Immersion, innovation and Italian heritage

Rome Fiumicino International unveiled a striking collection of three-dimensional artworks in late December in an airport-first. Viewers can see Leonardo da Vinci’s Vetruvian Man and frescos from the Sistine Chapel in an inspiring new way, as will travellers once the COVID-19 crisis passes.


In anamorphic installations, viewers can see three-dimensional objects that in reality do not exist through the use of an optical effect.

Rome Fiumicino International Airport claims to have become the first airport to launch an original collection of such installations.

Created in collaboration with the art collective Truly Urban Artists, the works are distributed around international boarding area E and one of the loading bridges used by international passengers to disembark. They were installed in late 2019, so many travellers were able to see them before the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown in Italy – and will be able to do so again once operations return to normal.

The first work to be installed was inspired by the Italian genius whom the airport is named after – Leonardo da Vinci – and his famous Vetruvian Man. It also paid tribute to the 500th anniversary of his death in 2019. In loading bridge E31, arriving passengers will see, through an illusion of perspective and thanks to a play on colours, the drawing inspired by da Vinci “projected on different surfaces in perfect alignment as soon as they enter the corridor at the end of the loading bridge”, according to the airport.

Aeroporti di Roma CEO Ugo de Carolis explains the significance of the piece: “Everyone recognises da Vinci as an icon of engineering and Italian creativity; it is truly thanks to his pioneering studies on flight and flying machines that his name has been given to Fiumicino Airport. However, not many know that the first known exercise in anamorphosis is attributed to him.”

Truly Urban Artists’ Emiliano Fava adds: “What better way to see the world from a new point of view if not by flying? Our studies on the topic are but a slab in a centuries-long walkway, in which our contribution is the combination of the techniques and language of graffiti and street art. We are honoured to have had the chance to pay homage to the great Maestro, and for this we thank Aeroporti di Roma for the confidence and Heads Collective and Merlo Factory for the valuable collaboration.”

Two further anamorphic installations followed, and are located in the international boarding area. They represent the Colosseum in Rome and the frescos of the Creation of Adam in the Sistine Chapel in the Italian capital.

Aeroporti di Roma said the positioning and spatial management of the artworks allowed full immersion for a photo, which travellers have been encouraged to share on social media using the official hashtag #RomeAirports. The artworks are also accompanied by an explanation in Italian, English and Chinese.

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The Moodie Davitt eZine

Issue 278 | 7 April 2020

The Moodie Davitt eZine is published 12 times per year by The Moodie Davitt Report (Moodie International Ltd). © All material is copyright and cannot be reproduced without the permission of the Publisher. To find out more visit and to subscribe, please e-mail

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