Federico Fellini must be turning in his grave.
Rome’s Cafe de Paris, symbol of his “La Dolce Vita,” captured in his classic pic as the sweet and swanky Via Veneto hangout for stars, glitterati and paparazzi, was raided last week by Italian police, who have traced its ownership to one of Italy’s most evil mob syndicates.
The glitzy sidewalk restaurant and bar, estimated to be worth $78 million, was owned by a barber residing in a small town in Calabria who was actually a frontman for the Calabrian Mafia, known as the “ndrangheta.” They had snapped up the locale, dear to stars from Fellini to Frank Sinatra, as a money-laundering investment.
“The sun has set on the symbol of ‘La Dolce Vita'” proclaimed La Repubblica.
But that may be an overly dark prediction.
After all, the iconic cafe, where some say the term “paparazzo” was coined, survived being bombed by Palestinian terrorists in 1985. And it quickly reopened for business just a day after the police raid.