European Vacation

Date: 1985
Director: Amy Heckerling
Production Company: Warner Brothers

Stars: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Dana Hill, Jason Lively, Victor Lanoux, Eric Idle
Location(s): London, Paris (France); Rome, South Tyrol and Trentino-Alto Adige (Italy)

Region(s): , ,


The Griswolds win a vacation tour across Europe and havoc ensues.

Additional Information:

Screen captures uploaded by Phil Wilkinson Released as ‘National Lampoon’s European Vacation’ on UK Home Media  

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After winning a European Tour on the 'Pig in a Poke' quiz show, Clark Griswold dreams of the wonderful vacation ahead in a 'Sound of Music' parody.

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Günter has identified this as the "Geislergruppe", a mountain range in the Dolomites in South Tyrol (Italy) between Val Gardena and Villnös and sends this photograph to support, the snow cover seems to be identical! (RL)

First stop London - The taxi from the airport draws up at the grandly named The Royal Imperial Windsor Arms Hotel. Queensborough Terrace, London W2 located in Simon James' book, 'London Movie Guide'.

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Now, spruced up a little. SJ

Clark (Chevy Chase), Russell (Jason Lively), Ellen (Beverly D'Angelo) and Audrey Griswold (Dana Hill) get out of the taxi as the Driver (Derek Deadman) suffers hits and smacks from their luggage. Queensborough Terrace in W2.

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Steps and pediments altered. SJ

Up for sightseeing on the following morning, the Griswolds leave the hotel. Queensborough Terrace.

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Now. SJ

Clark and Ellen each get into the wrong side of the hired Austin Maxi. Queensborough Terrace, Westminster, London.

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The Cleopatra Hotel sign behind has gone. SJ

After swapping seats, Clark drives away . . . on the wrong side of the road. Looking towards Bayswater Road on Queensborough Terrace in London W2.

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And beyond is Kensington Gardens. SJ

Clark turns from Queensdale Road into Addison Avenue in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The junction was seen in 'The Knack, and How To Get It'.

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Looking south. SJ

Still driving on the wrong side of the road, the inevitable happens. Addison Avenue looking toward St James's Gardens in London W11.

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Heading for the same car and there's a cyclist. Is that Eric Idle? SJ

The Driver (Paul McDowell) is unbelievably British about the accident and Clark drives away without making a payment or exchanging insurance details. Addison Avenue with St James Church in the background.

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The church was also seen in "Jack & Sarah." SJ

After Clark moves off he hits another car and Motorist (Ballard Berkeley) is equally as pleasant as the first victim. The corner of Addison Avenue and St James's Gardens.

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Not quite captured the junction corner correctly but there are the church windows. SJ

Just after pulling away from the second collision, Clark drives into a Bike Rider (Eric Idle). The junction of Addison Avenue and St James's Gardens in W11.

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Half the street sign in shot, that's better. SJ

Ellen comforts the Bike Rider who has suffered severe injuries but remains remarkably polite. Facing west on St James's Gardens.

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The west shot. Looking towards a French Lieutenant's Woman and Knack location. SJ

Clark offers help but the Cyclist declines assistance. St James's Gardens looking towards Penzance Street W11.

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The east shot. Looking towards a (brief) Otley location. SJ

Unused to roundabouts, Clark has difficulty maneuvering the car into the left hand lane. The roundabout between Albert Embankment and Lambeth Palace Road in SE1 also seen in 'George and Mildred','How to Get Ahead in Advertising'' and 'The Cracksman'.

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The scaffolding of the then St Stephen's Tower containing Big Ben must have disappointed many a tourist in the 85/86 era. SJ

Clark circles the roundabout for some hours. London SE1.

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And that's Century House in the background, back in 1985 still an official secret. Rebuilding on the right, which was seen in Woody Allen's Match Point. SJ

Another day, another drive. This time along the Thames. Tower Wharf, London EC3.

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Peter captured the environs of Tower Bridge, now with human traffic instead of motorised.

The final day in London sees the family sightseeing once again. An unidentified location likely to be King's Road if the continuity is correct.

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King's Road indeed. Looking from Royal Avenue towards Tryon Street, seen in Say Hello to Yesterday. The punk moves quickly as he's in the next frame. SJ

As the Griswolds leave the capital, they comment on hair styles of the day. King's Road, London SW3 facing Smith Street.

