Fellini's Roma is a virtually plotless autobiographical tribute to Rome, Italy, featuring narration by Fellini himself and a mixture of real-life footage and fictional set pieces. It flows from episode to episode, beginning with the director's early years arriving in Rome in 1931 during the time of Mussolini. Played by Stefano Mayore as a child, he visits the city with classmates and becomes infatuated. Played by Peter Gonzales at age 18, the young Fellini moves in to a tenement building and explores the wild characters living in neighbourhood.
The events that follow switch between the past and contemporary times, including a story line that involves a 1970s film crew making a movie about Rome. He also incorporates segments of Roman history and problems in the government, including an improvised speech from Gore Vidal. Throughout this journey there are visits to an outdoor restaurant, a movie theatre, a music hall, and a brothel. In one famously surreal segment, groups of clergymen gather together for a Catholic fashion show spectacle.