Rome, 1999. A phone rings in a room in the Acea building.
"Good morning Claudio, this is Giacomo Dell'Omo, president of Ornis Italica, an association of volunteers and researchers who have been safeguarding birds for years. I was told you were in charge of environmental sustainability at Acea and I wanted to propose a joint initiative: to place our nesting boxes on top of your power pylons."
Claudio Puliti, Chemist - Acea Ato 2 Water Knowledge Department, gives his version of the beginning of the collaboration between Acea and the Association Ornis Italica to protect and safeguard wild birds: pylons are actually an excellent nesting point, as they are inaccessible to predators and if the surrounding habitat is unpolluted, they can become hospitable nests.
The initial project focused on the nesting of the Kestrel, a small falcon found in the countryside and in our towns where it has had considerable success, judging by the rapid increase in the population nesting in Rome and the surrounding area.
A few years later, Acea hit on an idea for an even more challenging objective for environmental protection: to encourage the Peregrine Falcon to nest, as until the year two thousand, the species had been on the verge of extinction.
The project wanted to exploit the above ground, water storage tanks scattered throughout Rome, to position some nesting boxes. Peregrine Falcons prefer high, inaccessible places with a clear view of the horizon: the water tanks rising 90 metres above the level of the surrounding countryside are the perfect place for them to nest.