Roman Holiday 10: Wishes


Summer 2008

Here are shots of the "Wall of Wishes." I'm satisfied that the stationary camera panned from 10-01-1 to 10-01-5. In other words, the street is as you see it, without any cutting in. Hope this helps locate this important location!

Paola and Diego have information on the best candidate for the Wall of Wishes...

"The plaques were real. The place is called "Mura Aureliane" (Aurelian Wall) and those plaques were "ex voto" , a term for a panel painting, usually small, or, more rarely, a statue, donated as a token of remembrance, entreaty or thanks by individual believers or communities and hung at sites of pilgrimage or holy places. Unfortunately those plaques have been removed many years ago.

"The exact location of that wall full of ex voto is "Viale del Policlinico", just before the "Piazza Girolamo Fabrizio". See how it looks today (compare this image with your 10-01-5):

"You can see the wedge-shaped section of the wall near the right edge of the image, while on your frames it's cleary seen on 10-01-3 (upper left) and 10-01-4 (upper right, between the two heads).

"And the sign seen in 10-01-3 says "Fermata Sussidiaria", meaning "Additional [bus] Stop"."

Some good info there, especially on the bus stop sign. But, the picture Diego found has been discussed at the Slow Travel site and I'm not convinced. (You should read the Slow Travel page for some good background on "ex votos" posted there by Bill Thayer.) Note:

1. The difference in the width of the sidewalk.

2. The small tower visible in -3 and -4, missing in the viale del Policlinico shot.

3. The buildings visible beyond the curve of the street in -3 and -4, not seen in the viale del Policlinico shot.

The original poster of the Viale del Policlinico picture was Justin Locke. His site also has a wonderful scan of an old photo showing an ex voto wall (shown here at the end of the page). That location was the Piazzale Brasile. Mr. Locke doesn't say how it came about, but Antonio Barbieri of Concierge in Rome first identified the viale Policlinico location.

Viewing the viale del Policlinico in Google Maps Street View, it doesn't seem the street and buildings opposite our wall pictured here quite match anything seen on the ground today.

November 2008

After visiting this stretch of the street in November of 2008 and viewing it in Google Street Maps, I think we can accept it as the filming location. If the old sidewalk had been narrowed, and one or two facades replaced, we would have essentially the same view today. Details of the buttresses don't seem to match up perfectly, but it's difficult to tell from the movie. Reports give the location of the Wishing Wall as "Via Morgagni." The Aurelian walls don't go as far east as what is now labeled as via Giovanni Battista Morgnani. But the coincidence of via Policlinico being the same physical street as Morgnani, and the fairly close match of the look of the current v Policlinico with the movie satisfy me, for now. In the end, though, we can't prove it.

Interesting that today there is a small shrine between two buttresses, that could be those seen at the end of the ex-voto section of wall in the movie.

February 2009

A new correspondent, John MacDonald, of, has proven this location. Incredible, and incontrovertible. Congratulations John.

Click the page title above to map these locations.



Movie Location and Filming Location:
via Policlinico, opposite #137

View to: North, east, south

Object or Scene: Street, Aurelian Walls








10-01-3 additional

A closeup on the sign seen in 10-01-3.

"Fermata Sussidiaria", meaning "Additional [bus] Stop"."

Thanks Paola and Diego!




And now, for the proof positive. First, John MacDonald shows us the movie wall with details of the brick masonry highlighted...


Next, John presents a sceen shot from Google Maps Streetview to show the same details still present in the wall at the location first identified by Antonio Barbieri and posted by Justin Locke...


The clincher is John's comparison of the two pictures. He has ghosted sections of both pictures, and warped the Google Streetview to the same perspective as the movie still...


And I say, there you have it. As John says, "Even the plants are still in the same place." I'm convinced. Good work on everyone's part. The Wall of Wishes has been located for all posterity. Now we need to put up a plaque.



John MacDonald points out that this closeup can't be matched to the arrangements visible in the shots in which the actors are shown.

There are enough different shapes of plaques and flower pots visible in those shots to lead me to believe this was also shot at our Wall, albeit in a different spot, or after some judicial rearranging.

But it's a good spot on John's part!


Piazzale Brasile.

From "an old coffee table book about the history of Rome." No further citation forthcoming.

This is not our location, but might either have been the inspiration for it, or another example of the ex voto phenomenon.

Courtesy Justin Locke.

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Concept  /  Concept continued  Method  00: Cast   00: Credits  01: Arrival  02: Reception  03: Bedtime  
04: Escape  05: City Night / 05: continued  06: Day Begins06: continued  07: Free for a Haircut  /
07: continued  08: Vespa Tour  09: Wild Chase! / 09 continued  10: Wishes  11: The Night  12: The End  
via Margutta 51  The Map  (The Map Key)