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Rome Bans Street Vendors From Piazza Navona

Rome Bans Street Vendors From Piazza Navona

Nov 22nd, 2005, 12:53 PM
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Rome Bans Street Vendors From Piazza Navona

ParadiseLost is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 01:01 PM
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Glory hallelujah!

If there were some way of allowing a very few chosen artisans to sell their works in the Piazza, it would be nice, but if it has to be all or nothing, my vote definitely goes to nothing.
Eloise is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 01:03 PM
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politics and "freedom of expression" aside, plus i'm an artist myself, i have to say i'm happy about this. during past visits several years ago, i remember some vendors and artists, but for the most part, a visitor was able to quietly enjoy the atmosphere at his own pace. this past spring, i was appalled that the place had turned into a zoo. you could not stand and admire the fountain without hawkers accosting you and shoving their wares in your face, and trying to walk from one side of the piazza to the other was like an obstacle course, winding your way around all that chazarai (or however you spell it) on mats on the pavement. and beware of getting trampled on by the running illegal vendors when the police come by! hopefully now, the beauty of the place will be the main attraction.
Nutella is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 01:14 PM
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I have mixed feelings on this. On one hand it was a festive atmosphere late at night and on the other hand it was chaotic and overrun with vendors earlier in the evening.

Well, no matter, no one is asking my opinion and I'll take Rome however it is at any time.

SeaUrchin is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 01:44 PM
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I was in Rome this spring and it was chaotic in Piazza Navona. I agree that a few vendors would be nice but it would be difficult to police who could be there and who could not.

I wonder if this will help or hurt the restaurant trade.

Were vendors also banned from the Spanish Steps? I remember years ago there were vendors on the steps, along the edges, but in 2000 they were no longer there.
adrienne is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 01:58 PM
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they can get rid of all the illegal vendors everywhere in europe IMHO.
then allow the legal ones limited space far from blocking any views, etc. of historic plazas.

To have a street market one day a week is one thing.. but constantly interrupts the whole feel of these magnificent plazas otherwise.
lincasanova is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 02:13 PM
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I'm with SeaUrchin on this one. I loved the early morning quiet and the evening bustle. Either way Rome is , well, still Rome.
ssachida is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 03:06 PM
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I'm joining the Hallelujah chorus!
My husband and I were both disappointed by the atmosphere we encountered during recent visits..... compared to earlier visits. I think sitting at a cafe.. looking at the architecture ... checking out the people ... is quite enough.
Grandma is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 04:03 PM
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As beautiful as Piazza Navona is, I was always sort of glad to get out of there and back to Campo de Fiori, which, overall, had a lot less of that rally crowded, super-touristy stuff going on (notice I said "less"). Between all those people hawking all that junk, and the endless stream of miserable looking bus tourists...

Now if they could just get a grip on the mob scene around Trevi Fountain.
wliwl is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 04:05 PM
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Spanish Steps felt downright mellow when we were there. Maybe tourists weren't that into it because of the scaffolding all over, I don't know. But it was never a zoo.
wliwl is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 04:40 PM
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I definitely won't miss people shoving their junk in your face, but I have to admit that I enjoy some of the performers/entertainers and might almost miss that!
jaclynpoulson is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 05:00 PM
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Hi all,

We stayed in the Piazza Navona area (part of our time) in Rome in October (I'll get that trip report posted one of these days, I promise)!

I'd miss the music, and from the sounds of it, I'm glad I have it recorded on video -- they had some really good musicians there.

I wouldn't miss most of the stuff that was for sale, and I especially wouldn't miss the persistent flower hawkers who dog your steps at every turn and come into the restaurants as well.

We even found this in Salerno, which isn't exactly a tourist mecca -- we were approached by 3 different guys at one meal!

wlzmatilida is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 05:22 PM
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I agree with everyone else. A few chosen vendors would be classy. But with so many vendors hocking all sorts of things, its like a circus.
JSLee is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 06:57 PM
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It's about time. I was so disappointed in Piazza Navona! We visited on a Monday and the place was absolutely trashed from the weekend. No special festival, just the regular icky street vendors and food vendors and lazy Romans dropping their papers all over. Napkins stuck to the square on melted gelato. . . it was so filthy we were appalled.
kswl is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 07:02 PM
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yeah! If the vendors just had booths and sold their merchandise that would be one thing...but being accosted constantly, even after you said no, it made me feel like I was swatting at gnats! And what about the bird seed sellers in Milan in front of the cathedral??!?!
lyb is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 08:14 PM
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Hmm.., makes me wonder. My experience in Piazza Navona wasn't quite as bad as many others make it out to be. I had a great time there. Probably because:
a) I was there in November, which is off-peak.
b) I stayed very near Piazza Navona and so was there very early in the morning (about 6am on my morning run) or after 9 pm (for our after dinner drink).

I don't recall seeing a single bus tour there. I must have been very lucky.
ssachida is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2005, 08:52 PM
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The thing that iratated me the most was the 'photographers' asking you if you wanted your picture taken while you were having dinner outside.

TRSW is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2005, 08:21 PM
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I have mixed feelings about this, too. I stayed near the Piazza in October, and we walked down there every evening. The vendors were beyond annoying, no question, but I loved the artists and performers. It was like seeing a different show every night. Without them we probably would have gone once to see the fountains and have an espresso and that would have been it.

So I don't know. The vendors drove me crazy, but I'd hate to think of Piazza Navona without the artists. It'll always be a beautiful place, regardless, but they made it a vibrant and exciting place for me. It's too bad it has to be one way or the other. I think, if I had to choose, I'd rather keep brushing off the vendors if it meant I got to keep the singers and the puppeteers. But I can understand why people would feel differently.
jkstrouse is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2005, 08:57 PM
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I also have mixed feelings. In Sept, I talked for quite a while with one of the artists in Piazza Navona. He told me that he had a license to be there and that no more licenses were being issued. Also, their work was evaluated before they received a license. It's a shame that the artists have to be banned because of those guys who shove the cheap tacky stuff in your face or have their stuff on a blanket so they can scoop it up when the police are coming.
SusanP is offline  
Nov 24th, 2005, 11:04 PM
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I read the posted article -- thank you for posting ParadiseLost.

I am wondering since we are going at Christmas if there will be no Christmas market festivities there now? The article didn't say. Didn't sound promising, did it?

Unfortunately I already told my children about it. Sounded like a good break/reward after a museum.

BTW -- I also felt more overwhelmed at Trevi Fountain than at the Piazza Navona, but we only went during the day to either.

5alive is offline  

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