Fendi's Trevi Fountain project: Can fashion save an Italian icon?


  • Living
  • Monday, 07 Jul 2014

Men working on the restoration site of the famous Trevi fountain in Rome. The iconic fountain, built by Italian architect Nicola Salvi at Palazzo Poli in 1735, is fenced for repair. – AFP photos

Italian fashion house unveils suspended walkway over Rome’s Trevi fountain.

Fashion house Fendi kicked off the restoration of Rome’s famed Trevi Fountain recently, unveiling a transparent suspended walkway which will give tourists a whole new vantage point of the historic monument. Though the fountain has been drained for the renovation, a small basin has been set up at the rim so that visitors can continue the tradition of throwing a coin into the waters with their back turned – a custom which is said to bring good luck.

“The restoration works are invasive and will be disruptive for the thousands of tourists who come every day, but we thought the walkway would be the best way to show off the fountain,” say Fendi’s CEO Pietro Beccari. The plexiglass bridge “is a way to show people the fountain from a position no one has been in before,” he adds.

While much of the elaborate Baroque façade is now hidden under scaffolding, tourists crossing the basin on the walkway will be able to get a close look at the restoration as it takes place. The RM9.5mil repairs on the nearly 300-year-old fountain will take 18 months, Beccari says.

There had been concern about the state of the Trevi Fountain, which is visited by millions of tourists every year, particularly after bits of its elaborate cornice began falling off in 2012 following a particularly harsh winter. “Patronage is essential in maintaining and restoring our marvellous works of architecture, archaeology and art,” Rome’s mayor Ignazio Marino said, as he chucked a coin over his shoulder into the temporary basin.

Men working on the restoration site of the famous Trevi fountain in Rome. The iconic fountain, built by Italian architect Nicola Salvi at Palazzo Poli in 1735, is fenced for repair. – AFP photos

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