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-   -   With all the Y2K renovation, is Italy worth visiting this year? (

Joanne Mar 13th, 1999 10:54 AM

If you believe that we are caretakers of our cities, then you have to relish the chance to see us taking care of our treasures. Renovation itself is interesting. Great photography does not require the perfect image.

Becky Mar 13th, 1999 10:57 AM

I agree with all the previous posters who said "Go to Rome anyway!" Yes, there are some structures with scaffolding but don't let that deter you from going. Most of the time, the interior of a structure will make up for any disappointment about its covered exterior. Example: Michelangelo's brilliant sculpture Pieta inside St. Peter's Basilica. I didn't skip that just because the building's facade was up to its neck in scaffolding. You really don't want to miss the entire, extragant interior of St. Peter's! Amazing! <BR> <BR>The Vatican Musuems (inside!!!) are also to die for, especially the Raphael Rooms (you have to see Raphael's masterpiece School of Athens) and the Sistine Chapel! I could care less if the museum's exterior was covered in scaffolding! <BR> <BR>Part of the Colosseum was also covered but just a small part, maybe 10% of it! <BR> <BR>There are other sites worth visiting in Rome - the Forum (which I don't think will ever have scaffolding - how can you cover separate ruins spread out in such a large area?), the Catacombs (underground tombs so very little chance of scaffolding there) and all the beautiful parks and piazzas. <BR> <BR>When I went to Pisa, the Gothic baptistry near the Leaning Tower also had scaffolding on 1/3 of its facade but the Tower itself was free and clear! <BR>I spent an afternoon here. <BR> <BR>As for other cities, I went to Venice and saw the magnificent St. Mark's Basilica. The exterior of the Doge's Palace and the Torre Del Orologio (Clock Tower) did have scaffolding but the Venetians did something inventive! They put a canvas over the ongoing construction and painted it with a portrait of the actual exterior of the building. So from afar, you couldn't tell if the buildings were under scaffolding/construction. <BR> <BR>There was no scaffolding over the Gothic Duomo in Milan, my favorite church. <BR> <BR>Assisi was spectacular -- nature at its best. Nothing was covered. The only place we couldn't go to was the lower church of St. Francis Basilica as it was damaged by earthquakein 1997! <BR> <BR>Verona was also nice, especially the Roman Arena -- a mini-Colosseum! Not covered by scaffolding at all. <BR> <BR>Florence was a living art museum - Renaissance sculptures and buildings everywhere, with no scaffolding in sight! <BR> <BR>Siena, my favorite Tuscan city! Its cathedral had scaffolding on the lower half of its facade. But my favorite place, the spectacular Piazza, was free and clear! If you go to Italy, you have to visit Siena!!! <BR> <BR>Go and have a good time! :} <BR> <BR>P.S. I was in Italy in June of 1998. If I had the money, I would go back there in a heartbeat, scaffolding or no scaffolding! The food alone is incentive for me to go! Absolutely divine! <BR> <BR>P.S. #2 It's not the outside that counts, it's what inside that matters!

Michael Mar 13th, 1999 01:42 PM

Pisa is worth the visit but I would not spend more than a half a day there. We arrived late at night by train got a hotel, got up early the next day, saw the sites and were out of there by early afternoon. Although the tower is closed, just seeing it is worth it. Also the baptistry (which does have scaffolding) is beautiful. Not much else to do there. The souvenier stands across the street kinda spoil the area. (I also didn't like all of the souvenier stands outside of the Coloseum). The walk from the train station through town ,across the river and to the sites in Pisa is nice. I agree with earlier posts that even though many places in Italy are marred by scaffolding, just being there is a wonderful experience and should not be passed up unless it really bothers you. I will be there again in late May. Plan on seeing more of Rome, Florence, Venice and this time Verona and whatever else we have time for. I will report back.

Diane Mar 13th, 1999 07:45 PM

There's restoration work being completed on the Washington Monument in DC -- and some forward-thinking architect thought to design special scaffolding with lighting, no less. It is really pretty cool looking. Of course when the facade being worked on is not festooned with gargoyles or elaborate columns, it could be easier to plan something like that. I'm not pushing American ingenuity here, but sometimes a "work in progress" can be quite interesting and lovely in its own way.

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