The Origin of The Wall for Wishes
The idea for ‘The Wall for Wishes’ website came, as you might expect, from a visit to Rome; during the course of an adventure to retrace the footsteps of the characters portrayed by Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn in the classic romantic movie ‘Roman Holiday’.
‘Roman Holiday’ was released in 1953 and traced the development of a love story set amongst the magnificent sights of Rome during the course of a single day. Arriving in Rome in July 2012 with two friends, I set out to rediscover the beautiful places that were featured in the film, and explore their significance to Romans, movie lovers, historians and Italophiles the world over. Over the course of five days, we visited many amazing sights including ‘Via Margutta, 51’, the Forum Romana, the Spanish Steps, the Mouth of Truth, and the beautiful Castel Sant’Angelo at night. We even spent many hours on the back of a scooter whizzing through the streets of the city just as Audrey’s character had done; and there is no better feeling i can tell you than feeling the warmth of the night, the breeze on your face, and catching so many beautiful historical sites as the street lights sparkle, and the night draws in in this magnificent city that all roads lead to.
Yet there was one beautiful, amazing place that was featured in the film that we couldn’t visit; at least not in the form that it was represented in the movie, and as it used to be many years ago. It was named ‘The Wall for Wishes’, and took it’s form from part of an ancient Roman fortification, Mura Aureliane (Aurelian Wall) located on the Viale del Policlinico. Legend tells that in recent times, in the first years after the war, a grateful Roman citizen installed plaques on the wall to commemorate good luck and dreams fulfilled. People continued to bring plaques to the wall as a token of remembrance, entreaty and thanks. Sadly though time has served to take these beautiful remembrances away and the plaques no longer exist on the wall with only the holes indicative of where they had been, remaining.
The Wall of Wishes whilst not the oldest or the most celebrated monument in Rome was still something of immense beauty; a testament to the power of the human soul to believe, to have faith, to hope and to endure and most of all, of our humanity. When a thing of such beauty is removed, it is never really destroyed as hopes and dreams and compassion and wishes all remain in each and every one of us.
My own wish is to rebuild ‘The Wall of Wishes again, in a way that will allow all future plaques to remain, to be revisited and cherished, and to be celebrated with joy when all that is wished for comes true, whenever and wherever this may be.
Please pass the message on and tell everyone that you know that the Wall is being rebuilt here, to remain forever, accessible to all those around the world who want to visit it, and may no one ever take it down again…