Fire consumes part of Rome's famous 'Cinecitta' film studios

Italian Firemen try to extinguish a fire that broke out in the film studios of Cinecitta, Rome, Italy, 01 August 2022. According to initial information, there were no reported injuries and the flames only affected the scenography of Renaissance Florence. EPA/MASSIMO PERCOSSI

True movie-producing powerhouse and playground to filmmakers such as Federico Fellini and Francis Ford Coppola, Rome’s famous Cinecitta' film studios was partly consumed by flames on Monday (August 1).

The victim of the fire was the 15th-century Renaissance Florence movie set, one which has been used in numerous productions. There were no casualties to the fire as the set was not in use. The set was near to the Italian version of the house of the “Big Brother” reality series.

Firefighters rushed in to put off the fire that started around 3:50 pm (13:50 GMT) and managed to extinguish it by 5:30 pm (15:30 GMT).

Cinecitta’ is where the history of cinema was made with Federico Fellini directing blockbusters, including parts of the iconic and groundbreaking “La Dolce Vita”.

But apart from Fellini, considered a true cinema great, filmmakers of international stature such as Roberto Rossellini, Luchino Visconti, Sergio Leone, Bernardo Bertolucci, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, and Mel Gibson have worked at Cinecittà.

Out of an astonishing number of more than 3,000 movies filmed there, 90 received an Academy Award nomination and 47 won the prize. In the 1950s, the number of international productions being made there led to Rome receiving the laurels of "Hollywood on the Tiber."

Some of the American films produced at the studios were Roman Holiday (1953), Beat the Devil (1953), The Barefoot Contessa (1954) and Ben-Hur (1959). As for international productions made in Cinecitta’, these include Francis of Assisi (1961), Cleopatra (1963), The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965), Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet (1968), Fellini's Casanova (1976), La Traviata (1982) and many more.

The studio hosted the Eurovision Song Contest 1991, which was the 36th edition of the event.