Back from Italy - Random rants and raves

May 29th, 2003, 08:49 AM
  #1  
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Back from Italy - Random rants and raves

I plan on putting together an in-depth trip report shortly, but here are some short thoughts off the top of my head:

1) I hate Alitalia.
2) I hate France.
3) Venice during the day is pure hell compared to Venice at night.
4) Venetian canals either don't stink or stink to high heaven; there is no in between.
5) Why is there suddenly this insistence of no picture-taking, even without flash? For example, in 2000, I was able to snap pictures of David to my heart's content. This trip, however, I was monitored like a hawk by the "photo Nazis." A load of BS if you ask me.
6) I was barely able to tear myself away from the Cinque Terre. It is proof that there is a God.
7) I hate La Spezia.
8) Italian drivers are no worse than American drivers.
9) When in Rome, at least one in-depth tour with Scala Reale should be mandatory.
10) ANY concerns about what to wear in Italy are a waste. Wear what's comfortable. If that means blue jeans and white sneakers, knock yourself out.
11) # of times I heard "New York, New York" being performed or played on radio: 5.
12) # of times I heard the US national anthem: 2.
13) # of times I saw Italians wearing shirts saying "USA" or something similar on them: at least 50.
14) The scavi tour under St. Peter's is FASCINATING. It should not be missed.

I'm sure I'll think of some more, but that's a start...
Troubadour is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 08:56 AM
  #2  
 
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Welcome back Troubador!!! I am happy that at least you have found some places that You Dont HATE in your trip!!!
I am curious to read your report !!!!
kismetchimera is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 08:57 AM
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can u expand on whats right with 5lands and wots wrong with la spezia? From a distance 5lands looked a little touristy and backpacky compared to the coast north. I concur with some of your other points.
viking is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 08:59 AM
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Hehe I hear you Troubadour! I fully agree with # 3 (just be happy you are back home now, I have to deal with that every day!), 4, 5, 6 (beautiful!), 7. Partly agree with #1, 8
venexiano is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 09:16 AM
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Troubadour-I am too busy at work to reply at length to your post- but you rather short-sighted question question about why snapping photograph of national art treasures is frowned upon demands a replay, preceeded by a rather obvious question:

Why do you need to take ANY photos of the David when there are hundreds of postcards and slides available everywhere? I don't get it.

Photograohing interiors and paintaings, when multiplied by the hundreds of tourists who want to do this at will, damages the colors in fabrics, paintings, and other fragile surfaces that need to be protected if they are to survive over time.
I have seen so many instances of tourists disrepecting this rule all over Europe, and it always angers me every time, since even with my very limited knowledge of art conservation, I understand the damage it does..

Cameras are probably discouraged because of heightened security concerns as well.

The rest of you post was pretty funny, I assume you are joking!!!.

So glad you're back safe at home, guess I won't be bumping into you and your camera on my trip, where i plan to take dozens of wonderful phoitographs- I assure you -none of them will need to be of the David. For me, the thrill is all about seeing it in person, I can very happily spend a couple of Euros for postcards to remember the experience!!!
sognatrice is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 09:29 AM
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This is an honest question and this thread seems a good place to ask it. Exactly how does taking a picture of something without a flash harm it? I am a fairly intelligent person with what I believe to be a decent understanding of how a camera works and I can't, for the life of me, figure out how a non-flash picture harms artwork, sculpture, etc. Seriously. If anyone could explain this to me, I'd really appreciate it.

Jennie
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May 29th, 2003, 09:36 AM
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I hesitate getting involved but I was in Italy last year and was informed that the taking of pictures has nothing to do with possible damage to the art but the no photo policy is due to the "copy right" of the art by who purchased the rights or is paying restoration.
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May 29th, 2003, 09:37 AM
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LJ
 
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Jennie, I don't think there is an issue is taking a pic without a flash. There is a problem with a flash. The difficulty is in a policy that differentiates successfully in 27 languages for the casual tourist with a camera. Just easier to say NO PHOTOS!
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May 29th, 2003, 09:41 AM
  #9  
jor
 
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Great report. Short and candid. Yes to #3 and #10.

sognatrice, What planet are you from? a camera flash doesn't damage stone. And how (on this planet) does taking a photo of a statue become a Security problem? BTW buying a stupid post card just doesn't cut it for most people.


jor is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 09:42 AM
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Welcome home Troubadour, loved the short report, look forward to the long one~
Scarlett is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 09:43 AM
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Another problem is that there's always one (or a hundred or a thousand) @$$hole who think "well, since everyone else will probably obey the rules, I can get away with one flash photo..."

I usually buy postcards and/or professional photographs, and take pictures of nature, city life, friends/people.
lillehavfrue is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 09:44 AM
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>>> I hesitate getting involved but I was in Italy last year and was informed that the taking of pictures has nothing to do with possible damage to the art but the no photo policy is due to the "copy right" of the art by who purchased the rights or is paying restoration. <<<

Now this was very interesting. I'll have to look into this...
lillehavfrue is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 09:45 AM
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Tourbadour, You are so funny! You just made me remember when we were walking through Florence one night. We heard outdoor music and walked closer to see what it was.

They were playing "Hotel California" by the Eagles.....they played american songs all night.

My husband and I were laughing at the fact that we flew all the way to Italy and listening to them play american songs.
JenniferW is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 09:46 AM
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Fun report. The copyright issue is correct. I believe it first came up when a Japanese company paid for the restoration of the Sistine Chapel. Since then there has been a no photo rule there and before it was just "no flash".
Grinisa is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 09:48 AM
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Now the next question would be whether or not they actually have the right to impose this rule according to Italian law ;-)

In some countries, "cultural heritage" is for "everyone" and you cannot copyright it...
lillehavfrue is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 09:50 AM
  #16  
jor
 
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Just had a revelation from GOD.

They don't let you take pictures of the Statue of David because they want you to buy the stupid post cards instead.
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May 29th, 2003, 09:57 AM
  #17  
ira
 
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Hi Troubador,

Look forward to your trp report.
ira is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 10:00 AM
  #18  
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I was told by Scala Reale that taking pictures of the Sistine Chapel is prohibited because the Japanese company that bankrolled much of the restoration owns the copyright for several more years. But I guess it's more "romantic" to imply that it's for the protection of the art. If it really was for the protection of the art, then why was I able to take pictures ad infinitum of St. Peter's and the Pieta? If we're talking about watercolors or canvas paintings, that's one thing, but sculptures and frescoes? As to the assertion that taking pictures of David is unnecessary because there are pictures everywhere, that is about the dumbest statement I've ever read. By that logic, why should we take pictures of ANYTHING when we travel?
Troubadour is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 10:05 AM
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Thanks to everyone who responded.

I really didn't think there was really any reason to disallow non-flash pictures. Hopefully even sognatrice with her "limited knowledge of art history" (which the rest of us dolts are so obviously lacking) will admit that.

Funny list Troubadour. I'll be in Italy in September. I'll make sure not to take any unauthorized pictures!

Jennie

Jennie
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May 29th, 2003, 10:05 AM
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JenniferW, I also heard "Born in the U.S.A." several times on the radio. Weird. The media makes it sounds like the whole world is against the U.S., but American culture is everywhere. Sure there are plenty of PACE flags, but the Italians know how much they rely on income from American tourists.
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