The plan to build a 700-place multi-level car park in the underbelly of the Pincio, the hill overlooking Piazza del Popolo, has been called off. The mayor of Rome Gianni Alemanno announced his decision on 10 September, putting an official end to the project put forward and approved by former mayor Walter Veltroni.
The city council is now proposing the enlargement of the existing car park at the Galoppatoio in Villa Borghese as an alternative way of providing more parking close to the centre. The plan involves creating an additional 500 parking spaces, improving security in the existing Piazza di Spagna exit and creating new exits in Piazza del Popolo.
The Pincio car park project had been controversial since its inception in 2004, with intellectuals and politicians taking both sides. One of the most vocal opponents has been Italia Nostra, the national heritage watchdog, which warned of the destruction of archaeological remains found during excavations, destabilisation of the nearby Aurelian Walls and damage to the scenic