The conservation and restoration of historical cultural assets of a city takes up a large share of the public budget and this, when they gain the attention and care they deserve. Some may find a superfluous investment but it is worth stopping to think: what would become of the many local economies without the generous sums that come from tourism?
In the last two years, Italian fashion brands have given a lesson in historical investment in Italy – a country that has faced a major economic crisis. Each one took care of a great and famous architectonic work of its city of origin or of its region. Fendi (a brand originally from Rome) restored the imposing Trevi Fountain (1732) in the Italian capital with an investment of 2.4 million euros and a year and a half of work. Diesel (originally from Molvena, in the Veneto region) has allocated 5.5 million euros to restore the Ponte di Rialto (built in 1588) to Venice, the most well-known and most attractive city in the Veneto. The Florentine Salvatore Ferragamo donated 600,000 euros for the renovation of eight rooms of the Galleria degli Uffizi (founded in 1581), gallery that houses the Spring and The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli, among many other works of great value in Florence. Tod’s (originally from Sant’Elpidio a Mare, Marche) invested 25 million euros in the neighbouring region and restored the Coliseum in Rome.
Mostly recently to join this trend is Bulgari, which was founded in Rome in 1884 by Sotirio Bulgari, in order to restore one of the many postcard of the city that receives about 36 million tourists a year. The Roman luxury jewelery invested 1.5 million euros and a year of work to clean, protect and remake the foundation of some steps of the staircase of the Trinità dei Monti, built between 1723 and 1726 by the architect Francesco De Sanctis (1693 – 1740). The staircase is in Piazza di Spagna – which until the 17th century was known as Piazza di Francia (Square of France) – and leads to Santissima Trinità dei Monti (Church of the Holy Trinity of the Montes).