“The most wonderful movie set in the world”: The Moviegoer’s Guide to the City on Seven Hills

When and Where

Thursday, April 14, 2022 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Online via Zoom - see event description for further information


Mary Watt, Goggio Visiting Professor


This talk explores how twentieth century filmmakers conceived a new guide to Rome through cinematic masterpieces such as Roma Città Aperta (Rome Open City,) La Dolce Vita, and I Ladri di Biciclette (The Bicycle Thief.)  Fusing the itineraries of the medieval Mirabilia urbis romae and the travel diaries of the Grand Tour, directors such as De Sica, Fellini, and Pasolini, allowed viewers to see the marvels of the “City on Seven Hills” without ever leaving home.  The talk then considers how the cinematic experience has contributed to the creation of a Rome that exists in memory, in dreams, and in the popular imagination.

Mary Watt is a Professor of Italian Studies, and Associate Dean in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, University of Florida. Mary holds a Ph.D. in Italian Studies and a J.D., both from the University of Toronto, Canada.  Her work has been supported by the Rothman Endowment for the Humanities, the Municipality of Ravenna, and the Norwegian Institute in Rome. She is the author of over fifty journal articles, book chapters, reviews and translations and currently serves as a review editor for Speculum.  She is the author of The Cross that Dante Bears: Pilgrimage, Crusade, and the Cruciform Church in the Divine Comedy, Dante; Columbus and the Prophetic Tradition: Spiritual Imperialism in the Italian Imagination and Dante’s Golden Legend – Auto-Hagiography in the Divine Comedy.

To attend this lecture, please register at this link.  You will receive a confirmation email one day before the event containing information about joining the lecture.

All times stated in Eastern time.

Contact Information


Emilio Goggio Chair in Italian Studies - University of Toronto