Italo Rota. Foro Italico. Palermo, Italy. 2005

Italo Rota,




Italo Rota has given Palermo back the sea. Since the second world war the city seemed to have forgotten its waterfront promenade, occupied first by the ruins of bombed-out buildings and then by a funfair. The redevelopment of the Foro Italico area was funded with money provided by the nation for the UN conference on international crime held in Palermo in 2000.

Italo Rota. Foro Italico. Palermo, Italy. 2005 Some of the benches are placed perpendicularly to sea, while others are parallel to it. They are decorated with ceramic cushions in relief. The pavement is blue, white and red by the sea, green along the main avenue. The common denominator of many of the ornamental elements is use of ceramic, one of Sicily's most important traditional crafts. These ceramics were produced by the workshops of Nino Parrucca.
Two golden "totems" more than two metres high mark the beginning of the central avenue to create a sort of entranceway. 15 more colourful sculpted totems echoing the Mediterranean flora and fauna are arranged along the avenue.
The entire perimeter of the lawn, measuring about one and a half kilometres, has been transformed into a cycling track with green or blue pavement in different areas, separated by white "tentacles" which accentuate the effect of the lights in the evening.

This unusual landscaping project has given the waterfront area a strong identity of its own and given the city back its view of the gulf, linking the sea with the city and especially its oldest neighbourhood, Kalsa.

Laura Della Badia


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