Today the expression “La Dolce Vita” is famous all over the world, and it takes back to lightheartedness and happiness. Mostly, it is impossible not to think about Italy and its beautiful places, glimpses, and food. Do you know where this expression comes from?
The birth of a new period
We need to step back at the 50s, when Italy was trying to overcome the remnant of terrible WW2 and start a new life, people started spending money for entertainment and spending more and more time for social activities.
Rome: capital of the Dolce Vita
Rome was the center of this lifestyle, in particular Via Veneto street with all its restaurant and cafes. The most representative place was the Grand Hotel Excelsior populated by celebrities partying and enjoying the Italian warm summer nights.
There was a specific event that is considered as the beginning of the Dolce Vita period: in 1958 the Countess Olghina di Robilant had a big birthday party in a famous restaurant of that time: Rugantino di Trastevere. That was a real international party with people from many different countries, which reach its apex when the dancer Aichè Nana performed a striptease, causing scandal on the newspapers of the time. Not everybody knows that that moment has been inspirational for Federico Fellini and included a similar scene in his classic movie “La Dolce Vita”.
Cinema and Culutre
Surely, “La Dolce Vita” directed by Fellini, is a true mirror of that times: it represents the frivolousness, the excess but also the drama lived by the characters. It is curious how Fellini managed to create a common word: one character of his movie, whose job was the photographer, was also named “Paparazzo” and that is why today we use this word to indicate a professional photographer who spots out compromising pictures.
During La Dolce Vita years Italian culture started to flourish. A lot of famous intellectuals met in the numerous cafes of Piazza del Popolo, such as Pier Paolo Pasolini, the writers Alberto Moravia, Umberto Eco and so on, exchanged their ideas and their art.
The Dolce Vita today
The Dolce Vita habits are often times used to nickname people “dolcevitoso” or “dolcevitaiolo”, meaning someone who spends a lot of time in social life. Nevertheless, today the Italian dolce vita is not just simply a metaphor of a frenetic life. On the contrary, can be related just to a slowly and carefree lifestyle, in order to enjoy every little moment of life. The only important elements are good friends, beautiful places and excellent food and drinks!
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