Grande Bouffe (1973) while acting alongside Marcello Mastroianni.
However, some of the films directed by Ettore Scola are perfect examples of how Rome’s cuisine in cinema goes beyond just pasta and traditional first courses. In The Pizza Triangle (1970), the great Monica Vitti portrays a character who turns cooking into an art form with lessons in tripe and coratella. The Dinner (1998), on the other hand, had the fantastic Stefania Sandrelli and the unforgettable Vittorio Gassman treat us to a mouthwatering banquet of fritto misto alla romana.
Rome, from the kitchen to the big screen
Our traditional food is deeply important to us here in Italy, and, along with our great cinematic tradition, it has been part of our culture for centuries. Rome’s cuisine is but one of many examples of Italy’s famous and delicious food to have been shown on the big screen.
If you have seen any of these films and want to try the traditional food of Rome, come and pay us a visit. We’d be delighted to let you try our menu.