The term paparazzi
comes from the Federico Fellini
film La Dolce Vita
), a tale of the decadent movie business in Rome
. In the 1950s, many Hollywood
companies flocked to Rome, and this combined with the native Italian film industry caused Rome to be briefly called "Hollywood on the Tiber
La Dolce Vita
("The good life") chronicles the decadence and hedonism through the eyes of gossip
columnist Marcello Rubini
). His partner in crime is a photographer named Paparazzo
), who specializes in capturing celebrities in compromising positions. The film, not to mention the real life scandals which inspired the movie, did much to bring public attention to the celebrity pursuing writers and photographers.
The name is actually an Italian family name, and is probably a corruption of papataceo
, a type of mosquito
Source: Bondanella, Peter. The Cinema of Federico Fellini, 1992.