Not often does something started by a horrible dictator result in years of prosperity and art but Cinecittà Studios is that exception. Opened in April of 1937 by Mussolini in order to promote Italy and fascism with the slogan “Il cinema è l’arma più forte” (Cinema is the most powerful weapon), Cinecittà Studio is now the largest production studio in continental Europe. Located in south-east Rome, “the studio was designed as a complete center of production, with facilities covering everything from training, through the production of films, to post-production.”
During World War II, Cinecittà saw heavy bombing from the Allies and was evacuated but after the war ended, the 1950s heralded in the studio’s heyday with American production companies finding the facility a cheap place to shoot. Films such as Ben Hur, Cleopatra, Roman Holiday and Three Coins were shot there and it became the home base for Federico Fellini where he made La dolce vita and Satyricon.
Today Cinecittà continues to be a bustling studio, recently hosting the films The Gangs of New York and the HBO series Rome. Of Cinecittà and filming there, Martin Scorsese said “I’ve always felt that Cinecittà has a special magic because of all the great films that have been made there. For the many years that I had been thinking about GANGS OF NEW YORK, I always imagined it would be created with an aspect of the Italian artistry that I saw and experienced in Italian films when I was growing up.”
“The studio is closed to the public, although it occasionally opens for tours. There are plans to open a full studio tour, along with a theme park called Cinecittà World, at some point in the near future.”
Via Tuscolana 1055, 00173 Roma – Italia
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