Back from Italy - Random rants and raves

May 29th, 2003, 09:08 AM
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I always questioned why you can take pictures of anything in the Louvre...EXCEPT the Mona is that protecting the art??
jamikins is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 09:10 AM
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Came back a week ago and agree totally with points #6, 10.

As for point #5, I was at the Accademia too and realised although they said "no photos", it really depends on whether they caught you snapping a shot at "David" or not - I found a few tourists doing it outrightly while those "hawks" were yakking away either with other tourists or fellow colleagues. So perhaps it's just a matter of doing it at the right time?!

Would also like to add my own thoughts:

- Italians aren't tourist-friendly
- Venice should preferably be done in pairs, not alone
cin_sg is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 09:16 AM
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Gee, you've never heard a statement dumber than that one? You are fortunate.

People take travel photos for many different reasons. One of the photo ops I have trouble understanding is people standing in front of the Mona Lisa or "David" or whatever, seemingly mindlessly snapping away, not aware of when the flash is needed or not, not really looking at the art work, just holding the camera up, snapping, and walking away. I'm not implying that's what you do, but people do it.

It would be nice to photograph whatever appeals, whenver, with what ever attitude, but at least with some famous landmarks and art works, post cards or picture books do offer excellent alternatives, with no glares from flashes, no other tourists in the pictures,no dependency on good light or photgraphy skills.

On the other hand, to take a picture of
an interesting old doorway, or the light streaming in through a church stained glass window, or even my favorite gelateria, or the cliche of a dear one in front of the Trevi fountain, etc etc are shots that postcards will just not replace, nor are they available. That's the reason for most of MY travel photos.

The point being, if you aren't allowed to take a photo of "David" you can indeed still buy the post card. Alternatives exist. A gorgeous inexpensive photo book, just of "David" from all angles, is also for sale in Florence. And you can take a picture of the Accademia entrance if anyone wants to prove they were there. And if one's photo interest or skills are such that one wants to take a photo of David from an unusual artistic angle, such as across the nose and down the chest, you could I suppose apply for a special permit of some sort. But that's not what most of us casual snapshot takers think of as usual travel photos either.
elaine is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 09:31 AM
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I say we all boycott the post card imperialists and snap away with our cameras at David. Some rules are meant to be broken, and I can't think of a better rule to break. I have photos of David and I'm not a Nazi, ugly American, redneck, or insensitive. Guess what? I'm an art lover.
wemr is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 09:45 AM
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15) Grappa will flat knock you on your ass if you're not ready for it.
16) All espresso is not created equal.
17) Attending an orchestra performance of selections from Bach, Vivaldi, and Handel's Messiah at the Scuola di San Rocco is not something I will soon forget.
18) Bernini's Apollo Chasing Daphne left me stunned.
19) I'm amazed how easily one could ride the vaporettos without paying.
20) Sticker shock of the trip: at a cafe in St. Mark's Square, I was charged 9.80 euro for water, 8.00 euro for a sandwich. Some Vaseline would've been nice.
21) Thank God for Autogrills.
22) I consider myself a smart guy, but trying to fill up the car at Agip after-hours had me pulling out my hair.
23) Doing 160+ km/h in a Ford Focus will force you to confront your own mortality.
24) Since when did Pinocchio become the Italian national mascot?
25) Tackiness run amok: Pope snow globes.
26) Tackiness run amok redux: Neckties with conservative patterns on the front and pornographic pictures on the back.
Troubadour is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 09:54 AM
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Great report. Yes to 15 and 16....
mdv is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 09:56 AM
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#20 hee hee #22 Sooo right
Lewis is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 09:59 AM
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#25 reminds me of the infamous Pope Chairs which were sold in San Antonio to attend the Pope mass in the 80's. They were welded with cheap materials and lots of people broke bones when they collapsed. My girl friend at the time almost busted her butt.
wemr is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 10:02 AM
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Elaine, I just used David as an example. I'm basically just wondering why photo policies have changed since 2000. I don't see why the events of Sept. 11 would have any bearing. I ran into the same thing in the Uffizi and the Borghese Gallery, but not in the Vatican Museums. It seems to be inconsistently applied.

