Hubert Burda Media

3 brands "rescuing" historical landmarks

What has fashion got to do with saving Italy’s ancient wonders? These three heritage brands refresh time-worn legendary landmarks.


Fendi’s recent haute fourrure show capped off what was a 17-month long mission to restore the iconic Trevi Fountain to its former glory.

It took 26 restorers 516 days to complete the Fendi-financed renovation much earlier than expected. What’s more, one of the most ingenious work-sites was conceived during the facelift. A panoramic boardwalk made of transparent glass panels let visitors, all 3 million of them, admire the majestic monument from an extraordinarily close perspective, without interrupting restoration work.

To celebrate its 90th anniversary, Fendi staged Trevi Fountain’s first fashion show, the spectacular Legends and Fairytales. Models “floated” on the transparent boardwalk-turned-catwalk amid an interplay of lights and music, with the breathtakingly divine backdrop of the monument’s fantastical sculptures.

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After two and a half years, Tod’s announced that Phase 1 of the world-famous amphitheatre’s restoration is completed.

With the focus on the northern and southern facades, a total of 13,330 sq m (including 31 arches) have been cleaned. The installation of brand new gates replace the current arch enclosure system. Next, restorers will move in to the amphitheatre’s passageways and underground vaults. Plans in the pipeline include implementing a utility system and building a service centre for visitors to access from the outer area instead of within the walls of the site  — the Colosseum remains open to public as the make-over is taking place.

The Italian luxury accessories house contributed €25 million to refresh the Colosseum, following its successful preservation efforts in Teatro all Scala, one of Italy’s major opera houses.

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Salvatore Ferragamo has pledged €1.5 million over the course of three years to return the Fountain of Neptune to its original splendour.

Situated on the Piazza della Signoria (Signoria Square) in Florence, the city’s first public fountain was the work of Italian sculptor Bartolomeo Ammannati, commissioned by Cosimo I de' Medici in 1765, when he was the first Grand Duke of Tuscany. 

The fountain comprises a large octagonal pool in Seravezza marble. Skirting the edge are four sculptures depicting a divinity, with bronze fauns, nymphs and satyrs at their feet. In particular, the sculpture facing Palazzo Vecchio is a copy of the original stolen in 1831. Similarly, the statue of Neptune in the charriot emerging from the water in the centre of the pool is also a copy — the original is kept in the National Museum.

Over the centuries, the monument suffered a great deal of damage. It was vandalised in 1580. A satyr was stolen during a carnival in 1830. It was found damaged again in 1848. More recently in 2005, one of Neptune’s hands and his trident was damaged when three vandals climbed the figure.

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