A film, an icon, the profile of an Italy exploding between cultural rigidity and frantic change. Sixty years ago, La dolce vita by Federico Fellini appeared in cinemas, and in popular culture. Just on the night between 2 and 3 February 1960 at the “Cinema Fiamma di Roma”, today closed, there was the premiere.


The Film

We are in the glamorous Rome of the ’60s, where Marcello Rubini (Marcello Mastroianni), a scandal journalist, spends his life through a purely Hegelian drama, that is: between having to be a scandal journalist and wanting to be a novelist.

Through the character of Marcello, Fellini unveils to us lights and shadows of the Capitoline society of the time, such as: the arrival of a Statue of Christ headed to the Vatican aboard a helicopter; Marcello’s continuous betrayals that lead his girlfriend Emma (Yvonne Furneaux) to the attempted suicide and the will of a man who, after the escaped tragedy, decides to throw himself headlong into his job accepting to follow the famous Hollywood star Sylvia (Anita Ekberg). Through her, Fellini takes the protagonist and the spectator into the complex meanders of a society that changes, rebeling quietly and finding itself devoted to beauty as if it were sunken, festive and luxuriant in the Trevi Fountain. And, in an instant, it is as if that “Marcello come here” was an invitation addressed to all that ” dolce” Italy.


“A Small World” in Via Veneto

Like a current that crosses a river from Porta Pinciana to Piazza Barberini, Via Veneto is the place where Italy changes, Neorealism flakes and is tinged with a golden filigree, a new light.

Located in the beating heart of Rome, a stone’s throw from Via Veneto, the visceral soul of the freshness of the style known as “dolce vita”, the Il Piccolo Mondo restaurant is a witness to an inexorable change of the guard, becoming a cradle of change and home to the likes of Federico Fellini.


Federico Fellini and the evenings in via Veneto

Federico Fellini walked along Via Veneto like an ante litteram flux of Roman sociology. Born in Rimini and moved to Rome to study, he made the city his second home, so much so as to make it the inspiring muse of his greatest films from Roma to La dolce vita. The capital took on new facets for Fellini: a protagonist with a thousand faces, told in a prosaic way as one does of a woman one admires and loves so much.

In an interview Fellini said: “In the evening we went to Via Veneto”. And it was precisely this little glimpse of Rome that became a corner of home for the director, a place to live, made up of nineteenth-century facades, crowded hotels and beauties immortalized by a flash. Here, the “painter” Fellini admires his masterpiece that moves and turns from “dolce vita” into “daily life”. Via Veneto could not, therefore, fail to thank that great master. Crossing the Aurelian arches we arrive in largo Federico Fellini, dedicated to the man who made Via Veneto “the theatre of the Dolce Vita”.


Federico Fellini and food

A table laid and a family reunited. Speaking of Fellini, one cannot help but think of one of Amarcord’s scenes, but it is also the scene that comes closest to his life experience in terms of food. Son of a parmesan representative, he tells of how he grew up “with that smell under his nose”, as he said as an adult. However, his favourite dish remained, without a shadow of a doubt, the English soup prepared by his grandmother and enriched with a very special meringue. At the time, in fact, since there were no piping bags, his grandmother used to put the mixture of egg white and sugar inside a cone made of newspaper. And it was precisely this detail that made that meringue so special, which took on an aftertaste of newsprint impossible to reproduce, because the newspaper in question was now out of print. He loved first courses, as not to mention one of his famous phrases: “life is a combination of pasta and magic”. In an interview he revealed that he loved to eat alone during filming. Voracious but too anxious to sit still, he said that having lunch with the film crew would distract him.

We, however, like to imagine him like this: sitting at one of the tables of the restaurant Il Piccolo Mondo, in front of a steaming pasta dish, watching life flowing outside and a new idea running through him.


Nothing is more suggestive than spending the holidays immersed in the beauties of Rome. The Piccolo Mondo restaurant has prepared a very special Christmas menu.

You can celebrate in an elegant and exclusive location, a few steps from the famous Via Veneto and a short distance from the magical atmosphere of Piazza di Spagna, Via del Corso and Piazza del Popolo. In our restaurant you will find an warm welcome, fine wines and an excellent menu that combines modernity and tradition.


