Arts, culture and religion, the leaders of tourism in Rome, are not enough for Italy’s capital. The city of Rome wants to increase the number of travelers with a Second District of attractions in the southern suburb of EUR and along the coast. These sights will have nothing to do with churches and archeological ruins so to attract new travelers and those who have already been to Rome but would only make another visit to experience something completely new.
Mauro Cutrufo, Rome’s Vicemayor, the city’s highest-ranking Tourism official, said on November 5 that this year has so far posted an increase of 1 million visits from 2009 and that a 400,000 unit rise is expected in 2011. Chinese tourists rose by a staggering 400%, while the more mature markets of the US and Japan saw a rise of 14% in 2010. Nonetheless, Cutrufo is not satisfied with the 14 million tourists Rome had this year, he aims to reach Paris and London’s levels with new ideas.
Besides the big targets a Formula 1 race in Rome by 2013 and the Olympic Games of 2020, Rome will build recreation and green parks, new golf clubs, expanded congress and fair events, and improved yachting and sailing facilities to boost alternative tourism.
These are the projects whose works are in the most advanced stage. Devoted to the biodiversity of the Mediterranean Sea, Rome’s aquarium will be inaugurated in the second half of 2011. Located in EUR’s artificial lake, actually beneath the water level, Mediterraneum was already in the mind of Piacentini, Italy’s master architect, who designed the whole EUR area in the 1940s.
The Civiltà del Lavoro Palace, EUR’s most iconic building was inaugurated in 1940, therefore it just needs some renovation and adaptations to host MI, the permanent exposition of the “Made in Italy” products that make “Italian” synonym of the highest quality, from fashion to industrial design.
And a huge “Cloud” will mark the skyline of Rome after its completion in 2012. Rome’s new congress center Nuvola, with an auditorium able to seat 1850 people, will have under its ceiling a 32 meters high, 75 meters wide and 198 meters long floating cloud, nuvola in italian.