Cinecittá changes?

July 26, 2012 / Local Interest
Rome, Italy

Some of motion picture’s most famous sets were built here. It’s where Richard Burton played Anthony to Elizabeth Taylor’s Cleopatra. Where Charlton Heston won a chariot race.

The film studio, Cinecittá Studios, is deservedly famous. It has been the only studio in the world with all phases of film production available on just one lot. Built by Mussolini, and set on 100 acres outside of Rome, directorial giants like Fellini have worked here. Ben Hur, Cleopatra, La Dolce Vita and the English Patient were made on this, the largest studio lot on the European continent.

Today however, instead of watching movies being made at Cinecittá, you can watch the protesters who are camped out in front of the studio, banners and flags flying, tents pitched, music blaring. The studio’s film workers are protesting the break up of this famous landmark.

Once state owned, the plan is to break up the monolithic studio into privately run entities; outsource services, and redevelop the land on which the studio sits. Future plans for the studio location include creation of hotels, a health club and even a Cinecittá amusement park!

Members of the world wide film industry are joining the protesters, sending petitions to the Italian government, asking them to intercede.

And the locals are left to wonder, will Rome ever again be built in just 23 days?

– Welcome to our new contributor, Gerrie Jakobs! Gerrie is an Arizonan, living temporarily in Roma, with her husband who is gainfully employed. You can follow her adventures on her blog at

– Gerrie Jakobs is an Arizonan, living temporarily in Roma, with her husband who is gainfully employed. You can follow her adventures on her blog at

11 Responses to “Cinecittá changes?”

  1. louise

    Oh dear, so many memories.
    Thanks for the Note, Gerrie, and welcome to ItaliaNotebook!

  2. Mairin O'Mahony

    Teatro 5 burned down last week accordng to La Repubblica. Although Cinecitta` says it will be up and running by August, it seems pretty doubtful.

  3. Oh, how sad! I hope that the protesters are able to get this decision reversed.

  4. Gerrie – I drove by the entrance to CC the other week and was sadly disappointed. I’ve been on all of the major lots in Hollywood, and the CC pails in comparison. I hope this story has a happy ending and that the history of the lot remains in tact, but does get a much-needed facelift. Thanks for the post and welcome to ItalianNotebook.

  5. Sad sad sad… I worked in the Italian film industry for 15 years and spent most of this time on the Cinecittà lot. Last week Teatro 5 burned up in flames, and now the place that I called home away from home is officially due to close. This breaks my heart. Some of my fondest work memories are linked to the Cinecittà microcosm. Gangs of New York, The Passion of the Christ, The Life Aquatic, Titus, HBO’s Rome…

  6. Angel Scalisi

    this is more then an industry & place of business it is a culture & place of creativity don’t squash society’s heart beat !!

  7. Linda Gasbarro

    So sad, it reminds me of beautiful buildings here in the US that have been changed/eliminated due to the changing times. I’ve always loved the way institutions such as Cinecittà we’re preserved in Italy for future generations from all over the world.

    I hope those wonderful protestors will prevail.

  8. That would be fantastic if CC had tram tours a la Universal Studios. Many Westerns, gangster and gladiator movies there, as you know already.


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