Re to the last issue of BUONGIORNO VENEZIA
I see no problem with the Mayor’s confrontation re “pay to see Churches’ . The tariff is only right. Tourists do not respect the Churches and will still walk in to the front in the middle of a Mass or Benediction! I have been allowed in at Frari, without paying, when I wanted to pray. Let the Tourists, who do not want to pay, then be obliged to pay. They do not attend Mass on Sunday so why should they not pay?? Tourists regard churches as being free art galleries!
I pay towards my church in Ascot, which needs major repairs. We are not on the tourist circuit so nobody else pays. (the roof is falling in - it all costs money) - Alasdair - UK
Archive for the ‘so it goes’ Category
… or the underwear??
the Calatrava bridge
this week’s newsletter talks of:
- Mutual exclusivity — more hotels and fewer tourists?
- April Fool’s Day — the best date for joking about money
- The 20-point handicap — each unforgivable
- The Calatrava Bridge’s private views
and, last but not least
Peter Gabriel’s charity concert (in support of the non-profit, independent, non-partisan association Emergency) took place last Friday in St. Mark’s Square. Earlier, on 5 July, Italian artist Franco Battiato had also performed to benefit Emergency. Read Gabriel’s tour diary about th e Venice concert at http://www.petergabriel.com/live/tourdiary/
Unfortunately, Venetians never miss a chance to show the world how shameless they are. During Gabriel’s and Battiato’s concerts, whose profits will be used to build hospitals for war victims, the cafes in St. Mark’s Square seized the opportunity to charge an average of 30 euros for a drink (including the show… and “what a show”), obviously saving on cost of their own performers yet without making a contribution of their own to Emergency. Mr. Gabriel and Mr. Battiato will be glad to know that they also contributed to such “needy” people’s wellbeing.
Tourism costs the city of Venice 20-25 million euro per year. So the mayor has asked for government permission to re-introduce the tax on accommodations. It’s an old battle which, until now, has been won by the hoteliers. Mayor Cacciari is betting on professional marketing and management for the most traditional events, so that money is obtained… professionally (”We are not begging for money”). Even the upcoming Redeemer’s Feast will have an artistic director. The celebration will last for several days and conclude on the evening of Saturday, 14 July. The traditional and noisy fireworks will be replaced by a light and music show presented to admiring spectators who will watch from onboard well-coordinated boats in the basin. Apparently, it will be vastly different than the traditional feast, which has consisted of a colourful hodge podge of activities.
collecting opinions about the best things and innovations of this Biennale.
5 votes: the floating bar at the Giardini (!!)
7 votes: the Italian pavillion
3 votes: the Welsh pavillion
4 votes Bill Viola at San Gallo church
-1 the German pavillion (organization problems??)
add yours if you wish
well, regular blogging takes time and i so not have much in these days… but i have not forgotten about you. the opening of the new Hilton Hotel in Venice (the former Stucky mills) was scheduled in the same days of the Biennale exhibit’s opening. result: much excitement, while the more conservative people were wondering how much Paris Hilton’s golden parents would pay to have a quieter daughter, whose last exploit was driving without a licence.
a burglar, released after being arrested in venice, asked the police to have his “professional tools” back. unbelievable but true. as the policemen refused, the thief protested that “there is no democracy in italy”.
want easy money? suggestion: if you are in italy, play the italian superlotto (superenalotto) this saturday, instead. guess 6 numbers. the jackpot is over 70,000,000 euro
an update about the exhibit Sequence 1 at Palazzo Grassi, Contemporary sculptures and paintings from the private collection of François Pinault, Palazzo Grassi’s owner. A very “home made” exhibit (yet “precious”) which should teach us about the trend of contemporary art. meaning, what is worth buying. So you’ll realize what kind of art the very rich like to bring home.
may i tell you? it’s the worst Palazzo Grassi’s exhibit ever. the art critics reviews have been quite positive - you have to ”open your mind” - but people are not stupid. word-of-mouth counts. 3 days after the opening the palazzo was DESERT, and i exchanged staring glances and silent laughs with the other 5-6 visitors in all. so stay away from Sequence 1, unless you wish to know who are Mr Pinault’s friends of friends. No emotions, no ideas, no technique, nothing. the big metal skull - which i repeat is the only somehow interesting work - cannot be seen at ease because it has been placed outside, along the grand canal, so that it attracts visitors.
beware: this is the first of a series of 5 exhibit from FP’s collection. he’d better lock his pieces
The Very Hungry God by Gupta, a huge skull in stainless steel kitchenware. It has been placed outside the palazzo along the Canal Grande, quite impressive.
Responding to an inquiry - this can be useful to others:
you cannot call Trenitalia (our national railway company) from abroad ; there is no toll free number (even for italians); the 892021 number without area code means without city codes, and is not toll free, can be call only from italy and… definitely you can’t buy a ticket from abroad neither on their website trenitalia.it , nor on the phone. i just called them on your behalf and they replied you should go to a travel agency or buy the tickets in italy at the station. so it goes…. sorry
i wonder if you have the same feeling. often the sunday mail shows more nonsense than ever. and i wonder if it’s just a chance or it’s because of entertainment, big food and wine of saturday night, all over the world. particularly in veneto.
nonsense or not, this deserves a glance. i’ve been forwarded a note by Loris Palmerini, who declares that “the Italian Republic has no legal consistence. we may say, it does not exist”. Reason: the 1946 referendum (when italian citizens were called to choose between becoming a new republic or continuing being ruled by the king) was illegal, because millions could not vote. In fact in 1946 - Palmerini says - also Istria (Capodistria, Pola), Dalmatia (Spalato, Zara) and the Adriatic islands (of formerYugoslavia) were territory of the italian state, occupied by Titus’ troops: they passed to Yugoslavia only in 1947 with the Paris treaty. Though the italian residents living there had the right to vote, no voting site was held in those regions in 1946. More: also the ones who had escaped the local genocide and flew to Italy had no possibility to vote (hundreds of thousands, who according to Palmerini were likely to be in favor of the monarchy). “There was chaos and the civil war going on” Palmerini admits. “But millions of people could not vote: also Trieste, Bolzano and the whole Friuli; was this referendum legal?”. Consider the final results of the referendum: 12.717.923 voted for the republic, 10.719.284 for the monarchy.
The thought of rewriting history is fascinating. and shocking. right now, i have no idea if Palmerini is right: his comments may be seen with suspicion as he signs as the “president of the Tribunal of the Veneto People”, he says that the republic is illegal and a sort of a “coup d’etat”. he’s not the first one to promote these ideas.
if you read such message on a sleepy sunday morning and are an italian resident, the first thought that pops your mind is “good, so i do not owe any taxes to anyone”. the second thought is: it’s interesting, but i would not prefer to be ruled by the son of our last king. Vittorio Emanuele di Savoia has been involved (and also arrested last year) in two episodes which are not noble at all. So: i stick to the Republic!!! Viva la Repubblica, viva l’Italia. and let’s choose the lesser evil.