The architect Cesare Esposito awarded with the gold medal of the Campidoglio
“It was the greatest gift: over ten thousand people and spectators from all over the world yesterday came to Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore for the 40th anniversary of the historical re-enactment of the miracle of the Madonna della Neve”. Thus the architect Cesare Esposito, creator of the historic artificial snowfall that is repeated every 5 August to commemorate the prodigy that took place on the Esquiline Hill, comments on the outcome of the evening. An appointment with tradition that stages what happened on the night between 4 and 5 August 358 AD: according to legend, the Virgin Mary appeared in a dream to the then Pope Liberius and the patrician John, asking to build a church in place he would indicate. When they woke up, they found the Esquiline covered in snow, in the middle of August. That event went down in history as ‘the miracle of the snow’, and the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, dedicated to the Madonna, was built in the place where it snowed. To commemorate that miracle, since 1983, every 5 August, Piazza di Santa Maria Maggiore has been transformed into a large open-air theater where an intense artificial snowfall is staged amidst light and music shows.
The evening, presented by the actress Serena Petrella and sponsored by Roma Capitale, the Lazio Region and the Ministry of Culture, was opened by the fanfare of the Carabinieri, followed by the “reflected arches of lights” conceived by Esposito and by a music concert classical soprano, tenor, baritone. The architect was also awarded the gold medal for the Campidoglio Culture, awarded to him by the councilor Michele Gotor representing the mayor Roberto Gualtieri.