The following day, when Marcello goes back to his house he has to assist Emma, his fiancée, who tried to commit suicide because of him.After a gastric lavender in the hospital, Marcello feels sorry, in spite of that he calls Maddalena, who deeply sleeps and does not hear the ring.
The second episode is the most famous one, it tells the night adventure of Marcello in company of the American actress.
Sylvia lands at Ciampino airport, welcomed by photographers and journalists, that from the Ancient Appian Way follow her to the Excelsior Hotel for the press conference together with Robert, his fiancée, once the main character of Tarzan serial movies.
After climbing with Marcello on the dome of Saint Peter, disguised as a priest, she improvises a performance in the night club Caracalla. Robert is drunk and provokes her, who, upset, goes away on Marcello’s car first along the Appian Way and then through the narrow alleys of Rome that lead to the Trevi Fountain, where Sylvia, in the scene that has become the symbol of the movie, baths herself in the fountain basin asking Marcello to follow her.
When Marcello and Sylvia return to the Excelsior hotel, they find Robert, half asleep in his car, waiting for them. In front of the hall of the Hotel he faces his fiancée with a slap and punches Marcello knocking him down, while the paparazzi shoot all the scene.
The third episode refers to the meeting of Marcello with his friend Steiner near a church. This latter is an intellectual and Marcello has for him a kind of veneration. In the movie, this meeting represents a sort of parenthesis, that will have further developments and a tragic epilogue.
In the following episode, Marcello is on his car with Emma and his photo reporter. They are reaching a neighbour in the countryside, where rumours tell about two children who had a vision of the virgin.
Even if the clergy refuses to recognize the miracle, a crowd of worshippers and chronics gather in prayer. Journalists are present in great number and television follows the event night and day setting tens of reflectors directed towards the site of the vision. When an unexpected storm hits the crowd and the reflectors break out one after the other, the show ends, without having caused no victim, a poor chronic who has been left in the rain waiting for the Grace of the Virgin.
The parenthesis of the meeting with Steiner is opened again.
We find this time Marcello and Emma at a party in Steiner’s house, together with artists and literates. Steiner is married with a beautiful young woman and has two beautiful children and a beautiful house too. They are a happy family.
The admiration that Marcello nourishes for his friend Steiner his qualities as a writer is enormous.
He prods him into dedicating himself to a more intellectual activity leaving those fascist magazines for which he writes. He could help him, introducing him for instance to some important publisher.
La Dolce Vita, Federico Fellini part III >>