Locals and tourists wishing to escape the summer heat in Rome next year may not have to venture far for a taste of shade and sand, as an artificial beach is due to be created right on banks of the Tiber.
Taking inspiration from France’s well established Paris Plage project, which sees temporary beaches being installed along the banks of the Seine, the plan was announced recently by Rome’s Mayor Virginia Raggi. The project would see a 10,000-square metre space around the banks of the Tiber being turned into a sandpit. Located near Ponte Marconi, close to a handful of the city’s main attractions, the beach will comprise of recreational areas, as well as a number of attractions. The announcement was met with surprise from some groups in the city however, who said that it would not be difficult to clean up the overgrown grass and waste at the proposed site.
Given that swimming in the city’s fountains was banned last summer, with the action resulting in a fine of up to €240 (US$280), the artificial beach may prove popular as a spot for cooling off during the hot weather, which regularly reached 35 degrees Celsius (95 Fahrenheit) last summer. The banks of the Tiber are free from cars, and an experimental temporary beach and swimming pool was installed back in 2005, much to the delight of visitors.
“The Tiber runs through Rome but sadly, unlike many European cities, the river isn’t a living, vibrant part of the city. We want to restore decorum and liveability to the riverside,” said Mayor Virginia Raggi. A larger plan was also outlined that would see the city working to develop an app that would monitor pollution levels, flying drones overhead to look for waste and sending police on bicycles to patrol the banks.