In addition to celebrating the Raphael anniversary this year, Romans will remember another artist dear to their hearts.
Alberto Sordi, born on 15 June 1920, would have turned 100 in 2020. A lion of Italian cinema, Sordi appeared in nearly 200 films throughout his career, in both dramatic and comedic roles. Of the latter, Sordi’s turn as Nando Moriconi in “Un Americano a Roma” (An American in Rome, 1954) is particularly beloved.
Here is the scene from which the iconic image of Moriconi eating “maccarone” was taken. The premise of the film is that Moriconi is an America-loving Italian that is desperately trying to get a visa to go to the United States. Nando is a parody of a 1950s, John Wayne-idolizing, cornflakes-and-ketchup-eating Italian trying to act like an American.
(I must admit that I often feel like a Nando Moriconi in reverse.)
Alberto Sordi was born in Trastevere (at Via San Cosimato, 7) and lived almost his entire life in Rome, save for a short stint in Milan at the beginning of his career. You need only to walk around Rome to understand Sordi’s indelible link to the city and the city’s affection for him. One can find photos of him old trattorie, see his name on the Galleria Alberto Sordi at Piazza Colonna, and stroll a lane in Villa Borghese that is named for him.
From 1958 until his death in 2003, “Albertone” lived in a villa near the Baths of Caracalla. This villa in Via Druso/Piazzale Numa Pompilio, which was Sordi’s home for 45 years and is now the headquarters of the Fondazione Museo Alberto Sordi, will be open to the public for the first time in order to host the exhibit Il Centenario – Alberto Sordi 1920-2020.
The exhibit will give fans a chance to get to know the private actor with the very public persona. A giant projector outside of the villa will screen Sordi’s movies. Meanwhile, Teatro dei Dioscuri in central Rome will host another part of the exhibition.
Il Centenario – Alberto Sordi 1920-2020 will run from 9 March to 29 June.