Christmas Menu 2018



Tasting of artichokes roman style, fried and raw € 15,00

Salad of crustaceans with potatoes, onions, celery and cherry tomatoes € 30,00

Salad of crustaceans with potatoes, onions, celery and cherry tomatoes € 16,00

Salad of crustaceans with potatoes, onions, celery and cherry tomatoes € 45,00



Homemade traditional pasta with ragu ‘ of meat and cheese € 20,00

Homemade pasta stuffed with meat in beef broth € 22,00

Homemade pasta with sea bass and lemon € 22,00

Gnocchi with clams and bottarga € 25,00


Main Course

Baked lamb with potatoes and rosemary € 30,00

Beef fillet with foie gras and catalogna chicory € 35,00

Mixed grilled fish, shellfish and crustaceans € 35,00

Catch of the day € 11,00 l’hg



Sacher cake € 13,00

Nougat parfait with pandoro sauce € 13,00

Christmas sweets € 13,00

Selection of small fruit ice creams € 20,00


To reserve: +39 06 42016034,

Between the 50s and 60s, Rome became the capital of the “dolce vita”, a trend that involved actors and directors, as well as the bourgeoisie of the economic boom. It was a time where people surrendered to the fun and carefree climate of one of the most beautiful cities in the world. In Cinecittà, Italian and American films were shot because the production costs were lower than Hollywood and the city, Via Veneto in particular, was full of photographers and paparazzi, but also of writers such as Ennio Flaiano, who wrote the script for “La Dolce Vita” by Federico Fellini. In cafes and restaurants there were parties attended by the playboys of the time and the breakthrough stars.

While in the city there was a mundane climate, a cultural movement was born, personified by the new avantgarde of the Gruppo 63, with Nanni Balestrini and Umberto Eco. In the bars of Piazza del Popolo, intellectuals such as Alberto Moravia, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Alberto Arbasino and Goffredo Parise used to meet, and didn’t mind attending the parties and the gatherings of the bourgeoisie and venues such as the Piper, were international artists would perform.

1960 was a year of change: the leftwing era started and in the USA the first catholic President was elected, J.F. Kennedy. In this scenario, Rome lived its “dolce vita”, with Fellini, Antonioni and Visconti. Yet, it was also a time of censorship and debate. The change involved also music, where the Beatlemania was at full throttle. A new world with new lights and shadows was being born, told by “La Noia (Boredom)” of Alberto Moravia and “La Dolce Vita” of Federico Fellini. The protagonists of this change were mainly the journalists, that gave a new way of communicating and together with television were the witnesses of the decade that ended with the riots of 1968.

In the film “La Dolce Vita”, society was sarcastically described as an “economic boom” one. Directed in Cinecittà and in the most meaningful spots of Rome, when Anita Ekberg walked into the Trevi Fountain it sparked uproar, said the journalists, and that image became the symbol of an era. Controversy didn’t go amiss and the film was object of a government interrogation caused by the critics moved by the Vatican newspaper “L’Osservatore Romano”, but it eventually escaped censorship. The “dolce vita” became a lifestyle: bars, restaurants and nightlife venues of Via Veneto, gathering spot of intellectuals since the 1920s, started welcoming international stars from cinema and became the stage of their arguments, excesses, flirts and scandals. A detailed description of those events, of which lots of photographers, paparazzis and journalists are witnesses, can be found in newspapers of the time.


Il 20 maggio per la prima volta Via Veneto sarà protagonista della tappa romana dell’ edizione della Mille Miglia 2016.evento mille miglia

La strada che anni fa fu il cure della dolce vita, si animerà oggi con i clacson delle storiche auto che sfileranno nella Capitale.

Le oltre 400 mezzi partecipanti alle 19:30 si affacceranno su Via Veneto per essere presentate sulla pedana d’Onore. Dopo il controllo orario, che per a prima volta si sposta da Castel Sant’Angelo a Villa Borghese, sfileranno poi sempre lungo via Veneto dalle 21:10  e la presentazione si concluderà alle 23,30 con il passaggio dell’ultima vettura.
Le auto passeranno poi lungo piazza Barberini, via del Tritone, piazza San Claudio, via San Claudio, via del Corso, piazza Venezia, piazza San Marco, piazza d’Aracoeli, via del Teatro di Marcello, via Petroselli, Piazza Bocca della Verità, Circo Massimo, viale Aventino e poi fino a viale delle Terme di Caracalla. Qui le vetture proseguiranno verso via Cristoforo Colombo per poi fermarsi l’Eur.

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In via Veneto, ci saranno anche gli equipaggi “vip” della Milla Miglia 2016, composti da esempio da Kasia Smutniak e Stefano e Nicolò Marzotto, nonchè alcuni ex piloti della formula uno.

Quella nella capitale rappresenta una delle ultime tappe della manifestazione, prima di Parma (sabato 21) e dell’arrivo finale a Brescia.

Se durante l’evento vi viene un languorino e volete fare una pausa, noi del piccolo mondo vi aspettiamo a Via Aurora, 39.