Rome’s Mayor Virginia Raggi this evening inaugurated the new artistic lighting in Piazza del Popolo. The event was attended by the Operational Director of Acea, Giovanni Papaleo.
The evening was enlivened by a projection of light effects and videomapping on the obelisk, fountains and gateway to Piazza del Popolo. The event was also attended by artist Franco Ricordi, who performed several verses from the Divide Comedy to the assembled guests. The Band of the Local Police of the City of Rome performed traditional music.
The light architecture project, specifically focused on the obelisk in the center of the square, resulting from a collaboration between the City of Rome’s Urban Infrastructure and Maintenance Department and Acea, was created by the multiutility using six of the latest LED light projectors with precision optics that improve the chromatic effect of accent lighting and reduce energy consumption to no more than 300W.
The work also involved the maintenance of the lighting around the Fountain of the Lions, consisting of four basins at the base of the obelisk, and two further fountains located on the sides of the square: the Fountain of the Goddess Rome and the Fountain of Neptune. Again the old lights (twenty for each fountain) were replaced by forty modern immersion LED floodlights.
The new systems, which complete the recent LED transformation of the street lamps in the square, are equipped with a remote control which allows the lighting to be managed more quickly and efficiently.
“We’re adding another valuable element to the development of Rome's monumental heritage through artistic lighting projects. We are renewing and re-lighting the obelisk in Piazza del Popolo and its historic fountains. We are making one of the most beautiful squares in the world, in the heart of the historic center, even more picturesque and fascinating. Once more we have combined the need to protect these places with a particular focus on the environment by using low energy LED lamps", said the Mayor of Rome Virginia Raggi.
“Again our work centered on ensuring innovation and sustainability at the same time, which determined the choice of LED technology. These latest generation projectors reduce consumption, have an excellent color rendering and, with minimal aesthetic impact, increase the precision of the optics and enhance the architecture of monuments and fountains. This work was carried out with professionalism, competence and dedication by our technicians and, in this regard, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the Acea people who, even throughout the COVID-19 emergency period, continued to guarantee the safety and efficiency of the services provided to the community and the local area,” said Acea's Operational Director Giovanni Papaleo.
“Piazza del Popolo is an important chapter in the history of art. It dates back to 1300 BC, when the obelisk was built, brought to Rome by Augustus and permanently placed in the center of the square by Sixtus V. It includes the wonderful 15th century church of Santa Maria del Popolo, with a chapel designed by Raphael and finished by Bernini and the two paintings by Caravaggio, a grand gateway by Michelangelo, through which pilgrims traveling on Via Francigena used to pass, twin churches added in the 17th century and the 19th-century arrangement of Valadier. Such a beautiful square could not be left without proper lighting,“ commented Daniela Porro, head of Rome's Special Superintendency of Archeology, Fine Arts and Landscape.
The most recent initiatives carried out by Roma Capitale and the Acea Group include the artistic lighting system of the Arc of Constantine, the Pantheon, Santa Maria in Trastevere, the Old Town of Ostia Antica, the Basilicas of Saint John Lateran and Santa Maria Maggiore, the Dome of the Great Synagogue and Piazza del Campidoglio.