A couple of little news clips struck me today, and, I know there must be more to these stories than what I’ve been given because something is quite amiss:
First, I read that some agency filed some complaint against some organization that was selling their properties at 1/10th the going rate. Basically, apartments in Rome go for anywhere between $14000 and $21000 per square meter. I can’t tell you what that is in square footage, but trust me, it’s a very hefty price.
And these guys are selling for around $1500 to $2000 per sq met. Now. I know that P.T. Barnum supposedly remarked that there’s a sucker born every minute, but, it looks like quite a bargain to me! So, what’s the catch?
All I know is that as a result, someone filed a complaint because the price is 'too low'??
Meanwhile, everyone seems to be suddenly up in arms over the preservation of one of Italy’s most derisible monuments. Since its inception, the ‘Vittoriano’, or monument to Italy’s first king, Victor Emanuel has been universally hated. First, because they tore down the remnants of that area’s medieval quarters to build it, including Michelangelo’s supposed abode. For years, it’s been called ‘the typewriter’, ‘the wedding cake’ and any number of other epithets against this fascist piece of architecture -- even though it holds the Tomb of Italy’s Unknown Soldier, watched over by a standing guard with an eternal flame. And that’s the catch.
The City Officials finally put in an elevator to get people to the top for some of the best views in all of Rome. Although they force you to pay $10 for the ride, it was providing good income. Obviously not enough, so they added a cafè up there too. But their capitalist drive has seemed to be offensive to many (my solution: knock the price off the ride up). Not to mention that the rest of us could finally enjoy all of the gorgeous mosaics and art up there too. Who else could? The unknown soldier?
So now, they’re saying the elevators have to go: first, because they damage the look (I have yet to notice them and I go by there almost daily), second, because they’ve turned a sacred place into a tourist trap.
Ummm….and the Pantheon? Victor Emanuel and his son are both buried in there! Not to mention Raphael our very first Superintendent of the Arts who is probably quite pleased at all the attention.
And then, there is of course, the tourist trap of Assisi, or what about the thousands of bodies we literally step over every time we enter a church, any of them throughout the peninsula? Those gorgeously carved flagstones are really coffin covers. The list could go on and on. Heck! We could even bring in Pompeii or the Pyramids…
Considering it’s pretty much the only monument in Italy with wheelchair access, I thought this was a good thing (although that price tag is so over the top, it makes the churches of Italy pale by comparison…even Pisa's entry fees).
It’s all so illogical there must be a conspiracy in here, but, I’ve yet to find it.