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VITERBO - PIAZZA DELLA ROCCA

VITERBO - PIAZZA DELLA ROCCA

The city of "Il vigile". The roads travelled by Otello Celletti

Palazzo Grandori, Piazza della Rocca and its fountain are the backdrop of a famous sequence of I vitelloni (1953) - the masterpiece directed by Federico Fellini – in which the character interpreted by Alberto Sordi, slighty drunk, tries to go back home after a Carnival party.  

Piazza della Rocca is featured also in one of the first scenes of L’amico del giaguaro (1959) - a comedy movie directed by Giuseppe Bennati and interpreted by Walter Chiari - and of Mia moglie torna a scuola (1981), directed by Giuliano Carnimeo, with Carmen Russo playing the leading role.

Just outside the city walls, between Porta Fiorentina and the adjacent Piazzale Gramsci, the director Luigi Zampa filmed a sequence of Il vigile (1960): a movie mainly shot in exterior locations in Viterbo (with the exception of a few scenes filmed in Frascati and in a school in Rome).

Inspired by a true story that took place in Rome the year before the film was released (the one of the traffic policeman Ignazio Melone who was condemned for having fined the local Police Commissioner), Zampa’s film was set in Viterbo as the municipality of Rome – for political reasons - did not grant the production the necessary permits. Eventually, the film director accepted the advice of his colleague Paolo Bianchini and started filming here.

With the exception of a few details, the tragicomic adventures of the traffic policeman Otello Celletti - interpreted by Alberto Sordi – are rather faithful to the vicissitudes of Ignazio Melone. Many scenes of Il vigile were filmed in Viterbo’s main squares (Piazza San Faustino, Piazza Fontana Grande, Piazza del Plebiscito), streets (like via San Lorenzo, just to name one) and in the neighbouring hamlets of La Quercia and Bagnaia.

Piazza della Rocca, Viterbo