Cinecittà, Rome

Dates: 1937 – present

Open for Tours (must arrange in advance)
Tour website:

Vast studio complex, housing the largest soundstage in Europe. Recently opened a theme park which runs tours around the studio. 

Hollywood Reporter article about the theme park delays

Construction details at



April 1937 – Studios founded by Benito Mussolini and his head of cinema Luigi Freddi for propaganda purposes (with the intention of promoting Italy and the current fascist ideals through cinema), under the slogan “Il cinema è l’arma più forte” (Cinema is the most powerful weapon). The complex, in south-east Rome, was designed as a complete centre of production, with facilities covering everything from training, through the production of films, to post-production. Within six years, almost 300 films had been made at the new studios, assisted by the Alfieri Law, introduced in 1939, which was designed to assist home-grown film production

1943 – During World War II, Italy surrendered in 1943 and the Germans took over the country. They looted Cinecittà, and the film production facilities were moved to temporary accommodation in Venice. Over the next two years, Cinecittà was subjected to Allied bombing.

19451947 – Following the war, the studios of Cinecittà were used as a displaced persons’ camp. The period from 1943 onwards contributed towards the forming of the cinematic genre known as Italian neorealism; the Roman filmmakers, denied both funding and access to the facilities of Cinecittà, took to the streets and used amateur actors. The resulting films, like Rome, Open City, carried a strong sense of the difficulties with poverty and identity being faced in Italy at the time.

1950s – American production companies in search of cheap facilities began to turn their attention to Cinecittà. Films like Roman Holiday and Three Coins in the Fountain took advantage of both the facilities at Cinecittà and the possibilities for location shooting in Rome itself. The studios also hosted many epic productions, an early example being Quo Vadis? in 1951. Ben Hur was filmed here in 1959, and the production of Cleopatra was moved from London to Cinecittà following problems with budgeting, bad weather and Elizabeth Taylor’s health.
Cinecittà also became the studio most closely associated with Federico Fellini.

1990s – After a period of near-bankruptcy in the 1980s, in the 1990s Cinecittà was privatized by the Italian government.

1991 – It hosted the 1991 Eurovision Song Contest. The venue had been changed from Sanremo because of security concerns.

1994 – Pink Floyd performed, on three consecutive nights, at the studio during The Division Bell Tour on September 19–21, 1994.

2007 – On August 9, 2007, a fire destroyed about 3000 m² (32,000 sq. ft.) of the Cinecittà lot and surroundings. The historic part that houses the sets of classics such as Ben-Hur were not damaged, however a good portion of the original sets from the HBO/BBC series Rome were destroyed.

2012 – 19 July – A fire destroyed part of Studio 5, where La Dolce Vita was shot. Hollywood Reporter article

2013 – Construction underway on Cinecitta World, an international-level theme park, at Dino Studios, created in the 1960s by Dino de Laurentis.

Productions shot at Cinecitta Studios

Feature Film (26)

Summer Night, Winter Moon2012Xavier KollerIMDB Database page about Summer Night, Winter Moon
To Rome With Love2012Woody AllenIMDB Database page about To Rome With Love
Nine2009Rob MarshallIMDB Database page about Nine
The Nativity Story2006Catherine HardwickeIMDB Database page about The Nativity Story
Life and Death of Peter Sellers2004Stephen HopkinsIMDB Database page about Life and Death of Peter Sellers
Studio entrance featured (as the studio was the base for The Pink Panther (1963))
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou2004Wes AndersonIMDB Database page about The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
The Passion of the Christ2004Mel GibsonIMDB Database page about The Passion of the Christ
Gangs of New York2002Martin ScorseseIMDB Database page about Gangs of New York
U-5712000Jonathan MostowIMDB Database page about U-571
The Talented Mr. Ripley1999Anthony MinghellaIMDB Database page about The Talented Mr. Ripley
The English Patient1996Anthony MinghellaIMDB Database page about The English Patient
Cliffhanger1993Renny HarlinIMDB Database page about Cliffhanger
The Godfather: Part III1990Francis Ford CoppolaIMDB Database page about The Godfather: Part III
The Name of the Rose1986Jean-Jacques AnnaudIMDB Database page about The Name of the Rose
Ladyhawke1985Richard DonnerIMDB Database page about Ladyhawke
Shot on location around Italy and at Cinecitta Studios in Rome.
Once Upon A Time in America1984Sergio LeoneIMDB Database page about Once Upon A Time in America
Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom1975Pier Paolo PasoliniIMDB Database page about Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom
Once Upon A Time in the West1968Sergio LeoneIMDB Database page about Once Upon A Time in the West
For A Few Dollars More1965Sergio LeoneIMDB Database page about For A Few Dollars More
A Fistful of Dollars1964Sergio LeoneIMDB Database page about A Fistful of Dollars
1963Federico FelliniIMDB Database page about 8½
Cleopatra1963Joseph L. MankiewiczIMDB Database page about Cleopatra
The Pink Panther1963Blake EdwardsIMDB Database page about The Pink Panther
La Dolce Vita1960Federico FelliniIMDB Database page about La Dolce Vita
Studio 05
Ben-Hur1959Will WylerIMDB Database page about Ben-Hur
The chariot race required 15,000 extras, on a set constructed on 18 acres of backlot at Cinecitta Studios outside Rome. Tour buses visited the set every hour. Eighteen chariots were built, with half being used for practice. The race took five weeks to film.
Roman Holiday1953William Wyler IMDB Database page about Roman Holiday
Interiors were shot at Cinecitta

TV Series (1)

TitleReleasedCreator / ShowrunnerIMDB
Rome2005-2007Bruno Heller, William J. MacDonald, John MiliusIMDB Database page about Rome