Moviestudios in Rome Cinecitta

In the south of the city is a large area reserved for one thing: movies! You wouldn’t think it these days with CG and the large Hollywood studio’s but there have been a lot of films that were actually made in Rome. Movies like Gladiator with Russell Crowe and the Young Pope with Jude Law. Oh, and let’s not forget HBO’s Rome.

That last one was of particular interest to me. HBO’s Rome was in many ways a precursor to Game of Thrones. You can get it on Blu-ray but… you can also walk in ancient Rome yourself. No, I don’t mean the Forum Romanum or the Colosseum. I mean the actual Forum from the series. It is still there after 15 years.

How much time should I spend here?About 2-3 hours
How much does it cost?It depends
How far from the city center?About 30 minutes
What modes of transport are available?Subway
What is the nearest subway stop?Cinecitta
Where can I find it?Google Maps link
Is there an official website?Click here

Cinecitta is big. Like 400,000 square meters big. And not only that but the lot is being used for films all the time. This is why you are only permitted on the grounds with a guide. The tour takes you past all the important places on the studio grounds.

Soundstages

The sound stages are cool, especially knowing that some of them were being used by The Young Pope right at the time I visited. Can you imagine being on holiday in Rome and running into Jude Law on a movie set you happen to visit?

Stage 1 of the Cinecitta lot

Of course, it depends on the moment when you are visiting whether or not there is anything actually being filmed. (Or if there is any celebrity walking around or not.) Some of the sound stages were empty when I was visiting. It was cool to see anyway.

Outdoor sets

Now the sound stages are cool, but they don’t hold a candle to the ‘permanent’ outdoor sets. Our guide told us that these sets are permanent but that doesn’t mean they can’t be changed or torn down when there is a need for it. You can imagine that no two movies are the same, and that directors will want changes to an existing set just to make it their own. But having these permanent sets already be there, cuts down on costs and production time.

Now as a visitor, this means you get to walk in the world your favorite characters. You can walk around the streets of The Gangs of New York or walk the cobbled streets of ancient Rome.

The set of HBO’s Rome

Props

One of the other highlights of the tour is the warehouse where they store all the props. You’ll find yourself in between miniatures, shields and swords. They keep all the inventory here from the permanent sets and other productions that are currently going on.

The mosaic from the intro titles of HBO’s Rome

Cinecitta Museum

Depending on when you arrive, you can either visit the museum first and then go for the tour or the other way around. As opposed to the tour, you can wander around the museum on your own and it is pretty cool.

A lot of the exhibits are flanked by tv-screens that show the scenes and movies where they were used. And there is even a full set of U-571 with Matthew McConaughey and Harvey Keitel. And yes, you can look through the periscope.

How to get to Cinecitta?

Cinecitta is easy to find. It has its own subway station. You will need to take some time to get there though. It takes about 25 minutes from Termini Station. And you’ll have to add some time if you have to come from your hotel of course.

Once you are there, you can simply walk into the ticket office and get your tickets.

Please check out the official website of Cinecitta to find out when the English tours are taking place or you might have to wait a long time (or not be able to visit at all).

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