|Photo courtesy of the Hotel Hassler, perched at the top of the Spanish Steps|
Over the last few years, Italy’s fashion houses have made headlines by leaping to the rescue of deteriorating national monuments, many of which are UNESCO World Heritage listed. Tod’s famously helped with the restoration of the Colosseum, while Fendi pledged €2.5 million to restore the Trevi Fountain. As reported by Reuters, restoration work began recently at Rome’s Spanish Steps with the help of Bulgari, the Rome-based fine jewelry house, which donated 1.5 million euros to clean and repair the travertine and marble staircase.
The Spanish Steps is the setting of one of the iconic moments in cinema: when Gregory Peck met Audrey Hepburn, eating a cone of gelato, in Roman Holiday. The Steps were fully restored in 1995, but tourist traffic has eroded and stained the stone surfaces. The Steps will be closed until December 7, then partially opened for the Catholic holidays. The entire project is due to be completed in the spring.