Italian filmmaker Frederico Fellini once referred to Cinecittà as a “temple of dreams” and it’s not hard to see why.
This legendary film studio was founded in 1937 and has played host to numerous blockbusters, including Ben Hur, Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York and Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic. The largest film studio in continental Europe, Cinecittà (Italian for Cinema City) has been the filming location for more than 3,000 films over the years including 48 Oscar winners and dozens of ‘spaghetti westerns’. Thanks to the creative talent on offer and relatively cheap production costs, numerous American productions were made at the studio in the 1950s, earning it the nickname “Hollywood on the Tiber”.
As well as being a beautiful example of modernist architecture, the studio has many claims to fame. Long before Lady Gaga was garbling about Paparazzi, the term was coined at Cinecittà, named after a photographer called Paparazzo from Frederico Fellini’s hugely successful La Dolce Vita. The famous studio is also where Hollywood stars Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton began their affair while fiming the extravagant epic Cleopatra.
The studio has survived bombing attacks during World War II as well as a fire in 2007 that resulted in a substantial amount of damage.
I was lucky enough to visit the studios on a recent press trip to the Italian capital, where we had the chance to go boozing at a lavish party on the set of BBC/HBO drama Rome, of which I’m a huge fan. Needless to say, much bubbly was quaffed, many poses were struck and copious amounts of embarrassing photos snapped.
If you’re ever in Rome and looking for something to do that’s a little different, then I highly recommend a visit.