Tag Archives: Donna Noble

Pompeii, Italy – April 2015

Pompeii and Vesuvius

Salve!

In this post I am back in Italy and this time I am in Pompeii! In my last adventure I visited Cinecitta, Doctor Who filming location for The Fires of Pompeii (2008) but today I am visiting Pompeii, the actual story location! David Tennant also went to Pompeii for the episode’s Doctor Who Confidential and was amazed by what he saw.

I travelled to Pompeii via train from Rome and had a little stop off at Naples on the way. I then took a train on the Circumvesuviana line and enjoyed looking at the mountains and the Bay of Naples for the short ride.

People believed Pompeii was destroyed in 79AD when Vesuvius erupted, but it was actually buried and now it has been uncovered we can see what life was like in Ancient Pompeii. When I arrived at the excavations of Pompeii I first went in to the Suburban baths which were the public baths for the residents of Pompeii. I prefer a bath at home myself!

In the Fires of Pompeii the Pyrovile want to make earth their new planet and are using Vesuvius to set up a fusion matrix to convert the human race into Pyroviles! They would use energy from Vesuvius which would stop the eruption but the Doctor knows he must let the eruption go ahead or the whole world would become Pyrovile.

Overlooked by Vesuvius

Vesuvius is the first volcano I have seen and it was breathtaking. I felt a little bit unsafe being so close to a volcano but I knew that people monitor it to check when it will erupt. Vesuvius has erupted 30 times since Pompeii’s tragic moment and last erupted in 1944 killing 26 people. With more than 3 million people living around the base of Vesuvius it is considered the most dangerous volcano in the world!

I walked up to the Foro which is just like the Town Centre. This is where the Pompeians came to shop, trade and worship all under the shadow of Vesuvius. This is where Lobus Caecilius (played by Peter Capaldi)  would have sold his marble sculptures and where he bought the TARDIS as a piece of Modern Art!

The Macellum was an indoor fruit and veg market so it would have been like popping to the supermarket for the Pompeians. In a glass case was a plaster cast of a body which was not nice to see. There were many casts to see at Pompeii preserving bodies at the moment of death which made me sad for the real people who were caught in the grip of the eruption.

Pompeii Macellum

After the Foro I walked up the Via di Mercurio to see the houses and I pictured Caecilius and his family living in one of the houses. There was even artwork on the walls which reminded me of Caecilius’ family worshipping their household Gods. On the way back from the houses I enjoyed a mystery flavour Gelato – possibly kumquat – then I explored some more baths! I am very glad that I have a bath in my own house!

Lobus Caecilius Fires of Pompeii

 

Pompeii was BIG! Next I set off right across town to where all the entertainment was held. The Amphitheatre is the oldest surviving Roman Amphitheatre and was used for gladiatorial  fights – nowadays it is sometimes used for concerts. I would not want to see a gladiator fight as it is cruel but for the Pompeians it would be entertainment. I think those people were sick! All over Pompeii I kept finding little lizards but in the Amphitheatre I found over 50!

Pompeii amphitheatre

From the amphitheatre I walked past the sports stadium, which was closed off, and made my way to the Teatro. The theatre was where Pompeians would watch performances of comedies and tragedies. I would have liked to have seen some of the comedies but not the tragedies as I prefer laughing to crying.

Pompeii theatre

I spent over 5 hours exploring Pompeii and by the end my body felt like jelly on a plate, I was worn out by exploring in the ridiculously hot heat. I had an amazing day and learnt a lot of things and felt so sad for the people who lost their lives in 79AD. I wish there really had been a Doctor to prevent the eruption but then the world would be in someone else’s hands.

Pompeii

Thank you for reading my post about Pompeii, I hope you have learnt a bit and have enjoyed reading about my adventure. I hope you will join me again another time.

Vale!

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Cinecitta, Rome, Italy – April 2015

Cinecitta entrance

Buongiorno!

This month Project Indigo went international and I travelled in my TARDIS to Italy – and now I am back and ready to tell you all about it.

