Plot: Nando Mericoni (Alberto Sordi) is a young man from the Trastevere who regrets not being born in America, so much so that its greatest aspiration is to move to the United States. His life is a parody full of the american way of life, from clothing to language, from the motorcycle to the food. Following the obsessive idea of wanting to transfer to the United States, Nando combines an endless series of trouble, he sets up a dance company, tries the way of the jazz musician, but while he start preparing his company, the germans arrest him and they force him into the Todt, and then end up in a labor camp, with a death sentence.
The history of the insane Nando Mericoni runs between Portico d'ottavia and Teatro Marcello, in the middle of the Ghetto of Rome, in addition to the Colosseum, where was filmed the famous final, Nando threatens to throw himself into the void. The Ghetto area of Rome is a district marked by the fascination of his tormented history, but in the cinema has always had a dual vocation. The first, simple and generic, as a Roman folkloric setting, and the second, more dramatic and specific, as the natural setting of an ancient and cohesive ethnic-cultural entity: the Jews of Rome, of course, which are in fact more Roman than many Romans, since they have always been here, despite difficulties, expulsions and persecutions.
While Nando, in a scene from the film, continues to apologize to the guard, leaves the column and is under the window of his home, where the father, played by Giulio Calì, overlooks rebuking him harshly. It would seem to be walking to the Trattoria da Giggetto, but the shot suddenly changes. In fact, even if not very far, Nando’s home is in the opposite side towards the Portico d'Ottavia: we are in Via di Santa Maria in Monticelli.
The film, shortly after, return to Via del Portico d'Ottavia, when the father of Nando remembers the terrible moments that he lived in the Ghetto in the times of Rome when occupied by the germans.