Alberto Sordi: A Timeless Tribute to Italy and Cinema

“Sordi: A Unique Journey Through Time, Cinema, and Italy” – Villa Sordi Exhibition

The exhibition titled “Alberto Sordi and His Era,” curated by Alessandra Maria Sette and endorsed by the Sordi Foundation, offers a captivating exploration of the multifaceted relationship between the iconic actor Alberto Sordi, the vibrant city of Rome, and the tapestry of Italian history. Running from September 22 to November 26, this exhibition takes place at Villa Sordi, the house-museum of the legendary Roman actor and director who left us two decades ago. Villa Sordi is situated on the Celio Hill, near the beginning of the historic Appia Antica, with the majestic Baths of Caracalla providing a picturesque backdrop. This event is brought to life through the collaborative efforts of the Sordi Foundation, with the patronage of Roma Capitale, and in partnership with Cinecittà, the Luce Archive, and Rai Teche.

Alberto Sordi’s life and legacy will also receive a forthcoming tribute in the form of a statue, to be placed in the park of Villa De Sanctis, adjacent to Cinecittà. An exciting ideas competition, open exclusively to young talents, has already been announced for this purpose.

The exhibition itself is a chronological journey, spanning from the post-war era, marking the birth of the beloved ‘Albertone’ in Trastevere on June 15, 1920, to the day of his passing on February 24, 2003, and his final resting place in the cathedral of San Giovanni in Laterano. Woven alongside Sordi’s artistic evolution is the unfolding narrative of Italy’s history, akin to the storytelling style of the renowned television program ‘Story of an Italian,’ broadcast on Rai. This narrative unfolds through a captivating array of photographs and film excerpts, spanning Sordi’s illustrious filmography from classics like ‘The Great War’ and ‘I Vitelloni’ to ‘Stardust,’ ‘Handsome, Honest, Emigrant…,’ ‘The Health Insurance Doctor,’ ‘A Little Bourgeois,’ ‘Prisoner Awaiting Trial,’ ‘Everybody Inside,’ ‘Intelligent Holidays,’ ‘Traveling with Dad,’ ‘Marchese del Grillo,’ ‘Tassinaro,’ and ‘Nestore Ultima Corsa.’

Walter Veltroni, former deputy prime minister and mayor of Rome, now the honorary president of the Sordi Foundation, underscores the living essence of Villa Sordi. He states, “This place is not and should not be a museum; it is a living place where Albertone thought, imagined, and invented. Everything we do here serves to preserve the idea of a creative laboratory.” The exhibition beautifully weaves together Italian history, the cinematic legacy of Alberto Sordi, and the actor’s unique ability to connect with the public. Veltroni adds, “All of his films, to varying degrees, have covered the entire history of Italian twentieth century, with the unifying characteristic of addressing, speaking to, and resonating with the general public. We want to celebrate this deep bond between Sordi and Italy and between Sordi and his beloved Rome. It wasn’t he who ‘acted’ as a Roman; it was the Romans who embraced his accent, his mannerisms, and his expressions.”

Miguel Gotor, the Capitoline councilor for culture, highlights the importance of preserving the essence of Villa Sordi while avoiding excessive museum-like formalities, as it goes against the spirit of Albertone. He notes that Sordi is experiencing a revival thanks to social media, especially among younger generations who didn’t have the opportunity to appreciate his work during his lifetime. Gotor anticipates the possibility of creating a film festival arena in front of Villa Sordi as part of the Roman Estate festivities.

In essence, “Alberto Sordi and His Time” at Villa Sordi is a dynamic journey through the life and artistry of one of Italy’s most beloved actors, interwoven with the rich tapestry of Italian history and the enduring charm of Rome.

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