Death and the Dolce Vita, By Stephen Gundle


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The Independent Culture

The discovery of the body of a 21-year-old woman on a beach near Rome in 1953 initiated a scandal that rocked Roman society and was an inspiration for Fellini's still potent La Dolce Vita.

According to Gungle, the dead woman, "was and has remained a blank canvas, an anonymous Anygirl". She was fatally entangled in a Bohemian milieu involving Alida Valli, star of The Third Man, the son of Italy's deputy prime minister Attilio Piccioni and Tanzio Secchiaroli, the first paparazzo. No-one was ever found guilty. The cover-up described in Gungle's brilliant real-life whodunit is eerily close to Burlusconi's Italy.