Tuesday 19 November 2013

Cinecitta Studios

After visiting Pompeii and Rome itself, I got a real kick out of stopping by Cinecitta Studios outside the city, where the sets of HBO's Rome series still stand. They're made out of wood, of course, and if you knock on them they sound hollow.

But it's still fun to see what Pompeii's streets might have looked like back in the day.

Most of the city's cut off at chest height, or lower; only a few buildings still retain their original roof. The baths is one. It's quite well preserved, with murals and mosaics still evident.

Outside, there's graffiti on walls, penises at corners, and a incredibly well preserved (and restored) brothel.

But if your imagination needs an assist, Cinecitta does the job nicely. Like Disneyland, it's not entirely accurate. Archaeologists and the cognoscenti will be appalled, but fellow philistines will find the HBO sets like a walk into the past.

Best of all, unlike previous Sword and Sandal epics, the sets here are painted in more realistic colours.

Map of the Studio
There's an indoor display that plays footage from films shot at Cinecitta, as well as props and costumes.
Costumes that have graced the sets
To reach Rome you must first pass through the crumbling remains of the Gangs of New York sets.
Only facade deep
Poor state of repair

New York City on the Tiber
No Name Arch, with a passage to Ancient Egypt beyond
Abandoned giant head
Used Catapult, slight wear, best offer
Statue used in the film Gladiator
Fountain; very close to what currently exists in Pompeii

Me loitering in Ancient Rome
Labyrinthine streets
HBO's Rome, set of Rome, architecture of rome, roman architecture, sets at Cinecitta
Rostrum in foreground, with temple in background

The Rostrum, the public speaking platform, complete with ship prows.

Reminds me of the Tabularium at the Northern end of the Roman Forum
Set for The Borgias: A Venetian church
More Venice
Medieval village