Dec 23, 2009 12:42:54 AM
Be Italian! Travel tips from the movie NINE
‘Be Italian!’ belts savvy Roman prostitute Saraghina (AKA Fergie from Black-Eyed Peas) in the hit movie NINE.
So, exactly how can you be Italian? How do you do as the Romans do? Don’t worry, Lonely Planet, director Rob Marshall and the cast of NINE have come up with four Italian exclamations you’ll need to know, plus key pointers on how to look and play the part on location in Rome.
La fortuna aiuta gli audaci! (Fortune favors the bold!)
Even if you’ve never been to Rome, you may recognize its monumental landmarks from Italian movie classics – including Fergie’s three favorite Italian films, Vittorio De Sica’s Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, and Fellini’s La Dolce Vita and Amarcord. In the historic centre, you’ll spot the Colosseum, the ancient Roman Forum, baroque Piazza del Popolo, and other iconic film locations revisited for the movie NINE. With the marble glories of Rome as your backdrop, anything you say sounds epic, so you might as well come prepared with a proposal - or at least a tempting proposition.
When it comes to grand gestures, it’s not easy to top Emperor Constantine’s colossal raised forefinger in the Capitoline Museums, but don’t let the city upstage you. Channel Marcello Mastroianni in La Dolce Vita or Sofia Loren in Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow and NINE, and strut like a Roman on the nightly passegiata (stroll) across the Tiber River to the buzzing banks of Trastevere. After a night of drinking with directors at the Libreria del Cinema, stomping the blues away at Big Mama, and swinging at Stardust Live Jazz Bar, you’re bound to fall for Rome in a big way.
Tutti a tavola! (Everyone to the table!)
Traffic lights are often viewed as mere suggestions by some 400,000 scooter drivers in Rome, where only stunt drivers and daredevils join the fray and rent Vespas. Yet no one dares ignore the ultimate Italian command to mangia bene (eat well) – even if you’re svelte actor and style icon Kate Hudson, who stars as Stephanie, a roving Vogue journalist, in the movie NINE. But Kate has no complaints: ‘I could literally walk into any restaurant in Rome and eat anything and everything they put in front of me,’ she says. Cue a chorus of Roman chefs, clamoring with offers of meals and marriage.
When it comes to pasta, co-star Fergie had high standards even before her plane touched down in Leonardo da Vinci Airport. ‘I’m not Italian, but my mom makes the best turkey lasagna,’ she explains. But beyond fresh Roma tomatoes from Piazza San Cosimato market, Rome has a saucy secret ingredient no mama can match: romance. ‘I went to visit Josh [Duhamel, her husband] in Rome while he was filming his movie When in Rome, and we went to this great restaurant called Dal Bolognese,’ Fergie recalls. The newlywed doesn’t dish details, but says ‘It was a great experience and it was delicious!’
Provalo! (Try it on!)
Dressing to impress Italians isn’t as impossible as it sounds. As generations of fashionistas and the costumiers of NINE will assure you, Italian style is all about the fit. Like Daniel Day-Lewis’ character Guido in the movie, stylish Roman men never seem to care what they’re wearing – but don’t be fooled. To work Daniel Day-Lewis’ effortlessly elegant look, you’ll need a bespoke silk suit from Brioni or at least vintage Felliniesque sunglasses sourced from Rome’s legendary Porta Portese outdoor market.
For women, the obvious bet for red-carpet glamour since the 1960s has been Valentino. But to achieve Roman sidewalk chic, slip on Roman designer Patrizia Pieroni’s sleek, structured looks at Arsenale, or mix avant-garde with vintage Gucci at the showroom of architect/designer Elio Ferarro.
Sogni d’oro! (Golden dreams!)
That sun-kissed, carefree glow of Fellini stars reprised in NINE doesn’t automatically come with the clothes, though: it must be earned from balmy days enjoying la dolce vita, the sweet life. For a headstart on your own bronzed, windblown look, rent a convertible Alfa Romeo and follow Kate Hudson’s favorite escape route, which she says is ‘without question, a trip down the Amalfi Coast.’ There you can drift off in a whitewashed cliffside villa overlooking the crystalline blue Gulf of Salerno - when Italians wish you sogni d’oro, this is exactly what they mean.
Discover your own dolce vita with the our latest guide to Italy.