Grado is a town in the north-eastern Italian region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, located on an island and adjacent peninsula of the Adriatic Sea between Venice and Trieste. Once mainly a fishing center, today it is a popular tourist destination, known commonly as l’Isola del Sole (‘The Sunny Island’), also famous because it is a spa town.
Between 1985 and 1988, Neri installed a hundred cast iron poles, ‘Sheliak’ model. After 28 years, Grado decided to proceed with a big refitting and restoration project. The old lanterns have been substituted with ‘Ligh 801’ and the poles have been disassembled and sent to Neri’s factory for maintenance.
The poles are in decent and different conditions. The base of those closer to the sea for instance is oxidized, because of direct contact with salt water. It is quite interesting to observe that inside the paint is intact, due to the painting technique (immersion) used at that time.
All the components of the pole such as base, column, capital and door with the coat of arms, have been sanded to remove paint and oxidation and bring the cast iron to its original state. Each element has gone through an accurate control and when needed the surface has been plastered. The castings have then been immersed in a zinc bath and covered with two coats of epoxy primer: a sophisticated cycle to protect the product from future oxidation.
All poles have then been coated with a green coloured water-based enamel, a highly sustainable process.
The old lanterns ‘Light 800’ have been replaced with ‘Light 801’ to ensure a better light on the roads and improved comfort, a very important parameter for life quality in the old town centre. The complete refurbishment of the 123 poles took a week’s time and today in Grado has its original 1985 poles back.