Living La Dolce Vita at Eataly NYC

Iwona Adamczyk (October 24, 2011)
  • On display there are 84 previously unpublished photographs depicting the lavish lifestyle of 1950’s Italian movie stars.
New York City’s favorite Italian marketplace is hosting a one of a kind photographic show: “La Dolce Vita, 1950-1960. Stars and Celebrities in the Italian Fifties” curated by Marco Panella. Hanging from bars suspended from the ceiling are wonderful black and white images of stars at play and work in Italy during this glamorous decade. 

Whether you have previously visited Eataly (an energetic Italian marketplace that offers an opportunity to taste and take home the products of artisans who create the highest quality products at a fair price located on 5th Ave at 23rd St) or you have always planned to go but never found the time, there now is one more reason to do so. 

Until November 14th, Eataly hosts a photography exhibit titled “La Dolce Vita. 1950-1960. Stars and Celebrities in the Italian Fifties.” On display you will find 84 previously unpublished photographs depicting the lavish lifestyle of 1950’s Italian movie stars. Hung against the busy background of Eataly’s colorful shelves full of Italian products, the counters jam-packed with people enjoying Italian delicacies, and the busyness of the shopper filled aisles, these black and white images create a new and unique ambience.  


The pictures, some suspended overhead as one walks in, others mounted on brick walls of the locale and many integrated into the décor of bar counters, invite the viewer to enter the glitzy world of Italian cinema and fashion of the 50’s. What makes them intriguing is their snapshot character. The viewer gets transported into a pastime to which they may have been previously introduced by Fellini’s film of the same title, yet the unedited manner of the imagery allows them to feel strangely comfortable in this world of glamour and fame.

The celebrities are not posing for the pictures they are rather caught in them. Being shown in these moments of laughter and bliss makes them more approachable, more down to earth and human, but what makes this exhibit a hit, is that at the same time none of the star power or their divinity gets lost.

The curator, Marco Panella carefully selected these 84 photographs from the archives of Archivio Luce (photographic archive). He has chosen pictures that were forgotten and some that were never previously seen across the Atlantic. The exhibit was first on display in Rome last year, and has proven to be very successful, seen by more than 40 thousand people. New York was chosen as the next location for the exhibit because as Panella states: “it is ideal, in order to witness and pay homage to the strong bond that, in the 50’s, Italian customs and society has had with the United States.

To narrate the Italian 1950’s it is to narrate the collective adolescence of a nation, a story that is suggestive and emotional, at times ingenuous, to which indisputable charm we all are subjected to, and which still today, continues to present the world with an extremely attractive image of our country.”

The Ministry of Tourism, which promotes the exhibit, invites you to come and toast the stars and live the sweet life, if only for a few brief moments. With a glass of Prosecco in hand and surrounded by the smell of freshly baked bread and aged cheese, look up, get lost in the life represented in the photographs and you may just find yourself planning your next trip to Italy…