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I Vitelloni and other stories

Piazza delle Erbe (Viterbo), the initial scene of I Vitelloni by Federico Fellini (1953). Photo: Archivio Tuscia Film Fest

I Vitelloni and other stories

Federico Fellini in Tuscia

During his long career, Federico Fellini often chose Tuscia as a filming location. His first movie, Variety Lights (1950) - that he directed together with Alberto Lattuada - was partially filmed in Capranica.

His third movie, I Vitelloni (1953) - which managed to revive the careers, until then unsuccessful, of both the director and the actor Alberto Sordi - was largely set in Viterbo. Fellini filmed some sequences in Via dell’Orologio Vecchio, Via della Rimessa, Via Saffi, Corso Italia, Viale Trieste, Piazza delle Erbe, Piazza della Rocca and Porta Fiorentina railway station.

At the suggestion of the local production manager Luigi Giacosi, the director chose to film the most significant sequences of La strada (1954) in Bagnoregio. Scenes such as the performance by the Fool (Richard Basehart), the procession, the wedding banquet and the show by the muscular circus performer Zampanò (Anthony Quinn) and his assistant Gelsomina (Giulietta Masina) were all shot in Bagnoregio’s squares (Piazza Camillo Benso Conte di Cavour, Piazza Sant'Agostino, Piazza Trento e Trieste) and in a farmhouse on the Teverina road.

A glimpse of the Basilica of Sant'Elia in Castel Sant'Elia and the aforementioned farmhouse on the Teverina road also appear among the locations of Il bidone (1955), Fellini's least celebrated work. La dolce vita (1960), which on the contrary is the director's most celebrated work, includes an important sequence (the aristocrats’ party) filmed at Palazzo Giustiniani-Odescalchi in Bassano Romano.

The last time that Federico Fellini chose Tuscia as a filming location was when he shot some sequences of 8 1/2 (1963) in Viterbo (in the courtyard of the “Paolo Savi” Technical Institute and in the adjacent via Antonio del Massaro).


Piazza delle Erbe (Viterbo), the initial scene of I Vitelloni by Federico Fellini (1953).
Archivio Tuscia Film Fest

Written by Franco Grattarola

Bassano Romano, 01030 VT