State of the fountain

Construction time again

The Colosseum has resembled a building site for the best part of a year now with no end in sight, despite a proposed unveiling some time 2015 (read 2020). Unsightly scaffolding in Rome seems to have caught on.

Fontana di Trevi, too, has been fenced off. By Fendi. There are as many well-manicured men working on the site now as there were Bangla photographers when the fountain was in full flow. Fendi is part of "LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton", and the luxury goods group has paid out in the region of €2.2 million to fix the fountain which was unveiled back in 1732. "Fendi for fountains" is a marketing front to shift more of whatever it is they sell to Italians and anyone else with money to torch on terra firma.

Word on the street is that several other Roman fountains will benefit further down the line. I am happy to report that the fountains of Diana, Juno, River Aniene and River Tiber at the congested intersection of Via delle Quattro Fontane and Via del Quirinale are on the list. Let's hope that the deal doesn't include brand renaming. "Fontana di Fendi"? No.

The pièce de résistance is a super duper plexiglass walkway built over the drained basin. It allows visitors to get up close and personal with Roman Baroque, most of which will soon disappear behind a maze of metal framework. Meanwhile, a gimmick basin has been installed for tourists to toss their coins in. Fendi CEO Pietro Beccari has described the work as "disruptive and invasive", while championing the "new view" of the fountain from said bridge across no water. So where does all of this leave Rome tour operators who send travellers on tours of Rome and the Colosseum?

It's business as usual on all our Colosseum tours. Guided walks inside and beneath the Flavian Amphitheatre remain unaffected by one section of the exterior being under wraps. Tours of Rome's historic centre which include the Trevi fountain, however, have been diverted to include the temples in Largo di Torre Argentina on an alternative route of equal, if not greater historical import.

Patronage in Rome is nothing new, indeed, at time of writing Bulgari are paying for a Spanish Steps clean up. Various other corporates are getting their hands dirty for Rome at their own expense.

Current essential restoration works will inspire future generations when in Rome.

Published on July 12th, 2014
© When In Rome Tours, article provided by Cajes.

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