Frog fountain spider coppede Rome

Why directors like to set movies in Quartiere Coppedè, Rome?

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Wandering around

Since its origins, Quartiere Coppedè in Rome have had deep connection to movies because it is a small charming area full of mysterious decorations. We have been to the Coppedè district twice as our city trip. The first time, we were impressed by the beauty and details of this area. But unluckily the camera had dead batteries, we couldn’t capture those wonderful moments. Therefore, we were forced to return to better capture the baroque decorations that give life to its mysterious charm.

lion ragno palace coppede rome rotated

Without a camera, we walked around the area that looks like an elegant neighborhood, home to numerous embassies. The diplomatic office of Morocco is located in via Brenta, next to the famous spider palace. The embassies of the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa and the Ivory Coast can be reached easily. Sometimes, it becomes difficult to park in the area because numerous parking spaces are reserved for diplomats.

morocco embassy coppede liberty rome rotated

From Piazza Mincio, which is the heart of the district, you can take Via Dora and cross the arch to reach Via Tagliamento. Here, you can find the Argentine church of Santa Maria Addolorata in Piazza Buenos Aires that was founded by Monsignor Gallardo in 1910. Today the church is a meeting place for the Argentine Roman community.

frog fountain hospes salve rome rotated

In the external spaces, the church holds the small market “Corte Coppedè” . The market is held every Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 7 pm but is closed during the summer. The market stalls sell handicrafts and antiques that come from the Tuscan town of Forte dei Marmi.

painting angel quartiere coppede rome

Therefore, it is possible to find precious made in Italy objects, antique pieces and more modern artisanal products, especially jewelry, linen, bags and scarves in silk and cashmere.

The origins of Quartiere Coppedè

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the Società Anonima Edilizia Moderna decided to develop a block not far from the Parioli district. The 1909 Edmondo Sanjust di Teulada master plan allowed the real estate expansion of the area.

ragno palace door light rome rotated

The neighborhood is easily reached by getting off at the “Buenos Aires” stop of tram line 19, located in Corso Regina Margherita. Line 19 of the municipal ATAC starts from piazzale Risorgimento near the Vatican and ends with the Gerani stop in Centocelle.

villini fate florence coppede rome

The project was entrusted to the architect Gino Coppedè, son of Mariano, a well-known Florentine sculptor and carver. Influenced by his father, Gino had developed an eclectic style full of eccentric decorations. This style took the name of Coppedè.

windows light dora coppede rome

The architect died in 1927 when most of the works had been completed. Gino’s brother-in-law, the architect Paolo Emilio Andrè, completed the urban expansion.

mincio ragno palace coppede rome

If you enter the neighborhood from the large arch in via Dora, you will pass under the magnificent wrought iron chandelier. Piazza Mincio, the hub of the district, is centered on the fountain of the Frogs and surrounded by four buildings.

frog fountain water coppede rome

The complex of the palaces of the ambassadors, the Ragno (spider) palace, the “Hospes salve” palace and one of the Villini delle Fate (fairy houses).

villini coppede rome Italy


The fountain consists of a central basin from which eight human figures unwind. In pairs, the men hold up a total of four shells. At the center of each shell stands a frog from which water gushes.

human frog fountain spring coppede rotated

Above, a small basin is decorated with other frogs. The building seems to pay homage to the historic fountain of the Turtles, sculpted in African marble in the 16th century and located in Piazza Mattei.

villini light shadow florence rome rotated

The Villini delle Fate represent the most evocative work, with their baroque decorations, chimney pots, frescoes and aedicule of the Madonna with the child. The main illustrations are divided on the two sides of the building and recall the past of Venice and Florence.

villini fate venice coppede rome

On the facade of the villa facing via Aterno, you can see the figures of the great Florentine poets Dante and Petrarca, as well as the skyline of the Tuscan city. On a turret, there is a clock decorated with the zodiac signs.

arch door coppede rome italy rotated

The facade of the villa facing via Brenta presents the lion of San Marco that is symbol of the city of Venice. Next to the lion, Rome is homaged with the image of the she-wolf nursing Romulus and Remus, the mythical founders of the capital.

tanaro lion coppede quartiere rome

The other buildings appear less articulated but more impressive. The Ragno palace owes its name to the spider drawn above the entrance door. The spider is so visible that it manages to get the attention of tourists more than the lions that recur around the building.

spider coppede rome italy

Opposite to the spider palace, the “Hospes salve” building stands out, characterized by the colored arch that surrounds the door. The palaces of the ambassadors are located next to and around the arch of Via Dora, as if to support it.

House of Gucci

One day, we were comfortable on the sofa at home to watch “House of Gucci”, the latest effort by director Ridley Scott. At the beginning of the film, Maurizio Gucci, played by Adam Driver, rides a bicycle under an arch decorated with a large chandelier.

chandelier arch dora coppede rome

He passes a roundabout with a fountain in the center and climbs the stairs that lead him to the entrance of a building. Here, two killers on the payroll of his wife Patrizia Reggiani kill Maurizio.

iron chandelier dora arch coppede

We easily recognize the Coppedè district, thanks to its decorations in an eclectic style that are similar to art nouveau but even more complex. The film runs fast and intrigues the viewer with the story of the relationship between the young lawyer, heir to the fashion house Gucci , and his unscrupulous wife. Lady Gaga manages to immerse herself perfectly in the part of Patrizia Reggiani.

hospes salve quartiere coppede rome rotated

In the reality, the two killers did not shoot in Rome, but in Milan. Maurizio Gucci was shot on March 27, 1995 before entering his office in via Palestro, 20. Just two years earlier, the same street was the scene of a nasty episode of blood, when the mafia killed five people with a car bomb. The mafia attack targeted the museum called the Contemporary Art Pavilion (PAC).

Quartiere Coppedè and the Cinema

Ridley Scott used the poetic license to set the opening scene of his film in a more fascinating place. Probably, the stairs of the “Hospes salve” building in Piazza Mincio represent a more evocative and mysterious environment than the real site of the murder.

coppede rome italy

Ridley Scott is not the first director to be bewitched by the Coppedè neighborhood. The Italian director Dario Argento, author of popular horror films, set here some scenes of his works even before Ridley Scott.

villine fate mincio coppede rome

In particular, the Coppedè district can be seen both in Dario Argento first film “The Bird with the Crystal Plumage” (L’Uccello dale Piume di Cristallo) and in “Inferno”. In addition, director Richard Donner shows piazza Mincio in film “The Omen”, one of the horror classics with the actor Gregory Peck. Other Italian films have used this area as a film set.

villini fate florence quartere coppede

The very origin of the neighborhood combined with the cinema. The designers who decorated these buildings were inspired by the 1914 film “Cabiria”. It is the only Italian colossal movie made in the years of silent cinema. The poet Gabriele d’Annunzio, a strange and very famous character at the time, participated in the screenplay of the film “Cabiria”. The door and he arch at the entrance of palace “Hospes salve” are the most important tribute to the silent film “Cabiria”.

arch cabiria hospes salve rome

As there are many films have showed this area from different aspects, you can easily admire Coppedè district both in reality and through the directors’ eyes from films.

villini fate light mincio coppede

Related Movies

The movies below can be rented/bought on Itunes, Google Play or Amazon Prime:

FilmItunesGoogle PlayAmazon Prime
“House of Gucci” (2021)Click HereClick Here 
“The Omen” (1976)Click HereClick Here 
“The Bird with the crystal plumage” (1970)Click HereClick HereClick Here
“Inferno” (1980)Click HereClick HereClick Here

Written by Enrico, Translated by Hua and Photo from Hua

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