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Rome begins €12 million makeover of the city's parks and gardens

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Rome begins €12 million makeover of the city's parks and gardens
Rome's Villa Borghese park is among those set to get a facelift. Photo: Pom Angers/Flickr
10:21 CEST+02:00
Rome will spend €12 million on improving 20 of the capital's parks and gardens in a major project beginning in June, said mayor Virginia Raggi.

Announcing the works, Raggi borrowed the English word “restyling” to describe the project, which will mostly involve things like fixing fences, benches and fountains and a general clean-up.

However the project will also include planting trees and installing new sports facilities and security cameras. More bins will also be installed, along with signs in multiple languages.

"We're finally investing in the parks and historic villas of Rome, with notable sums of money and transparent tenders," Raggi said in an announcement.

“Twelve million euros to redevelop many green areas, parks and gardens, especially around the most peripheral areas of our city.”

Rome is known for having plenty of large parks, and the city is home to some of Italy's most beautiful gardens. But unfortunately, many of the Italian capital's smaller parks and squares are in poor condition.

The project aims to revitalise green areas around the Colosseum, as well as city parks like Parco Nemorense, Parco Collina della Pace, Parco dell'Acqua e del Vino. Parco Piazza Balsamo Crivelli, Parco Alessandro Conti, Parco di Salone, and Parco Labaro.

It will also improve the gardens at Villa Borghese, Giardino del Monte Oppio, Villa Flora, Villa Doria Pamphilj, and Villa Sciarra.Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

Green areas around the Viale Carlo Felice, Viale Washington and Viale Fiorello La Guardia will also be improved, as well the gardens at Largo Mola di Bari, Piazza Carlo Forlanini, Eroi di Cefalonia and the garden of the Servi di Giustizia della Romanina.

The first phase of the project began on May 30 with Villa Fiorelli Park, near the Lodi metro station. Outside of the areas most frequented by visitors to the city, the once-grand but now neglected park has become known for drug-dealing and vandalism.

Local residents have been waiting years or, in some cases, “decades” for the works to start, Raggi said.

The city is still finalising tenders for some of the works, which will be completed in stages.

Since taking office in 2017, Rome's current mayor has been under pressure to tackle long-standing problems with degradation, pollution and “disgusting” living conditions, which many city residents say are only worsening.

The capital is becoming notorious for urban squalor, and protesting residents have called the city a “rubbish dump.”

After initially promising, but failing, to clean up the city's streets “within a month” of taking office, Raggi has since announced bans on everything from pub crawls and “slovenly eating” to tourist coaches driving through the city centre.

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