Things are changed since the late fifties when life was all about fame and spotlight on Via Veneto, the street where the "Dolce Vita Romana" was born. Here you could see the "intellectual" aristocrats, nobles, hollywood jet-setters and divas living or rather showing off their sweet, and yet bitter, I tell you!, life of the "only few and selected ones", chased by paparazzies day&night trying to catch every moment, scandal, fight, secret, failment, kiss there was...
And it was a great blast, every international star dropped by to have a taste of the Sweet Life: Liz Taylor, Gary Grant, Ava Gardner, Richard Burton, Audrey Hepburn, Kirk Douglas, Anita Ekberg, Andy Warhol, Sophia Loren.. just naming few.
Federico Fellini pictured by Andy Warhol, on Via Veneto.
There is one particular episode which is remembered as the most scandalous happening of the time, which, in fact, may have signed the begginning of the uncontrollable exploration of sin and joy (always in big contrast with the Church, and it still is):
It's 1953, a birthday party is held in one of the most chicest restaurants in Trastevere- Il Rugantino. Obviously after too many drinks a young turkish woman Aiché Nanà decides to do a little belly-dance and ends up entirelly naked, this all witnessed by photographers.
Shocking front-page news of improvvisated striptease inspiers The Master of Cinema Fellini to add a scene in his movie colossal La Dolce Vita and seven years later, when the film is released, it gets banned by censores. Still it broke all box office records and still it got the Palme d'Or at Cannes (in 1960).
The most famous scene from the La Dolce Vita: Anita Ekberg with Marcello Mastroianni in the Fontana di Trevi.
well nothing is left of those glamourouse days that Rome City senter used to witness. Via Veneto is sadly empty and when I went there a couple of days ago, in the aspiration of taking some pictures to write this post... there was nothing to photograph. Nothing. Even on flickr you don't find anything good or special. Via Veneto is now full of expensive traditionally boring hotels for busy business men and empty restaurants with few lost tourist inside eating something not worth even a third of it's price. In the evening some escorts try to make money by stepping from one bar inside another. There are one or two restaurants and lounge/bars which try to keep up with the modern city nightlife with a cool interior design or a deejay set, but there's nothing much left to do. La Dolce Vita is gone. And I seriously doubt it's going to resee it's glory days.
Marcello Mastroianni in the final scene of the film.
PS! There is still one pearl lieing in it's dusty shell- a fish restaurant with a quite interesting interior design. I'm going to post about it;)