Southern Rome

Cinecittà is Italy's foremost film studio, founded in 1937 by Mussolini and used for many iconic Italian and international films. It's possible to take a tour of the studios (Cinecittà Si Mostra, or Cinecittà Shows Off), where you get to visit several impressive sets, including 1500s Florence and ancient Rome, and there are interesting exhibitions, one dedicated to the work of Federico Fellini, and another exploring the studio's history. Of the thousands of films shot here, almost 50 have won Oscars.

Originally intended by Mussolini to turn out propaganda pictures, the studios were used during WWII variously as a refugee camp and hospital, but postwar they went from strength to strength. In the 1950s many major Hollywood films were made here, including Cleopatra, and Rome earned the nickname Hollywood on the Tiber. This was also to become Fellini's stomping ground – he even had a bedroom here – and La Dolce Vita was filmed in Theatre 5, within which the director recreated Via Veneto. Later, spaghetti westerns dominated the schedule. Recently it was used for the HBO series Rome and Paolo Sorrentino's The Young Pope.

At certain times guided tours of the sets are offered in English; check the website.

Note, movie-themed amusement park Cinecittà World is located 25km southwest of Rome.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Southern Rome attractions

1. Villa dei Quintili

1.76 MILES

Towering over green fields, this 2nd-century villa is one of Rome's unsung splendours. It was the luxurious abode of two consuls, the Quintili brothers,…

2. MURo


This isn't so much a museum as a collection of murals dotted around the Quadraro neighbourhood in the city’s southern suburbs. Works by nearly two dozen…

3. Casal Rotondo

2.15 MILES

Over five very historic miles from the start of the Appian Way, this ruin was once a tomb dating to the 1st century BC. In the eons since it has been a…

4. Tombe della Via Latina

2.31 MILES

The Archaeological Park of the Tombs of the Via Latina holds a trove of ancient Roman tombs in a park setting. Following an extensive restoration, the…

5. Chiesa Dio Padre Misericordioso

2.36 MILES

If you're a contemporary architecture buff, it's well worth searching out this modern, minimalist church in the suburbs. A Richard Meier creation built…

6. Capo di Bove

2.57 MILES

Discovered when excavating the grounds of a private villa to build a swimming pool, the remains of this Roman villa give a sense of how a gracious ancient…

7. Circo di Massenzio

2.73 MILES

Part of the Villa di Massenzio complex, this is Rome’s best-preserved ancient racetrack – you can still make out the starting stalls used for chariot…

8. Mausoleo di Cecilia Metella

2.79 MILES

Dating to the 1st century BC, this great drum of a mausoleum encloses a burial chamber, now roofless. In the 14th century it was converted into a fort by…