Cinecittà is Italy’s largest film studio and used to be known as “Hollywood on the Tiber”. Originally created for purposes of propaganda, it was founded by the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, in 1937.
Cinecittà World Rome
Address: Via di Castel Romano, 200 – Rome. Phone: +39 06 40411541.
History and description
The studio, which was greatly damaged during allied bombings in World War II, became very fashionable for American directors in the 1950’s, mainly because of its low production costs. The classic Ben Hur was filmed in Cinecittà and later Italy’s most famous director Federico Fellini shot most of his movies, including the famous La Dolce Vita, there.
In the 1980’s Cinecittà was privatized by the Italian government, but despite big productions like Gangs of New York and Passion of the Christ it has never reached the fame of its 1950’s/1960’s heyday.
Italy’s version of Big Brother, Grande Fratello, is also filmed in a house especially created on the CinecittÃ premises.
It is unfortunate that that what made Cinecittà popular amongst filmmakers is now turning into its biggest disadvantage: In times of crisis money movie makers have to watch their budgets more than ever and cities like Budapest and Bucharest are sometimes 25% cheaper than Rome and in 2010 even Italian producers spent almost three quarters of their budgets outside Italy.
In order to reverse this trend Cinecittà iinvested almost 700 million Euros in a new hotel and an amusement park, Cinecittà World.