I took several classes in art history in college and taking my own personal photos of certain works of art that I studied and found interesting is very important to me, especially when there is no threat to the work by my doing so. I spent several minutes freely taking pictures of my favorite work, The School of Athens, in the Vatican Museums. I would've liked to have done the same thing in the Borghese Gallery but was banned from doing so. The rule seems to be very arbitrary and I'm curious if there is actually any logic behind it at all, other than boosting sales at the museum bookstores.
Troubadour is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 10:05 AM
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Cin sq: Italians aren't friendly to tourists? Are you nuts? They were wonderful to me - from Venice all the way down to Capri and everywhere in between.

Were you nice to them? Did you make any efforts to say "good morning" or "thank you" in Italian?

No offense, but I usually find I get treated the way I treat others.
kaudrey is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 10:08 AM
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This made me smile the discussion about feeling amazed to hear US music in Europe, of all places!!!

American music (rock whatever) has been played here for decades, since it started, why should'nt it?

Its like me being shocked to hear the Beatles, Oasis, or whoever, being played in USA! (Why,gee, the shock of it...!! )Of course I don't bat an eyelid! I know music is played globally, not just in our own country.

Just because the buildings are ancient (and italian or whatever) doesnt mean the music has to be. Its all very eclectic over here ya know. Just my 'two cents'....
milkshake is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 10:29 AM
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27) Whoever decided to make 1 and 2 euro coins is evil. It was way too easy to just plop those things down.
28) Fun people-watching experience: watching the reactions of people when Asian people near them would sneeze. In Heathrow (why was I in Heathrow? See #1 above), I saw two ladies literally turn around, cover their nose and mouth, and walk the other way when an Asian lady in front of them sneezed.
Troubadour is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 10:31 AM
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Re #19: "I'm amazed how easy it is to ride the vaporettos without paying.." The ACTV outfit (the one that runs the vaporettos) doesn't have a random ticket check system to increase your amazement, and what you will find even more surprising, it isn't even done to increase MY amazement : - ) Instead, random spot checks make the system more cost-effective. Booooooring, I know.

Re #5 - you declare [the photo flash policy] is a load of BS "if you ask me." The museum guards didn't think to ask you? How odd. They and other Italian officials positively slaver to win MY good opinion, especially in Naples.

Ding! Ding! Ding! This is fun, I'm ready for round two.... : - )

Sue_xx_yy is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 10:51 AM
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Troubadour -
Your comments are truly entertaining - there's some great advice in your posts. I look forward to more so I can be prepared for this September. LOL - I love your writing style!
Hana is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 10:54 AM
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Milkshake, I think you missed the whole one was "shocked" to hear american music in Europe. Troubadour's whole point was "american culture is everywhere".....
JenniferW is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 10:55 AM
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Thanks for your thoughts Elaine, which obviously run parallel to mine, especially in terms of the kind of photographs I always bring home with me.
I have a wonderful series of thise "doors" and lots of shots taken at various local festivals.

I haver met so many great people in Europe this way! Magic memories. Much better than trying to take in the David stuck in the middle of a bunch of people with cameras clicking away at his feet. My favorite memory of the David statue is seeing it when I visited Florence many years ago as a young art student, a few months after the Arno flooded the city. So much was destroyed, but that the sight of that beautiful staue rising above all the mud was really moving, and unforgettable. No snapshot needed!

Troubadour- back at you- If you "hate France" so much why are you using a screen name taken directly from a French word? (one of a class of Poet/musicians who flourished mainly in the South of France from the 11th to the 13th century"
sognatrice is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 10:58 AM
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29) Stay away from hill towns during spring school field trip week(s) unless you like to be deafened by the hordes.
Rick is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 11:12 AM
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Jennifer - yes I know that, that is the point I am making. Im 40, and I can't remember a time when US 'culture' was not among us. I used to watch the 'Monkees' when I was 3 years old for goodness sake

That is exactly what I am saying. It shouldnt be a shock to see US culture/music everywhere.
milkshake is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 11:14 AM
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Milkshake...I just thought it was ironic to hear "Born in the USA," "New York New York," and "The Star Spangled Banner" after listening to the media blather on for months about all of the "anti-American" backlash in Europe. I wasn't surprised about hearing American music in general.
Troubadour is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 11:24 AM
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ok, cool
milkshake is offline  

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