A new museum dedicated to Rudolf Valentino, one of the worlds first film stars, opened on 6 March in the ex monastery of S. Chiara in his birthplace, Castellaneta.

The museum, near Taranto in Puglia, southern Italy, will exhibit previously unknown photographs of the actor: personal documents, poems, fragments of film and coverage of the stars funeral.

The death of silent-film actor Valentino in August 1926 caused a worldwide frenzy among his fans. The actor, who appeared in only 14 major films during his brief seven-year movie career, was idolised by women as the "Great Lover" of the 1920s. Born in 1895 in Castellaneta, Rodolfo di Valentino DAntonguolla, who went to America in 1913, obtained his first film role in 1921.

The first Rudolf Valentino film festival will be held in Castellaneta in May 2006.