The Covid-19 restrictions have given us images of the world that are very different from what we knew. The lockdowns, imposed in many countries to avoid an increase of the contagion, became a new lens through which we can observe cities, how they have evolved in time, their unexpressed potential, their unchanged beauty.
During the lockdown, Rome gifted, to a few, its deepest image: the Colosseum, emptied of its millions of visitors; Saint Peter’s square, incredibly silent; the deserted alleys of the historical center.
The Eternal City, suspended in an undefined time, became the subject of a series of photographs that froze in time its absolute beauty in that unrepeatable dimension of solitude. Thus was born “Rome, Silent Beauty,” a project supported by Webuild and the City of Rome, with photographs by Moreno Maggi, an Italian photographer specialized in architectural and industrial photography. His shots are witnesses of a Rome that goes well beyond the lockdown and becomes the opportunity to open a debate on the subjects of livable cities and new city planning centered around the imperative of sustainability.
A starting point for rewriting the city of the future
“Roma Silenziosa Bellezza” is not only the celebration of the absolute beauty of the Eternal City, amplified by the solitude imposed by the lockdown, but also the chance to look at reflect on the extraordinary views of a great metropolis, called in the coming years to face epochal events such as the Jubilee of 2025 and the Expo of 2030, which the city has applied to host.
Rethinking cities, the ways people live, mobility and interactions are the central themes of urban planning and building science, which become real challenges when applied to historical metropolises like Rome. The C line of the city’s subway, being built by the Webuild group, will cross the historical center and run beneath Piazza Venezia, representing one of those epochal challenges that must be faced to lead the city into the future. They are challenges, in the name of sustainability and modernity, to build public works that become the tools with which to protect over time that absolute beauty born of more than two thousand years of history.
The show, the book, the secrets of Rome, open to the public
The shots of this silent and unexpected Rome were first collected in a book, edited by Rizzoli, and now have become the heart of a show organized by Webuild and the Istituto VIVE – Vittoriano e Palazzo Venezia, which manage the national monument and exhibition space in Piazza Venezia in Rome.
The “Roma Silenziosa Bellezza” show opens on January 20 in the Zanardelli hall of the Vittoriano and will last through February 28. The show is an emotional and intellectual journey across the streets, bridges and squares of Italy’s capital, a city immersed in an unexpected silence that is rediscovered thanks to photographs, videos and multimedia projections.
In the days ahead of the opening, some of the exhibition’s photographs were projected on Palazzo Venezia in a visual show from 6:30 pm to 11:30 pm. One of the symbolic squares of the Eternal City was filled with light shows and images dedicated to some of the most beautiful monuments of the city: Castel Sant’Angelo, piazza del Popolo, Colle del Palatino and the Eur neighborhood, which hosted the 1942 Universal Expo.