Thursday, November 23, 2017


Rome's legendary Cinecittà is only a subway ride away from the city centre.
John and I bought entry to both the front and back lots.
The front lot has three museums of Cinecittà history and film-making.
These are costumes from Fellini's movies -- on the right Anita Ekberg's gown and coat from the Trevi Fountain sequence in La Dolce Vita.
In the middle of the main courtyard sits the mysterious head that rises from the Venetian canal in Fellini's Casanova.
But the backlot is where things got interesting! Here's Studio Number Five the biggest sound stage on the lot and where Fellini filmed Juliet of the Spirits among many other movies. He even had a bedroom in the building.
Up a short street we entered the set for HBO's ROME TV series.
The magic of the movie world -- scaffolding holds the fabricated buildings in place.
We had expected the back lot to be a busy, touristy place but we had a nice group of about 25 people on our English-language tour.
We had the freedom to wander around
and find our own perspectives on the evocative space.
I liked this street with insulae and shops
and this palace next to a frescoed wall.
John wandered down this colonnade. 
We left the set and passed a warehouse barn from Gangs of New York (top left)
as we entered into a set representing ancient Jerusalem.
It's easy to forget that the exotic marble facade is actually made of thin, moulded fibreglass. 
Another temple mixing architectural elements from several Middle Eastern kingdoms and periods.
Off we trod again, this time into a Medieval set
again mixing different cultural and period elements.
The cathedral and bell tower are the focus of the set just as they would be in a real town.
Great faux stone and wood architecture. What fun to see it up close!
Last stop on the tour was "The Swimming Pool," a large tank backed by a huge concrete wall. Sea scenes were shot here with the wall used as a "blue screen" for adding background later.
Cinecittà is easy to get to and fun. Allow half a day.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


John and I are safely home in Toronto with time to look at our many new photographs.
We see that we have collected a small portrait of native Venetians,
working on the canals
or waiting with friends
for the ferry.
Meanwhile inside the vaporetto we find the captain,
Venetians catching up on gossip,
reading books,
 or papers,
 or phones,
on the way to their destination.
 Others work
 or play
 or relax with
 a drink in the campos.
 Even the Venetian Lion must share his pedestal during break-time.
 The streets are always busy
 with strollers
 and shoppers
come rain,
or come shine.
And new friends can be made. Meet our new friend Alessandra, at the Enoteca Rio Marin.
John and I even felt Venetian ourselves with our own apartment in the quiet of Cannareggio
where many Venetians still live.