Water lilies and a new water system: Poggi’s ramps renovation

Work begins in May and will last one year

Mindy Burrows
April 10, 2018 - 16:15

The ramps that lead from Porta San Niccolò to piazzale Michelangelo will be returned to their former beauty, keeping as closely as possible to the original design of the architect Giuseppe Poggi.



The first part of the ramps, leading from piazza Poggi / ph. Mindy Burrows for The Florentine



The ramps, originally built in the 1870s, wind their way across three levels: the grottos, which consist in stone recesses dug into the walls covered with plaster work and sponges; the great tank consisting of several stone basins covered in sponges, rocks and mosaics; and the cliffs and the little grottos, dotted along the wider sections of the paths, made of stone from the Monte Ripaldi quarries.


A new water system will be installed that will make the currently stagnant water flow as it did in the past. The system will draw directly from the ground water and pumps will carry the water to the highest level where it will cascade, as Poggi had planned. The vegetation will be replaced as far as possible, removing the weeds and bringing back water lilies, begonias and ivy. Other improvements include the sealing of cracks and damage, re-waterproofing the tanks and replacing oxidised materials with stainless steel or fiberglass.


The project, which will cost 1.6 million euro, is being financed by the Fondazione CR Firenze, through the Art Bonus initiative, whereby Italian companies receive a tax break of 65 percent for donations to cultural activities. The work is scheduled to begin in May and will last around a year.

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