Dolce Vita Confidential

  • From the Publisher
May 16, 2017

Post-World War II, Rome’s cul­tur­al con­tri­bu­tions formed a bright, burn­ing moment in his­to­ry. Rome’s huge movie stu­dio, Cinecit­ta, attract­ed a dizzy­ing array of stars from Charleton Hes­ton, Gre­go­ry Peck, Audrey Hep­burn, and Frank Sina­tra to that stun­ning and com­bustible cou­ple, Eliz­a­beth Tay­lor and Richard Bur­ton. And behind these stars trailed street pho­tog­ra­phers who wait­ed, and pounced on their sub­jects in pur­suit of the most unflat­ter­ing and dra­mat­ic portraits.

Fash­ion­istas, exiles, and mar­tyrs flocked to Rome hop­ing for a chance to expe­ri­ence and indulge in the glow of old mon­ey, new stars, fast cars, wan­ton libidos, and brazen news pho­tog­ra­phers. That scene was cap­tured nowhere bet­ter than in Fed­eri­co Fellini’s mas­ter­piece, La Dolce Vita. It was con­demned for its licen­tious­ness, when in fact Felli­ni was con­demn­ing the very excess, nar­cis­sism, and debauch­ery of Rome’s bohemi­an scene.

Gos­sipy, col­or­ful, and rich­ly informed, Dolce Vita Con­fi­den­tial re-cre­ates Rome’s stun­ning ascent with vivid and com­pelling tales of its glit­terati and artists, down to every last out­ra­geous detail of the city’s mag­nif­i­cent transformation.

Discussion Questions