The Velvet Café

A room for thoughts about movies

A glimpse of the Cinecittà Studios

with 12 comments


“Well, it isn’t any Universal Studios, even if it tries to be”.

My 18 year old was less than impressed by our visit at the Cinecittà Studios during our recent trip to Rome. My vague claim that it was a “classic” film studio, where a lot of good movies had been shot wasn’t enough to convince her. Fellini? Who’s that? Never heard of the guy.

I could give her as much that this certainly was no amusement park and certainly no fancy ride through sceneries from Steven Spielberg movies. It was a place full of memories and a glorious past, but also an uncertain future, as proofed by a recent occupation by film workers that had been going on for months, as a protest against some planned changes.

To be fair the weather the day we had picked for our visit didn’t help very much. I knew it wasn’t anywhere near the storm that had swept into the US East coast while we were in Rom. But this didn’t change the fact that the rain was pouring down and the wind turned the abysmal umbrellas that we had bought from street a street vendor inside out, providing basically no protection at all. (Lesson learned: as far as umbrellas come you get exactly what you pay for.)

I had promised my daughter an indoor experience – a guided tour in one of the film studios. Instead we found ourselves cruising between different sets that had been used for various historical movies and TV shows, most recently the Rome series. Judging from what we were shown, historical settings appear to be a specialty for the Cincecittà Studios. Even if the fake walls of a medieval village looked solid enough to the eye, they’re also built to be adjustable. With a few small changes, the same houses can be moved hundreds of years in time or hundreds of miles in space. The sky was the limit – in a double sense. This day it was the sky that strongly limited the duration of our visit.

I brought a few things with me from Cinecittà: a key holding band from the souvenir shop. A couple of pictures of dubious quality from our guided tour.

But most importantly: I got an urge to watch more classic Italian movies. I have got a lot to catch up on. Including this guy Fellini.

Written by Jessica

November 6, 2012 at 12:20 am

12 Responses

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  1. With all due respect to Fellini, I’d probably want to re-watch HBO’s Rome after visiting that place.

    John

    November 6, 2012 at 7:28 am

    • Actually I have yet to watch it. And yet I have access to it! My mother bought it and talked enthusiastically about it and lend it to me. I really should see it. BTW the guide told us that it hadn’t been successful at all in Italy. A complete failure.

      Jessica

      November 6, 2012 at 7:31 am

      • Rome was barely successful in the US. It was axed after two years.

        I’m really jealous you visited Cinecitta. I didn’t realize that so many cool things were filmed there.

        John

        November 6, 2012 at 7:39 am

  2. Have you seen NIGHTS OF CABIRIA, Jessica? I think you’d enjoy it.

    martinteller

    November 6, 2012 at 4:35 pm

  3. Very cool stuff!

    AndyWatchesMovies

    November 7, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    • It is! I wish I could have spent a little bit more time there, but unfortunately my 18 year old got very impatient, not being as much of a cinephile as I am.

      Jessica

      November 7, 2012 at 6:53 pm

  4. Lucky you! Though to be fair to your 18 year old, at that age I probably wouldn’t have been so enthusiastic about the place either.

    Bonjour Tristesse

    November 8, 2012 at 12:56 am

    • Nah, I don’t blame her really. The whole place feels a bit wore down to be honest. The fact that it was raining heavily didn’t help very much.

      Jessica

      November 8, 2012 at 7:33 am

  5. So cool. A lot of history there.

    fernandorafael

    November 8, 2012 at 8:49 am

    • Indeed! I just wish I knew more about it before going there. It kind of felt as if I didn’t deserve to be there.

      Jessica

      November 8, 2012 at 7:27 pm

  6. […] Jessica has returned from her recent Italian travels and while she was there, she scratched an entry off any film fan’s bucket list: She visited Cinecitta Studios. […]


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