Since winning a Senate seat on a centrist party ticket in 1995, Cecchi Gori is addressed by his staff as Senatore, but his surroundings seem less those of a politico than a caricature of some old-style Hollywood mogul.
But his collaborators say the lavish living is essential to enable Cecchi Gori to receive international associates in an environment that shows he's no local yokel.
Life Is Beautiful" recently netted Cecchi Gori the biggest pricetag ever for international rights to an Italian-language film.
Trained and ushered into the movie business by his late father, Mario Cecchi Gori, he learned the trade making local comedies, gradually going on to include more ambitious projects.
I wish there were more producers like Cecchi Gori," says Angelo Guglielmi, head of state production-distribution division Istituto Luce.
One of the main problems of the industry Cecchi Gori has come to personify is its lack of offshore visibility.
I always get the feeling the Cecchi Gori Group doesn't really need to go out and sell its films," said a U.
producers still happily sell to Cecchi Gori because he pays the highest prices.
Perhaps the biggest mystery concerning Cecchi Gori is why he keeps funneling vast sums into the black hole of his fledgling TV division.
Close associates of Cecchi Gori concede that he lacks the passion to bring the same commitment to TV that he does to film.
Until that hurdle is cleared, Cecchi Gori is understandably reluctant to start firing big guns on his small screens.
investment bank's backing in the deal indicates the high regard of international financial circles for Cecchi Gori as a film industry force.