© Electa_ph_Stefano Castellani
Fendi became a patron of the Parco archeologico del Colosseo in June 2019, sponsoring the restoration and enhancement of the Temple of Venus and Rome, built during the reign of the emperor Hadrian. Thanks to 2.5 million euros funding from the Maison, after 15 months of work the largest temple of ancient Rome has been returned to its original splendor. To fete the reopening of this exceptional site, Fendi has published a stunning book entitled Il Tempio di Venere e Roma.
With an introduction by Italy’s Minister of Culture Dario Franceschini, along with commentary by Alfonsina Russo, Director of the Parco archeologico del Colosseo, and Silvia Venturini Fendi, Fendi Artistic Director for Accessories and Menswear, the tome shares insights into this remarkable architectural and historical undertaking. The splendor of the edifice and its rich colors are showcased in photos by Stefano Castellani. Archive photos are joined by shots of the renovation work and the Fendi fashion show in tribute to Karl Lagerfeld in July 2019.
In addition to its exceptional dimension, the Temple of Venus and Rome owes its magnificence to its architecture. Over 200 columns of gray granite and Proconnesio marble surround a rectangular space separating the workshop cells dedicated to the two goddesses. The first, facing the Colosseum, is dedicated to Venus Felix, the goddess of nature and mother of Aeneas, the progenitor of Augustus. Facing the Capitol, the second is dedicated to the goddess Roma Eterna, the sacred personification of Rome and the territories of the Empire. Niches in the walls once housed marble statues, while statues of the goddesses were set in the apses. Thanks to the restoration, the temple will be open to the public for the first time.
The restoration is accompanied by an ingenious lighting system that projects an image of the monument in its original state on the surface. Light beams alternate between warm and cold tones on the surfaces of the temple, outlining the ancient walls to suggest the volumes of the worship cells dedicated to the goddesses, while the designs on the floors are set off with plays of light and shadow.
This magnificent restoration continues the long relationship between Fendi and the world of art and culture that has continued since 1925, when Edoardo and Adele Fendi founded the haute couture Maison in Rome. In 2013, Fendi announced a series of philanthropy initiatives including restoration of the Trevi Fountain, leading to the Fendi for Fountains project in 2015. This project includes preservation of the del Gianicolo, del Mosè, del Ninfeo del Pincio and del Peschiera fountains in Rome.