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Dario's Profondo Rosso

Legendary horror director Dario Argento's little known store in Rome stocks grisly masks and blood-splattered toys

Dario Argento might be famed for his atmospheric, blood-ridden horrors flicks, yet not many realise that he’s also the owner of Profondo Rosso – a small specialist store located in Prati, Rome.

The shop takes its name from Argento’s 1975 film (English translation 'Deep Red') and is packed full of grisly memorabilia: rubber masks, VHS tapes, movie posters, contorted living dolls. Its real treasure, however, lies in the basement, which recreates some of the most memorable scenes from Argento’s classics, including Phenomena, Opera and Deep Red.

There are crushed skulls, children’s toys and a woman tied to a stone awaiting a sacrifice. Exposed under red light and hidden under a thick layer of dust is the horrific child from Phenomena, a disheveled female corpse from Demons, and even the copy of Peter Breugel’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, which once haunted Asia Argento in The Stendhal Syndrome.

A cross between a museum and ghoulish amusement park, it’s a must-see for any Argento fan – even if the dust and soundtrack of growling demons in the background are sometimes more questionable than they are scary.

Profondo Rosso, via dei Gracchi, 260, 00192 Rome.