In this post we are visiting Cinecitta (Cinema City) in Rome – filming location for the Doctor Who episode The Fires of Pompeii (2008). In this episode the Tenth Doctor and Donna arrive in Pompeii on 23rd August 79 AD, the day before Mount Vesuvius is set to erupt, and meet with the Pyrovile. This story is Donna’s first travel through time and also features the current Doctor, Peter Capaldi, playing Caecilius and Karen Gillan as a Sibylline Soothsayer. Both Peter and Karen have English accents  – that must have been strange for them! The cast and crew travelled to Cinecitta to use the amazing ready built sets – they had considered Wales and Malta but they felt that Cinecitta was the place to be. This was the first time that Doctor Who had been filmed abroad since the Doctor Who movie in 1996.

Venusia Cinecitta

 

When I arrived the first thing I saw was a statue of Venusia from the movie Casanova by Federico Fellini.Then I went in the Fellini Room and watched a documentary about the fims made at Cinecitta. This room tells the story of Cinecitta from 1936-1945.Cinecitta is the largest film studio in Europe and was founded by the Italian Prime Minister, Benito Mussolini, to boost the Italian film industry. It was bombed during the Second World War and afterwards was used as a refugee camp for two years.

Zoolander 2 Cinecitta

Next I took part in a guided tour of the outdoor sets. Some of the areas were closed to the public because two Hollywood movies were being filmed right then in the studios- Ben-Hur (2016) starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Huston and Zoolander 2 (2016) starring Ben Stiller! I didn’t get to see any of the filming unfortunately. Usually on the tour you can see the set of New York and Broadway created for the Martin Scorsese film Gangs of New York (2002) but that was being used for filming so I couldn’t see it.

Rome Cinecitta

 

I could see the set of Ancient Rome which covers about four hectares. It was created for the Anglo American TV epic Rome (2005) which starred Indira Varma from Torchwood who I saw last year in The Globe Theatre rehearsing Titus Andronicus. I have never watched Rome as it is a bit fruity I think! The set recreates Rome at the time of Julius Caesar and shows the buildings of The Roman Forum with the Via Sacra, Triumphant Arch and the Temples of Venus and Jupiter. Earlier in the week I had been exploring the real ruins of Ancient Rome such as the Colosseum , the Forum and Palatine Hill and I had a race in the Circus Maximus (which I won!)  so it was fantastic to wander around and see the colourful buildings as they would have looked two thousand years ago. These sets were made of fibreglass , plastic and wood and will only last 15-20 years – not 2000!

Rome Cinecitta

Doctor Who was filmed in the Subura area where people’s homes and workshops were created. I saw the streets of Pompeii where the Doctor and Donna landed in the TARDIS and where they witnessed the devastating event of Vesuvius’ eruption. Luckily for me there was no sign of the Pyrovile!

Doctor Who Cinecitta

After the Rome set I saw the set of a new film Christ the Lord (2016) which is due out next year and tells the story of Jesus as a young person. This film stars Sean Bean and Doctor Who actor David Bradley who plays Solomon in Dinosaurs on a Spaceship (2012) and William Hartnell in An Adventure in Space and Time (2013). I wasn’t allowed to take any pictures – Spoilers!

Rome Cinecitta

After a picnic I visited the Presidential Building which contained an exhibition all about the many films that have been made at Cinecitta including Roman Holiday, Ben Hur, Cleopatra The Taming of the Shrew, Quo Vadis and A Fistful of Dollars!  After the war Cinecitta became known as ‘Hollywood on the Tiber’ with lots of American movie stars coming here to film. I saw lots of old cameras and film making equipment and writing and photographs and costumes telling the story of the great films that have been made here. I also watched lots of Western film clips including Django and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, which I watched sat in a Saloon. My favourite part was the Facts and Figures room – a dark room with lights dancing round the walls and I span around until I felt sick – good thing I didn’t get sick! I left via a submarine set that was in the film U 571 – it looked just like a real submarine and it was hard to believe it was not real.

U-571 Cinecitta

I had a great time at Cinema City and enjoyed learning about all the films that have been made here. The studio was very big and it was so interesting and exciting to look around. Thank you for reading my first post about Italian Doctor Who locations – I have more to come and hope you will come back again. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think of my first international report!

Arrivederci!