The Beautiful Game: Where Was Netflix’s Sports Movie Filmed?

Under the direction of Thea Sharrock, ‘The Beautiful Game’ is a heartwarming sports drama film that follows an England football team as they travel to Rome and compete in the Homeless World Cup. Based on a true story, the film introduces us to Coach Mel and his team of homeless football players, who are preparing for an international competition in Rome. The Homeless World Cup advocates an end to homelessness by inviting teams comprised of hobos from all over the world to play at the tournament. At the last moment, Mel recruits Vinny Walker, a former professional football player who now sleeps in his car.

Vinny reluctantly joins the team but doesn’t gel with the other players, keeping the ball to himself. However, without teamwork, the Londoners struggle to compete at the tournament. Vinny must look past his insecurities to accept his situation and work with his teammates to embody the spirit of growth and unity that is advocated by the Homeless World Cup. The Netflix film takes us on a tour of the majestic historic sights around Rome as the characters arrive in the city and begin to play in the tournament. With such splendid scenery featured in the movie’s background, questions may be generated regarding the specifics of the shooting sites observed.

The Beautiful Game Filming Locations

‘The Beautiful Game’ was largely filmed in Rome, Italy, with some sequences being shot in London, England. Shooting for the film began on July 23, 2021, and was wrapped up in Rome by October 11, 2021. Allow us to take you through the exact locations seen in the background of this insightful sports drama.

London, England

While the majority of the film was shot in Rome, select sequences were captured in London to explore the characters, their backgrounds, and their experiences before the journey to the Homeless World Cup. In shots of the characters playing in their football ground, we can see London’s iconic skyline in the background, with an array of skyscrapers highlighting the horizon.

Rome, Italy

The production team filmed most of ‘The Beautiful Game’ in and around Rome, as the capital city was the host of the actual Homeless World Cup depicted in the film, thus providing both authenticity and a picturesque backdrop. As the tournament progresses, we are treated to a cornucopia of cinematic shots of Rome’s antiquated relics, creating a vibrant yet contemplative atmosphere for the characters to rediscover themselves through their love for a beautiful game

As the English football team joins throngs of other players pouring into the city, aerial shots of Rome and its monuments are on full display. The Japanese team is photographed in front of the Colosseum, an emblematic testament to ancient Rome’s grandeur and power. We can also spot the Castel Sant’Angelo with a large crowd gathered at its gate while a stream of people trails on the St. Angelo Bridge. The castle was initially commissioned by the Roman emperor as a mausoleum for him and his family. Another famous landmark shown in the sequence is the Pantheon, a marvel of ancient Roman architecture that is dedicated as a temple to all the gods.

The football matches themselves are held on the tree-lined avenue of Parco della Mole Adriana Gardens. Castel Sant’Angelo looms over the matches in the background. The gardens are created in a star-shaped pattern against the River Tiber. The location served as the perfect site to hold the matches, an expansive territory populated by greenery and marked by an ancient monument.

When the teammates and their coach are exploring the monuments of Rome together, they walk up the Spanish Steps, a monumental staircase that connects the Piazza di Spagna with the Piazza Trinità dei Monti, located in the heart of Rome’s historic center. Built in the 18th century, the steps are named after the nearby Spanish Embassy to the Holy See. The teams also visit the Trevi Fountain, creating a memorable scene. The Trevi Fountain is one of Rome’s most famous and beloved landmarks, depicting Neptune, the Roman god of the sea. The players toss a coin with their right hand and over their left shoulder into the fountain, as doing so is believed to ensure a return to Rome.

When Vinny is sitting on a bench by his lonesome at sunset, he is at the Terrazza Belvedere Aventino, a scenic terrace located on Aventine Hill that offers breathtaking panoramic views of Rome. It became an ideal spot to shoot Vinny’s internal conflict as Aventine Hill was one of the seven hills on which ancient Rome was built and is evocative of the protagonist building himself anew in the cradle of the prosperous ancient civilization.

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