Fancying a wee break from Scotland, our Online Marketing Executive, Katie headed off to Rome with her husband Chris back in May. Always in search of adventure, she found Cinecittà World close to Camping Fabulous...here’s how she enjoyed it:
I wouldn’t class myself as a huge thrill-seeker, but every time I visit a foreign country on holiday I seem to find myself looking for the nearest theme park, waterpark, go-kart circuit, water sports centre…you get the drift. Maybe it’s down to the fair hair and not being able to lie in the sun for any more than half an hour without turning into a tomato!
I travelled to Rome with my husband Chris, a 37-year old fellow red head. We don’t have kids, but sometimes it feels like I’m travelling with one – maybe another reason why I look to find exciting things to do to occupy us! Camping Fabulous seemed the ideal place for us to stay – a laid back base for relaxing, but plenty to do nearby with the city of Rome just a short journey inland, and the coast a short journey in the other direction (both doable by public transport).
After sampling one…or two Pina Coladas at the campsite bar one night, we trialled the free WiFi to research the local area and what we could do to keep us amused on one of the cooler overcast days. This is how we found Cinecittà World theme park.
We had hired a car to get to and from the airport and to give us a bit more freedom, so the next morning we plugged in the Sat Nav and set off early. The theme park turned out to be only about a 15 minute drive from the campsite.
As we approached the theme park entrance something seemed odd, which I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Then it hit me…no huge crowds of people! I liked this day out already. The car park was easy to navigate – a bargain at €5 for the whole day. We handed over €30 each for our park tickets. We weren’t too fussed about the cost as long as we had something to do when the weather wasn’t great. I should mention Chris and I aren’t fluent in Italian, our Italian vocab stretches to pizza, birra and gelato. We were pleasantly surprised to find out the woman behind the ticket desk spoke perfect English. After a brief discussion with her we found out that the theme park had only first opened in July 2014. This, and the fact it was out of season, explained the lack of crowds. We also found out that Cinecittà, in Rome, is the largest film studio in Europe and this is what the theme park is based on.
Similar to all other theme parks I’ve been to the entrance was pretty standard – old-school New York setting with souvenir shops, uplifting music and over-friendly staff skipping around greeting us. Can’t say I didn’t feel a bit awkward considering we were two of about 20 people in the park! The park seemed spacious with huge water fountains in the centre. I imagined they’d be great for cooling down in when the sun was shining. We stopped to have a quick look at the map, but already we were eyeing up what looked like the showcase ride in the distance – ‘Altair’.
“More than 4000 years have passed since Humans left Earth. You’ve been selected as a member of the Altair CCW-0204 crew, the first spaceship to return to the Mother Planet. You’ll travel through the grinder, the stellar spiral and outer space faster than the speed of light until you
reach the Blue Planet.” (www.cinecittaworld.it/e)
This 90km/h rollercoaster was definitely for us. As there wasn’t a queue we headed straight for the front row – you wouldn’t think we were both in our 30’s!
After the ride, we found our feet and stumbled across a very entertaining and interactive Wild Wild West show. Even though it was in Italian, we got the idea and joined in (much to the annoyance of a school party who had joined us in the park). Although we only saw this show we noticed there were plenty others on throughout the day including a gangster re-enactment and a gladiator display. The times were advertised on big screens all over the park.
The park is quite small in relation to others I’ve been to in Europe such as Alton Towers in the UK and Disneyland® Paris, and the focus is on cinema studios rather than the actual movies themselves – a bit of a different angle. We checked the map for our next thrill ride and found ‘Darkmare’, an indoor rollercoaster in, well, the dark! Perhaps it should be called ‘Nightmare’. We jokingly debated this while making our way to the entrance. As we boarded the front carriage (again) with another couple the ride staff entertained us with suspense stories and impressed us with their knowledge of UK theme parks. Not going to lie, I was actually a little bit terrified before we were shot at speed into a hole of darkness. I won’t ruin the surprise of the ride, but let’s just say there were plenty twists, turns and a few surprises on the way.
We worked up an appetite after the adrenaline pumping morning so headed for the Old American Bistro, which we spotted while watching the Wild Wild West Show, and in true theme park style enjoyed burgers and fries with complimentary crisps on the side. The restaurant seemed huge with only a few of us scattered around, but I imagine in the height of summer the tables would fill up fast.
We opted for some lighter activities after lunch including what I can only describe as the most random tour of a submarine I’ll ever experience! We approached the entrance apprehensively where a “guard” stood. He tried his best to explain the script in English while in full character, but as we entered the gate we still weren’t sure what the ride was about, if we were able to take part, and if it was even for adults as he did look at us a bit strangely at first. It was too late to turn back. As we were greeted at the bottom of the steps to the submarine by two lively “crew members”, we were given baseball caps to wear – I will never forget the look on Chris’ face as he attempted to put on the cap that was clearly far too small for his head. We couldn’t stop laughing as we began to be guided through the submarine. At this point it was clear (as if the caps didn’t give it away) that this was definitely more appropriate for kids as the “crew members” acted out scenes, while explaining functions of the sub. I found myself listening intently although was constantly distracted by Chris’ cap! After the twenty minute tour we were persuaded to pose for photos by the “crew”. For kids, great fun… For two adults in their 30’s, a little bit awkward!
All in all, we had an enjoyable day at Cinecittà World with lots of laughs, some more awkward than others. The park is definitely geared around families with lots of rides just for the little ones too and I imagine the atmosphere in the summer months would be fantastic with lots going on. Even for couples like us looking for a bit of a laugh, I’d recommend it.
I think since it’s relatively new it’s still unknown to tourists, we barely saw it advertised anywhere during our time in Rome. The shopping outlet next door seemed to be more widely advertised. Even the couriers back on the campsite were surprised to hear we had found it, but I’m sure will happily promote it to future guests!