the talk of the town. as many others, last week we were informed that a group of music students in an educational tour from different parts of the USA was arriving in Venice in a couple of days and planning to do some performing at Piazza San Marco and maybe join a small group of young local musicians. The problem is that they needed 3 cellos (didn’t take the ones from there, because it was too expensive and maybe they feared some damages in the trasportations, and maybe some troubles with customs). Their parents in the States started to search the cellos for rent in venice, via phone and mail. Anyone from Conservatorio to the Tourism bureau was alerted. We were too, at VeniceWord.com . The concert was planned for Saturday night, March 10th. A cry for help
What happened? Everyone started calling friends, shops, institutions, with the result that the same people were called several times in the day. So when you called someone, he or she regularly answered “I already know. and the answer is no”. No? why?
i’m reporting, so please do not shoot the pianist.
first of all, Venice is neither NY nor LA. it’s a small town with 50,000 residents (less than pigeons, 60-70,000). so you cannot expect to have the same services you would find in the States.
No cellos for rent in venice, simply. and there seemed to be a very low budget for the rent (this was the passed-on word: not hard to believe, as they were students): otherwise, mountains would have been moved to bring in cellos from anywhere, Milan or Rome.
to venetians, the inquire was considered not so far from a lending request. But: cellos are expensive, personal, delicate instruments. the less expensive cellos cost about 600 euros (made in China: who would use them in a concert? an expert told me), the “regular” ones cost thousands of euro (would you lend yours to an unknown student?). More: the 10th of March is Saturday, and even admitting that some artist could lend a cello, Saturday evening is usually already booked for concerts.
we did not hear from them again. no idea what happened. given circumstances and time, i guess they were only able to rent some guitars. too bad, if so. many people were really willing to help (me included), but there was nowhere else to ask to.
end of the story (and lessons to learn, for anyone): lesson one, collect as much information as possible in advance, for any plan and travel. lesson two, do not expect red carpets. and bring your own musical instrument if possible!