Livin’ La Dolce Vita a Roma

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I finished rewatching La Dolce Vita the other night and I was surprised at how different the film was from what I remember after first seeing it many years ago. Most noticeably, how critical Fellini portrays Rome. Far from the glamour and the romance so associated with the city, Fellini really takes a negative view of Roman culture around 1960 when the film takes place, and at the same time is criticizing modernity itself, which is accentuated by the fact that the action almost all takes place within the landscape of ancient Rome (e.g., the infamous Trevi Fountain scene where the buxom American actress played by Anita Ekberg and Marcello Mastroianni cavort just as the sun begins to rise in the morning).

That being said, I think it’s not Rome itself he’s criticizing, but rather the era in which the movie takes place, which may explain that despite everything that goes wrong in the story, you can’t help but want to visit Rome as soon as you can after watching the film; and the fall is one of the best times to head to the Eternal City as the tourists have fled the city and the hot, muggy air has given way to comfortable, walking weather. Above is a good video of some tips and inspiration for your trip.

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