news - AEROPORTI DI ROMA
The international boarding area E has become a museum: from today, until the end of the year, thanks to the partnership between Aeroporti di Roma and the Ostia Antica Archaeological Park, non-Schengen international flight passengers can admire three original statues dating back to the 2nd century A.D. and found during the 1939 excavations. They represent Apollo, Aphrodite and the river god of the Tiber.
The sculptures have a special bond with the area: they were originally intended to decorate gardens and nymphaea onto which the private spaces opened of the domus at the mouth of the river, and come from the area which for centuries became the arrival and departure point of ancient Roman trade, through a port system able to link up with the rest of the known world of that time. This is the same area which today accommodates the Leonardo da Vinci international airport, the largest airport in Italy and one of Europe’s biggest hubs.
It was because of this significant historical, logistic and cultural relationship with Ostia Antica that Aeroporti di Roma decided to position the three statues inside the boarding area E, an infrastructure in the forefront in Europe and measuring about 90,000 square metres, able to accommodate over 6 million passengers more per year. A location which represents an architectural concept inspired by classic Roman culture and where it is possible to find the very best of Made in Italy foods and wine, and fashion.
Tourists from all over the world, who have just arrived in Rome or are changing planes to reach other destinations, can observe the statues close up and through multimedia supports which describe the exhibition and the wonders of the Ostia Antica Archaeological Park.
Various initiatives have been implemented by Aeroporti di Roma to promote Rome and its environs and provide top-quality entertainment services to passengers. Always with the collaboration of the Ostia Antica Park, the latest initiative currently under way is “Navigare il Territorio”, a project that enables the public and passengers to visit the Imperial Ports of Claudius and Trajan free of charge. These are directly linked with the airport by means of a free shuttle service.
“With the exhibition of original statues from Ostia Antica, we have put yet another great historical and archaeological reality of our area under the international spotlight” stated the Managing Director of ADR, Ugo de Carolis. “Passengers departing or landing in Fiumicino – he continued – can find themselves surrounded by an exhibition, listen to a talented piano player from the Santa Cecilia Academy, visit the Port of Trajan between one flight and the next, or enjoy a dish prepared by the leading star chefs who work in our Terminal”. “This is our way of welcoming passengers, who have often stated just how appreciative they are and have voted us number one European airport in terms of service quality” concluded de Carolis.
For the Director of the archaeological Park of Ostia Antica Mariarosaria Barbera, “the exhibition represents the first step along a path which has just opened up and which aims at including the splendid Ostia-Portus Park in a larger circuit of knowledge and fruition made up of a vast public which we intend extending to also include international travellers. The park has worked hard to concretize an idea of Alfonsina Russo, in an ideal relay of Directors, prompted by the desire to highlight the close link between the most important port infrastructure of ancient times and our country’s largest airport, significantly both located only a short distance from one another”.
“For the first time, three statues of the Roman age (not copies) are on show in an Italian airport” remarked Alfonsina Russo, Fine Arts and Landscape Superintendent for the Rome metropolitanarea, the Province of Viterbo and southern Etruria. “The statue of the Tiber river god is central to the exhibition, to recall the close relationship between Ostia Antica and the river and with Rome, while the statue of Venus, the goddess born out of the sea surf, evokes the relationship between the city and the sea. The statue of Apollo, depicted playing the zither, recalls the passion of the ancient Romans for music, art and theatre performances, and invites the visitor to the theatre of the 1st century A.D., perhaps the biggest attraction of the Ostia excavations.