After 11 years of planning, the doors to Rome’s latest spectacle, Cinecittà World or Cinema City Theme Park, has opened to the public. Variety reported “Cinecittà World will aim to fill the gap that the Eternal City suffers in terms of attracting tourists.” The park is located on 400 acres in Castel Romano, a 45-minute drive south of Rome. It cost $338 million to develop and features “several state-of-the-art roller coasters, a dark motion simulator ride called Dante’s Inferno, a flight simulator, and an immersive tunnel.”
The park’s theme was based on films shot during the golden age for Italian film production at the Rome-based Cinecittá Studios, also known as Hollywood on the Tiber and for the production of more than 3,000 movies and TV shows. Those films include Ben Hur, Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York, Ragtime, Once Upon a Time in America, and Italy’s 1914 silent epic Cabiria that was inspiration for the park’s main entrance. Even the park’s boardroom displays cinematic inspiration and encompasses the Dr. Strangelove-esque meeting table, a set piece from The Godfather: Part III.
Oscar-winning composer Ennio Morricone created the park’s soundtrack and three-time Oscar-winner for art direction, Dante Ferretti, completed all the drawings for the park. The works of Paul Haggis, Federico Fellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Martin Scorsese served as the park’s inspiration and featured historical personae.
Cinecittà World’s chairman and CEO is former Canal Plus executive Emmanuel Gout who believes the park offers more than just a tourist attraction for Rome. Gout stated to The Hollywood Reporter:
“At Universal Studios you step into their movies. America organizes the dream for you. There’s not a lot of space for personal imagination. What we’re able to do is offer a place for shooting movies, where you can excite your imagination for cinema. Here, the idea is that people will also enter not only sets, but the confusion of a place where we are shooting movie. Everything will be illusion. The visitor will become a protagonist of the day, becoming a star, becoming involved in some fake movie.”
The park serves as an extra day’s activity for tourists sightseeing the Coliseum and the Vatican and is directly across the street lies Castel Romano Designer Outlet, which attracts four million visitors a year. Visitor, Mirella Monti, who went to the park’s preview before officially opening told Mashable:
“Cinema always has this effect: In a few seconds, it catapults you into a completely different environment than reality — it could be the future or the past.”
“The park expecting 1.5 million visitors by 2015, with an estimated turnover of $74 million.” Cinecitta World will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and the daily general admission tickets will be $39 for adults and $31 for children under 10 and adults over 65.
Be sure to get tickets in advance!
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