In the 17th century, the powerful Cardinal Borghese acquired 148 acres of unruly land on the Pincian Hill to build his hunting lodge. Inspired by English country gardens he transformed the landscape into Rome’s most exquisite garden since antiquity.
Villa Borghese has since become synonymous with elegant grandeur. There are Roman pines, statues of important Italian figures and of course the exquisite Borghese Gallery, which houses an unparalleled collection of Caravaggio’s, Bernini’s and other precious Renaissance pieces.
The park has become a wonderful center for culture in Rome. Among these locations is the absolutely delightful movie theater, Cinema dei Piccoli.
History of the Cinema dei Piccoli
At first glance you might mistake this little wooden structure as a gardener's shed, but it is in fact the world’s smallest cinema with only 63 seats. This cinema was built for children so they could watch their favorite animations and cartoons.
The man behind this little movie theater, Alfredo Annibali, was inspired to start this cinema in 1934 because of the classic Disney cartoons starring Mickey Mouse. It inspired him so much that he originally named the shed ‘Cinema Topolino’, after the famous mouse. Unsurprisingly, the Walt Disney Company was displeased with Annibali for using the name without permission, and the cinema then changed to the lovelier 'Cinema dei Piccoli'.
After some years in decline, the cinema is now in safe hands (with air conditioning!) and is considered a cultural landmark in Rome for kids. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the world's smallest cinema, right here in Rome.
Monday 2:45 PM - 5:30 PM
Tuesday 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Wednesday - Sunday 2:45 PM - 10:00 PM
What is the Cinema dei Piccoli?
This movie theater is a great getaway especially for kids in the middle of Villa Borghese. The cinema shows a mixture of European and Hollywood productions during the day and into the night. Although most films are shown in Italian, there are some special showings that may present the movie in its original language.
Where is the Cinema dei Piccoli?
The Cinema dei Piccoli is located in the heart of Villa Borghese, between the Tempietto di Diana and the Casa del Cinema (the much larger movie theater in Villa Borghese). The cinema is a walking distance from most destinations in Villa Borghese, but visitors can also take a bus to the S. Paolo Del Brasile stop, or take the Metro Line A to the Spagna stop, and walk just north to the entrance of the gardens.
Cinema dei Piccoli Address: Villa Borghese, Viale della Pineta, 15, Rome, Italy