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Peter had to shoot this from the wrong side of the road as there were too many "distractions" on the south side of King's Road. (RL)

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Clark drives through the countryside en route to Hampshire. Tim Lawrence identifies this as the A417 London Road between Upton and Blewbury in Oxfordshire with Upton Manor in the background.

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The family ponder the wonders of an obvious mock up of Stonehenge . . . . that Clark reverses the car into and demolishes. Tim advises that this is on the downs, south of Blewbury near Didcot, Oxfordshire.

After arriving in Paris the Griswold's drive onto Pont Alexandre III from Avenue du Maréchal Gallieni in their hired Citroen DS. Quai d'Orsay, Paris, France.

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From as high up as I could get. (RL)

The Grand Palais comes into view. Pont Alexandre III seen from Quai d'Orsay, Paris 75008. The bridge was also seen in 'The Day of the Jackal', 'Paris Blues' and 'The Rebel'.

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A similar view from ground level. (RL)

A video oppourtunity arises. Fontaine des Innocents, Place Joachim-du-Bellay, 1er Arrondissement, Paris.

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Taken from the Place Joachim-du-Bellay but I am not happy with the background. (RL)

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A Passer-by (Didier Pain) suggests that Clark joins his family whilst he films them. Place Joachim-du-Bellay in Paris 75001.

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The seemingly helpful Parisian suggests that they all paddle in the water . . . . .

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. . . . . and then runs off with their video camera. Looking towards Rue de la Reynie from Place Joachim-du-Bellay.

The Griswolds eventually arrive at their hotel, running over some suitcases as Clark draws up. Outside what is now the Millennium Hotel, looking east on Boulevard Haussmann in Paris. Located by Jonathan Judd.

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Jonathan also provides this comparison. Image copyright Google.

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At a street cafe, the Waiter (Philippe Sturbelle) is less than polite in his native tongue while Clark is impressed by his own mastery of the language. This is Alma-Marceau, Place de l'Alma two stops away on the Metro at the intersection of Avenue Montaigne and Avenue George V, with thanks to Heath Wollms. (RL)

Clark, Ellen, Audrey and Rusty view the Eiffel Tower. La Tour Eiffel, Champ de Mars, Paris.

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You stand where you are guided these days and keep off the grass. (RL)

Rusty suggests going to the top of the Tower. The grounds around the Eiffel Tower in Paris 75007.

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All much the same, save the fence. (RL)

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Audrey and her Mother decide to have their photo taken at the top of the Eiffel Tower in the 7th arrondissement of Paris.

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Rusty feels an idiot because of the beret that his Father has made him wear. La Tour Eiffel, Paris.

Sightseeing time. The junction of Rue Étienne Marcel and Rue de Turbigo, Paris.

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That iconic sign remains.(RL)

Clark leads the Griswolds as they leave Etienne Marcel Métro station. Paris 75001.

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Maintenant, avec graffiti. (RL)

Another picture, another memory. Except that the instant photograph falls unnoticed to the pavement. Facing Rue de Turbigo in the 1st arrondissement.

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Fortunately for me my photograph was captured on disc. (RL)

Clark and Ellen check out souvenirs. Avenue Winston Churchill with the Petit Palais Museum in the right background. Paris 75008.

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The vendor long gone. (RL)

On the final day of their visit to Paris, the family walk along the Seine. Below Quai de Montebello with Notre Dame Cathedral to the right.

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On our final day, we did too. (RL)

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With the Citroen loaded, the Griswolds leave Paris behind and head into the French countryside. Unidentified location.

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The camera follows as Clark turns a corner from image nlev038. Unknown location.

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Vineyards, churches and mountains are passed on the journey. Manuel Gurtner advises that "Actually we are in South Tyrol (Italy), where in the municipality of Eppan beneath the village of St. Pauls (San Paolo), Schloss Warth (Guardia Castle) rises into the sky, as the Griswolds drive over the SS42 (Strada Statale) towards Bozen (Bolzano)."

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Manuel provides this view of the same location from a different angle. To the top left the Gantkofel mountain can be seen. Image copyright Google.

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The Griswolds head for Germany and a visit to Clark's long lost relatives. Manuel tells us that we're still in South Tyrol and that this is the Ratschings Valley with the mountain range of the Hohe Kreuzspitze in the background. The Citroën DS is heading towards Sterzing (Vipiteno) and passes the church of Bichl (Colle) in the municipality Ratschings.

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And Manuel also provides this proof. Image copyright Google.

The family near their destination. Facing Via Cesare Battisti on the far side of the Eisack river, Brixen (Bressanone), South Tyrol in Italy.

