For anyone even remotely interested in the history of cinema, a visit to Cinecittà (also known as ‘The Dream Factory’), is a must during your stay in Rome. Since January this year, a new permanent exhibition, ‘Cinecittà Shows Off’, gives visitors the opportunity to learn about the history of Cinecittà, as well as view studio sets and costumes from iconic films. The grounds encompass the largest studio in the whole of Europe and you can enjoy private or group tours of the entire area.
This history of Cinecittà dates back to April 1937 when it was opened by Mussolini, with the intention of promoting facist ideals through cinema. The huge complex, in south-east Rome, was designed as a complete centre of filmproduction, from the production of films, to post-production. In 1943, when Italy surrendered to the Germans, Cinecittà was looted, and also subjected to Allied bombing, and then used as a displaced persons’ camp from 1945 to 1947. The unavailability of the studio facilities of course contributed to Italian neorealism, when filmmakers took to the streets instead and used amateur actors.
By the 1950’s Cinecittà, with its relatively inexpensive range of facilities, attracted American production companies, and some famous classics were shot here, including Ben-Hur and Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York. Visitors now can enjoy first hand experience of ‘Broadway’, the four streets built in 2002 for Gangs of New York, and also the Roman Forum which feels almost disconcerting in its authenticity.
A highlight is the room is dedicated to the great Italian director, Federico Fellini, who chose Cinecittà as the place where his vivid imagination would take shape. You will be guided through monumental sets and witness everything first hand from the Cardinals of Roma to the moon from La Voce della Luna, and also view costumes including those of Marcello Mastroianni in Ginger e Fred and Giulietta degli Spiriti, and Anita Ekberg in La Dolce Vita.
It’s located just 9km out of Rome and easily accessible by metro, with its own metro stop.
Cinecittà Studios, Via Tuscolana, 1055
Metro A Cinecittà
Open every day but Tuesday: 9.30am-6.30pm. Guided tours: 10am (Italian) – 11.30am (Italian and English) – 1pm (Italian) – 2.30pm (Italian) – 4pm (Italian and English) – 5.30pm (Italian) –
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