Rome has been the epicenter of art, history, and culture for centuries. It is no surprise that scholars and creators of all generations would come to the Eternal City to write, direct films, paint, or even spark controversy in counter-culture artistic demonstrations. Because the city is so rich in creative expression, it is the perfect place for Communications students to explore.
Here are 5 sites in Rome that every Communications major should visit:
(Via Tuscolana, 1055)
One of the most exciting aspects of majoring in Communications is the study of cinema and film, especially in a city like Rome. Students can head over to Cinecittà, the largest film studio in Europe, considered the hub of Italian cinema. The studio has an area of 400,000 square meters and was constructed during the Fascist era as a way to revive the Italian film industry. The studio has hosted the work of world-renowned filmmakers such as Federico Fellini, Roberto Rossellini, Bernardo Bertolucci, and Martin Scorsese. Because more than 3,000 movies have been filmed there, the film studio helped Rome earn the nickname “Hollywood on the Tiber.” Today, Cinecittà has also expanded to an amusement park called Cinecittà World.
2. Cinema America Occupato
(Via Natale del Grande, 6)
In 2012, a group of teenagers occupied an old 1950s cinema in Trastevere that was at risk of being demolished. Instead of letting the movie theater get taken over by the city, the students refurbished it and made it active again, screening movies and hosting debates, theater classes, and soccer games. Although the occupation ended in 2014 and the theater is now closed, the Cinema America group still continues their artistic protest on the streets of Trastevere, showing movies on historic buildings and setting up a free outdoor film-screening festival in Trastevere in the summer.
3. Street Art in Ostiense
One important concept often discussed and analyzed in Communications courses at JCU is the expression of counter-culture. One common way counter-culture communications may be expressed is through street art. Head over to the Ostiense neighborhood, traditionally a working-class area but now a trendy, thriving artistic district. Ostiense now has many “legal walls” that street artists are legally permitted to cover with incredible murals and creative works.
4. Street Art in Pigneto
Much like Ostiense, Pigneto is another one of Rome’s working-class neighborhoods, now home to a multitude of street art. The district is sometimes referred to as “Home of Stencil” due to a famous painting by Sten & Lex, pioneers of stencil graffiti. Don’t miss the mural dedicated to Pier Paolo Pasolini, an Italian film director, poet, writer, and intellectual. Head to Via Fanfulla da Lodi and check out the large black-and-white close-up of Pasolini’s right eye.
5. Fontani di Trevi
The Trevi Fountain may seem like an obvious site for anyone to check out while they’re in Rome… and it is. It’s one of the most visited monuments in the city, and the backdrop for so many different postcards. However, as a Communications student you might recognize that this fountain is not just a beautiful work of art, but it is the backdrop to so many famous scenes in movies throughout the years. The most iconic would be the scene in Fellini’s La Dolce Vita where Anita Ekberg and Marcello Mastroianni splash in the fountain together.
Alexa (Shearer) Vujaklija
Class of 2015
Grew up in the United States, Germany, the Republic of Georgia, Russia, and Bulgaria