Cinecittà 3,000-plus productions include 50-plus Academy Award winners. The 18-acre, million-dollar set for the chariot race in 1959’s Ben-Hur (an all-time Oscar champ with 11 wins) is among the largest ever built. Cleopatra (1963) required 79 sets with up to 10,000 extras at a time.
Other hallmark movies shot here include Roman Holiday (1953); The Pink Panther (1963); For A Few Dollars More (1965); and Romeo and Juliet (1968). With later entries including Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York (2002), Cinecittà is presently getting a major makeover including new cutting-edge soundstages.
Translated as Cinecittà Shows Off, Cinecittà Si Mostra (Via Tuscolana 1055, Rome. Tel: +39 06-722-93269. www.cinecittasimostra.it/en) showcases the Dream Factory’s legacy. The transporting exhibition features rich movie memorabilia and three permanent outdoor stages, including the 10-acre “Ancient Rome” set from HBO’s Rome.
Fellini, whose Cinecittà fame includes La Dolce Vita (1960) and Casanova (1976), has his own dedicated wing, and as of August 2021, his own museum. Located in Rimini, his birthplace on Italy’s Adriatic coast, Fellini Museum Rimini (Tel: +39-0541-793781. www.fellinimuseum.it/en) combines three venues for an immersive journey following the theme of “everything is imagined.” These comprise virtual movie sets inside 15th century Sismondo Castle; screenings inside Cinema Fulgor, where Fellini saw his first film; and video installations, augmented reality, and pop-up exhibits in the outdoor Piazza Malatesta or “Square of Dreams.”
Magically set within Turin’s spiraling Mole Antonelliana, Italy’s Museo Nazionale del Cinema (Via Montebello, 20, Turin). Tel: 06-4074-40012. www.museocinema.it/en) is the world’s tallest museum. With many rare and precious items in its massive collection, it’s a magnet for film pilgrims who also come for Turin’s three annual international film festivals.
In neighboring Switzerland, Charlie Chaplin is celebrated at Chaplin’s World (Route de Fenil 2, Corsier-sur-Vevey. Tel: +41-842-422-422. www.chaplinsworld.com/en). With the Chaplin-themed Modern Times Hotel (www.moderntimeshotel.ch/en) nearby, Chaplin’s converted former 1840 Neoclassical mansion-estate features set pieces from Modern Times (1936) and other exhibits.The lush property comes with cinematic views of Lake Geneva and the Alps.
Germany’s six film museums include Deutsche Kinemathek Museum fur Film und Fernsehen (Potsdamer Strasse 2, Berlin. Tel: +49-30-300-9030. www.deutsche-kinemathek.de/en). With a vast archive of German film history and heritage, exhibits include futuristic set designs for Fritz Lang’siconic Metropolis(1927); an extensive Marlene Dietrich archive; and costumes from Wolfgang Petersen’s U-boat epic Das Boot (1981).
With so many wonderful venues dedicated to filmmaking, past, present, and future, these movie museums are your global passport to the world of cinema magic, dreams, and achievements.
“Quiet on the set. Lights, camera, action!”