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William Smay used his recent visit to Brixen to cover a number of our location shots. (RL)

Clark drives into the small town in the land of his ancestors. Looking south east along Via delle Ghiaie.

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No cars evident during Williams visit. (RL)

The Griswolds drive along Dippelstraße to the home of their German relations, Fritz and Helga Spritz. The German street is played by Via Vescovado in Brixen, Italy.

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To have seen the Griswolds would just have made William's day. (RL)

Clark and Rusty knock at the door . . . . . . the wrong door. Via Vescovado.

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William found the right door though. (RL)

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When the Griswold's leave on the following morning, the bemused householders (Erika Wackernagel and Willy Millowitsch) make comment. Via Vescovado, Brixen.

Whilst passing through the German town, the family come across a festival and Clark enters the spirit by buying the local costume.

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A little less festive whilst William was there. (RL)

A lot of thigh slapping and lederhosen wearing is happening. Piazza del Duomo, Brixen, Trentino-Alto Adige / Südtirol, Italy.

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Not sure if William is into "thigh slapping and lederhosen". (RL)

As the band plays, Clark is asked to join the dancers. Piazza del Duomo.

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It will no doubt come to life when those cabins open up. Thanks William. (RL)

Clark gets carried away with all the slapping and head-buts one of the German dancers. Piazza del Duomo, Brixen.

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At least William was not distracted. (RL)

The German retaliates. Piazza del Duomo.

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William admits that this is the one he didn't know until he looked at the screen grabs, but he now realises that he did manage to at least capture the window in a random shot. (RL)

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Clark and his family make their getaway as the festivities turn into a brawl. Piazza del Duomo, Brixen.

The locals grab wooden staffs and start to follow. Piazza del Duomo.

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And William grabbed this shot. (RL)

The angry townsfolk chase after the Griswolds. Piazza Parrocchia, Brixen.

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Clearly William made no one angry.. (RL)

Along narrow streets, Clark searches for a way out of town. Looking from Via delle Ghiaie into Via Ponte Aquila, Brixen.

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William totally admits that he didn't get the angle right. Clearly seeking a reason to return! (RL)

The Griswolds cross back over the Eisack river and head onto Via Stufles. Brixen (Bressanone), Italy.

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A ground level shot from William. (RL)

More narrow streets are negotiated and another cyclist is knocked over by Clark. Via Stufle, Brixen.

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Maybe they cleared the street as they knew what dangers were to follow. Captured by William. (RL)

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The lederhosen clad dancers gain on the Griswolds after their Citroen gets stuck in a narrow alley. Unknown location.

The Griswolds leave the car and run to the railway station. The sign says Battenberg but . . . .

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William advises that the station Fortezza/Franzensfeste is a short distance from Brixen. (RL)

The unwelcome visitors board the first train out, without car, money or luggage.

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William confirms the location as Fortezza/Franzensfeste which he supports with this picture. (RL)

An establishing shot of the hapless family's next and final destination. Roma Termini in Rome, Italy.

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No one of my best shots but hastily taken on the iPhone in view of the abundance of official personnel with guns. (RL)

After visiting a travel office to get more funds and a new car, the family start their tour of Rome.

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Via de San Pietro in Carcere facing NE. Neil Pentecost

The Griswolds get kitted out with the latest in Italian fashions. Via Condotti, Roma 00187, Italy.

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Facing north-east. Neil P again.

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Back at the hotel, Clark bumps into the recuperating Cyclist who he injured in London.

Audrey becomes upset when she is reminded that her boyfriend back home is now going out with her friend. Piazza Navona, Rome 00186.

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The north end. Neil P

When she sees a poster advertising an adult film starring herself, Ellen screams at Clark for not erasing the video of a steamy scene that he filmed before they set off from the States. Piazza Navona.

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Very much a piazza for artists these days. (RL)

Meanwhile, Rusty meets a Californian Girl (Moon Unit Zappa) who recognises him from the 'Pig in a Poke' show. Piazza Navona, Rome.

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Pity about that waste bin. (RL)

After Ellen storms back to the hotel, Clark eats alone at a street cafe.

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Piazza della Rotonda on the west side facing S. Neil P spotted this.

Clark takes pictures of himself as he tours the city. The Pantheon, Piazza della Rotonda in Rome.

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Jamie Davis captured the spot in 2008.

