This week Lisa Fantino from Wanderlust Women’s Travel Dreams is here to share with us about one of her Favorite Italian Films. It’s perfect for those of you who love old films, love Italy and love traveling vicariously through movies. (Yes, yes … and yes!)

Welcome, Lisa!


I love movies, old movies, new movies, classics, thrillers and romance. They are meant to entertain and who cares if they teach us anything in the process. Often, however, they can give us glimpses into another time when mores varied so greatly from what they are today.


Rome Adventure is one of those movies. Released in 1962, it stars Susanne Pleshette as Prudence and Troy Donohue as Don. Prudence is a young lady of marriage age (I can’t believe I just typed that) who travels to Rome in search of adventure, following dismissal from her school librarian job for giving a student a romance novel (oh, the shame!). Pleshette is charming as the perfect ingénue of the day and is quite independent, defending the message behind the romance novel in question:

“It simply expresses what’s hiding in every girl’s heart. The fear of loneliness. The wish for womanhood and fulfillment and the need to be loved, that’s all.”

Right then and there she quits her job and sets sail on her own romantic journey. Along the way, she awakens her lust for life, so to speak, in a number of ways. Yet, she is coy enough, or should I say wise enough, to avoid the wiles of Roman cad Roberto, colorfully played by Rossano Brazzi, and surrenders to the romance of Don who sows his wild oats with his ex-strumpet, played by Angie Dickinson, before returning to Prudence.

The scenery is breathtaking. Rome Adventure is full of panoramas, both city and the country, and takes full advantage of all the views Italy has to offer, unlike today’s big budget flicks which focus on computer generated imagery and indoor studio shots. Rome Adventure is all about coming alive in the Eternal City and enjoying all it has to offer……..unlike “Eat, Pray, Oivay,” which barely gives a glimpse of the country’s lush surroundings.

Watching this film nearly 50 years after its release makes me realize how far women have come in society. Then, they were romantics but always needed a man to make them “safe.” Now, we are still romantic but firmly footed in setting our own path.



Lisa Fantino is an award-winning journalist and attorney and the Italian travel consultant and creative force behind Wanderlust Women Travel and the recently launched Amalfi destination wedding site, Wanderlust Weddings.  Her love of Amalfi has also inspired her to gather sterling silver jewelry and gifts inspired by the blues of the region at Amalfi Blu. She also writes travel features for MNUI Travel Insurance and blogs as Lady Litigator.

  • Grazie, cara. I enjoyed watching this classic and writing this article. The trailer captures the spirit of this film perfectly. I nearly rolled off the chair when I saw “All Hirt and his hot horn.” ROFL

    November 17, 2010
  • Thanks Laura…that was fun

    November 17, 2010
  • Richard

    But does it beat Roman Holiday….

    November 17, 2010
  • Sam

    Ciao Laura,

    I was 1962 when I saw Rome Adventure for the first time. I was mesmerized by Susanne Pleshette; so much so that I scarcely remember the 2 1/2 mile walk back home. For a 17 yr-old the film had it all: a beautiful, engaging young woman, a story I could identify, the beauty and charms of Rome, Lago Maggiore, Ostia Antica, Bozano and the Italian Alps, and something of “la dolce vita.” To this day the movie remains a favorite of mine – for all the above reasons and for its lack of pretentiousness.

    On my father’s side my grandparents were from Italy (Sicilia and Calabria). I was fortunate to study in Rome, and these days return to Italy on the order of every two years. I too fell in love: not with una bella, but with Italia, its beauty, charm and mystery, its people. I swear, every time on final approach at Fiumicio I feel as if I am returning home.

    I very much enjoyed Lisa’s characterization of the film, though I would disagree with her calling Rosanno Brazzi a “cad.” Living for a time in New Orleans, I met Al Hirt on one occasion and mentioned that I saw him in the film. He said he had a wonderful time and had good memories of Susanne Pleshette and Troy Donahue.

    Maybe a forgettable film as films go, but Rome Adventure will always be a personal favorite.

    January 2, 2011
  • Sam

    Ciao Laura,

    Thanks for the reply. If you would like, I can send you a copy of Rome Adventure DVD. Watched it again the last night in the hospital where I am sitting with my mother. Around 2:00AM Mom was sleeping and I had just finished some reports on my laptop; still wide awake I pulled out my IPod and, for the next 90 minutes,sat back and once again enjoyed this delightful film. Hope you get to see it!

    March 15, 2011
  • Please help, anyone:
    For a long time now I have been trying to get the name of the small “chalet” (pensione) that Suzanne Pleshette (Prudence)and Troy Donahue (Don) spend the night in the Italian Alps. So farI know is in Val Gardena and in the vecinity of the Castel Val Gardena bu the name has eluded me for a number of years. If any one knowns the name please reply. This is one of my favorites movies. It is a worderfull movie. Thanks.

    April 22, 2011
  • Doris

    In this movie did they eat at a resturant and when the sun was setting the doves flew up and they turned to gold. It has been years since I have seen this but I remember this from some movie . Thanks

    November 29, 2011
  • Vincent

    Great movie, one of my favourite romantic type movies for the time. The scenery and music were fabulous

    May 23, 2012

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.