I lived in Italy forty years ago. I used to go to Rome on Sat and stay overnight on average at least once a month. It's true that it's not packed with crowds and Vespas and Fiats at 3am Sun but Romans dined late and back then they partied late. I doubt if that's changed much and even though the population has dropped a few hundred thousand from about three million then (not including the tourists), I'd be astonished if you could find any stretches of the main roads in the center of the city , such as where the car chase took place, without traffic and people - even in the middle of the week.
Now, there is a little caveat to this. In the summer (especially in August) when it get's really hot businesses shut down and families go to the coasts for some r&r and to cool off. I never went to Rome in those months for the same reason. It's quite possible you probably could see much of the main areas deserted in the middle of the night, so if this story is supposed to be taking place in August it could be plausible. However, given the fact that the characters are dressed in coats at the funeral and that Bond is in snow covered Austria and that it looks pretty cold in the London scenes and we know when these were actually shot, I don't think the story is supposed to be taking place in the late summer.
This film and others (like Rogue Nation, which shows the same fantasy of car and foot chases with constant shooting in London with a total absence of law enforcement or other people or vehicles around) are all guilty of leaving out this reality. At least in the Bourne chases they digitally inserted autos near the chases and crashes to inflate the amount of traffic nearby. However, this is less noticeable given the speed of the takes and the editing.
As long as there are insurance companies and as long as audiences want these type of high speed chases, we will keep seeing them done in empty streets and open roads in deserted areas for the foreseeable future.
Last edited by CmdrAtticus (10th Nov 2015 19:22)