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Ellen is kidnapped from the hotel by a Thief (Victor Lanoux) who was in the process of robbing the travel office that the Griswolds visited on arrival in Rome. The pair are running between the cars on the Piazza di Montecitorio in the direction of Piazza Colonna. Location found by Manuel Gurtner.

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Looking from the square towards Piazza Colonna, where the Palazzo Wedekind is partially visible in the background. Provided by Manuel, this image is copyright Google.

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Clark returns to the hotel and finds Audrey who saw her Mother being taken. Manuel advises that this view is Piazza di Montecitorio facing the corner opposite to the Palazzo Montecitorio, seat of the Italian Chamber of Deputies.

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Manuel's modern view shows also the entrance to the "Capranichetta", the conference room of the Hotel Albergo Nazionale. Image copyright Google.

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Clark and Audrey take their hire car and set off in pursuit of Ellen. Manuel Gurtner's research reveals that the Fiat Regata is parked next to the entrance of the Hotel Albergo Nazionale.

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Cue the film's finale car chase. The Regata races towards the corner of Via della Missione and Via degli Uffici del Vicario. Identification by Manuel Gurtner.

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Manuel's comparison shot shows the whole façade of the Albergo Nazionale. Image copyright Google.

Clark steers the Fiat Regata between cabs.

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Parking remains a problem near to Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. (RL)

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The Thief's Volkswagen speeds through traffic as Ellen calls to Clark. Unidentified location.

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Unknown location.

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Unidentified location.

The cars pass the Colosseum before heading up Viale della Domus Aurea. Roma 00184.

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Not quite the correct angle but the Domus Aurea and area is currently closed for access. (RL)

Rusty and his new Friend sit talking at a cafe as the Volkswagen enters the square. Piazza Navona, Rome 00186.

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Maybe the tables were placed like that for the purposes of nlev081. (RL)

Clark is not far behind. The north side of Piazza Navona.

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Probably the last excitement they witnessed in that spot. (RL)

The two cars skid around the square as people dive for safety. Piazza Navona, Rome, Province of Rome, Italy.

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The Polizia Roma parked there would quickly stop such events now. (RL)

The Girl from California and Rusty keep clear of the chase as Clark drives through the cafe seating. Piazza Navona.

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There are certainly no tables in that position now. (RL)

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The Thief gets away with Clark in pursuit. Manuel Gurtner tells us that the Beetle is travelling from the Piazzale Caffarelli and has just passed the archway of the Via delle Tre Pile at the east side of the Musei Capitolini (Capitoline Museums).

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Manuel provides this wider shot facing the Via delle Tre Pile. Image copyright Google.

The chase disturbs a wedding. Piazza del Campidoglio, Roma.

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Campidoglio facing SE . Neil P at work again.

Clark drives through the middle of the wedding party. Piazza del Campidoglio.

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The statue has certainly been re-erected. (RL)

The Volkswagen is seen in the distance. Via del Teatro di Marcello as seen from Capitoline Hill.

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Virtually the same. (RL)

After finding the travel office manager tied up in the boot of the Fiat, Clark takes a bicycle to continue the pursuit. Looking up to the the top of Capitoline Hill with the façade of Palazzo Senatorio in the centre background.

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Looking up the steps Campidoglio facing SE. Neil Pentecost who made fine use of a trip to Rome.

Clark cycles after the Thief's car to rescue his Wife. Via del Teatro di Marcello looking towards Piazza di San Marco.

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Is that bus stand new? (RL)

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Clark catches up with the Volkswagen. Via dei Cerchi between the Circo Massimo (Circus Maximus) on the left and the Monte Palatino (Palatine Hill) to the right, identified by Manuel Gurtner.

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We're looking towards the junction with Via dell'Ara Massima and Via di San Teodoro in this proof from Manuel. Image copyright Google.

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The Thief loses control after Clark manages to climb into the car. Entering Piazza San Pietro from Via Cesare Battisti in Frascati, Lazio, Italy, located by Rhonda Evans.

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The Volkswagen Cabriolet crashes into the fountain. Rhonda Evans identifies this as Piazza San Pietro in Frascati with Basilica Cattedrale di San Pietro Apostolo, Duomo di Frascati visible to the left.

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Clark and Ellen are reunited at last. Fontaine de Piazza San Pietro di Frascati found by Rhonda.

The Police attend bringing Audrey and Rusty. Rhonda Evans advises that this is Piazza San Pietro in Frascati once again.

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Jonathan Judd provides this image of the same location. Image copyright Google Streetview.