Bulgari Will Foot the Bill for the Renovation of Rome’s Spanish Steps

Tourists sit on the Spanish Steps in downtown Rome on August 1, 2010. Photo by Filippo Monteforte/AFP via Getty Images.

Not to be outdone by Florence’s upcoming Piazza del Duomo renovations, Rome has announced plans to restore one of the city’s major tourist destinations, the Spanish Steps, thanks to a gift from high-end accessories company Bulgari, the Art Newspaper reports.

The two-year project, slated to begin next year, will cost €1.5 million ($2.1 million) and will be completed in sections so as to allow tourists to continue visiting the hugely popular site. Called the Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti by Italians, the iconic landmark, constructed between 1723 and 1725, is the longest and widest staircase in all of Europe.

Bulgari’s donation, made in response to an appeal from the Italian government, coincides with the brand’s 130th anniversary. “The agreement with the mayor’s office allows us to ‘adopt’ this extraordinary monument of the eternal city that is so representative of Bulgari’s history,” Jean-Christophe Babin, the company’s chief executive, said in a press release. Bulgari’s flagship store is across the street from the Steps.

Other Roman monuments are also benefiting from the philanthropy of luxury brands. A €25 million ($34.4 million) renovation at the Colosseum that began in December is being bankrolled by Diego Della Valle, owner of shoe company Tod’s. The fashion house Fendi is funding a restoration project at the Trevi Fountain to the tune of €2.1 million ($2.9 million).

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