The Spectre effect: new Bond film puts Rome in the spotlight for second home buyers

Rome sparkles in Spectre, the latest outing for James Bond, just as it has stolen the scene in many iconic films.
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Think of Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant’s Vespa in Roman Holiday, Anita Ekberg jumping in The Trevi Fountain in La Dolce Vita and Matt Damon forlornly contemplating the ancient Forum and his own disintegrating fortunes in The Talented Mr Ripley.
“Buyers fall in love with Rome through the cinema,” agrees Cristina Casacci of Knight Frank’s Roman associates. “The city has been the backdrop for so many films thanks to its wonderful history and architecture. It has 75 per cent of the world’s artistic heritage but it is also home to high fashion and multinational, high tech companies.”
Inspired by those cinematic scenes, second home buyers want to be in the city centre ideally with a traditional Roman view. “That’s the magic request along with renovated homes and a terrace,” says Casacci. “But just a walk away from the centre in upmarket residential areas like Parioli and Pinciano or the Aventino Hills above Circus Maximus it is cleaner, less crowded, greener and prices are lower.”
Film classics:  Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck take a spin around the Eternal City in Roman Holiday; Matt Damon’s Mr Ripley; Anita Ekberg in the Trevi Fountain in La Dolce Vita. Images: Rex, Getty

For €400,000 (£295,000) you can buy a 540 square feet, city centre apartment or one double that size three miles further out. Both would have been closer to €500,000 (£370,000) five years ago. “The market is much more realistic post recession with prices anywhere from 25 to 35 per cent below 2007 levels,” comments Casacci.
Prices peak in Piazza Navone, around the Spanish Steps and the prime shopping streets of Via Condotti and Via Veneto, home to the US Embassy and famed bars including Harry’s Bar and Café de Paris.
So while a one-bedroom, two level apartment in Trastevere on the left bank of the Tiber River is €790,000 (£582,500) a two-bedroom apartment in a lovely Art Nouveau building in the heart of Pinciano, is reduced to €650,000 (£479,000), both with Knight Frank.
£582,000: a one-bedroom apartment in a former convent with a courtyard, in Trastevere (Knight Frank
Further east in the Trieste area, a three-bedroom apartment with two balconies close to Villa Ada, one of Rome’s largest parks where the ex-king has his residence, fully restored and furnished is €1,500,000 (£1,100,000), also through Knight Frank.
“The Rome property market remains strong with buyers from Europe, America and increasingly from the Middle East and Far East looking to purchase in the historic centre,” says Gemma Bruce of Casa & Country. “Buyers tell us that Rome has an ‘eternal’ appeal where they can generate rental income on holiday lets for at least 25 weeks annually, far exceeding coastal and rural Italian homes.”
A one-bedroom, 645 square feet apartment with high ceilings and wooden floors on the second floor of a building in the historic centre is €800,000 (£590,000) through Casa Travella.
Also in the centre, Sotheby’s International Real Estate have a one-bedroom apartment on delightful and elegant Via Margutta beside the Spanish Steps for €1,390,000 (£1,024,000). The light, modernised apartment is on two levels with a generous terrace which featured alongside Audrey Hepburn in the film Roman Holiday. The view from there is, as they say in Rome, fantastico.
£479,000: a two-bedroom apartment on the second floor of an Art Nouveau
building in Pinciano (Knight Frank)
Rome: insider tips
Anne Line Hansen is the founder of, an e-boutique selling homeware and artisan goods sourced worldwide. Here she shares some of her must-see venues and inspirational shops in the Italian capital.
  • Fratelli Bassetti Tessuti, Corso Vittorio Emmanuele. A vast, extensive treasure trove of furnishing and clothing fabrics. 
  • Alternatives. Experimental contemporary jewellery from established and new designers.
  • Urishi, Via Margutta 21. Japanese furniture including delicate lamps constructed from hand-made kozo fibre paper.
  • Vertecchi, Via Della Croce. Stationery shop with leather desk accessories, pens and exquisite wrapping paper. 
  • Delfina Delettrez, Via del Governo Vecchio: Exceptional craftsmanship and innovative jewellery from an elegant Rome-based designer, part of the Fendi family. Delfina sells her jewellery across the world and has found international acclaim but all her work is hand-made in her Roman atelier.  

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