We watched a good chunk of Fellini's Amarcord (1973) the other day in movie club...until the disk exploded from all the extreme wackiness. (Just kidding: the disk was extremely scratched.) What we saw was awesome. I imagine this is Fellini's recollection (the title is "I remember") of his boyhood town in the 30s, filtered through a comic book. We learned about this film from a NY Times article that Kyle read, about Woody Allen's top four Italian films: The Bicycle Thief (now known as Bicycle Thieves), Blow-up, Shoeshine, and Amarcord.
Woody Allen on Italian filmmakers: “They invented a method of telling a story and suddenly for us lesser mortals it becomes all right to tell a story that way..... We do our versions of them, never as shockingly innovative or brilliant as when the masters did them.”
To Rome with Love is not only about the people of Rome but also its cinema. I think if you watch Amarcord and To Rome, and an earlier Woody Allen film Radio Days (highly recommended), you'll see the Italian influence.