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Old 04-06-02, 02:12 PM   #1
Chance
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Post 'Jim' plus 'Italy', two words that go together...

Hey Jim,

Last year you took a well deserved vacation to Italy; I have never been but have always wanted to go. Now that summer is just around the corner I would love to hear your impressions of what you saw there -- both as a tourist and busker.

Ciao!
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Old 04-06-02, 02:32 PM   #2
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Hmmm...Where to start???

I didn't busk in Italy, but everywhere I went I saw potential pitches. I just have no idea what the legalities are on any given pitch.

The only place I saw actual buskers was in Piazza Navona in Rome. There were about 6 statue mimes there and they all had crowds. It was frustrating to watch them because they didn't interact all that well with the audiences. I would think anyone with a visual act would go over well there. And a LARGE percentage of people in Italy spoke English.

I also did a fair amount of traveling to touristy areas and noticed tons of Americans and Australians. I bet one could get away with an entirely English show in a tourist area, but having SOME knowledge of Italian would be respectful to the locals.

There is so much to write. I'll think about it and write more later.

Jim

P.S. As a tourist, I fell in love with the countryside, the food and the pace of life there. I started studying a bit of Italian and I can't wait to return and explore more.
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Old 04-06-02, 03:25 PM   #3
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What parts of Italy did you visit, Jim? Patty has relatives in the north-eastern part of the country, near Venice, Padua, all the Shakepearean areas. She's told me it's beautiful, but I haven't gotten to see it yet. I hope to go some day soon, and getting to perform would be a nice bonus.
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Old 04-07-02, 09:53 PM   #4
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I lived in Padova for almost a year... It is absolutely gorgerous... and I busked during the Venetian carnevale. I did a show in Italian / French / English, but it was mostly physical. Hats ranged from good to great but the major problem was that the place was so packed with tourists there was no room to even do a show.

I had to obtain a permit from the tourist bureau and a list of piazzas and areas that were off limits to buskers. This consists of showing your passport.

Padova was ok for busking, and on a friday or saturday night you can pull off a nice hat in the town center. Ditto for Verona and Vicenza.

e t i e n n e
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Old 05-10-02, 03:39 PM   #5
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Okay Jim, it seems that since yours is still the most recent Italian experience that the ball is (...pock...) back in your court. Care to add any more info?
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Old 05-10-02, 06:21 PM   #6
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What I said before...

I only saw buskers in Piazza Navona in Rome. They all just seemed to show up and carve out a space and go to work. It's a pretty big piazza... bigger than a football field:



Just image-google "Piazza Navona" for more pics

As far as I could tell, there was no permit or license. But one statue mime told me they had to stay far away from the artists to not interfere with their business. (Painters set up on one end at about dusk and paint and sell paintings into the night. The statue people set up on the other end.) There is a LOT of space.

I didn't busk anywhere. I was a tourist. Rome seemed like it had a few spots that might have worked (tourist areas.) Venice was jam packed and didn't appeal to me for busking. Milan was a bit up tight. Bologna was friendly and had big piazzas, and Pisa seemed pretty cool, too. Florence is another possibility at Piazza Della Signoria:
photo here

Whatever you do, be respectful of the monuments and art... it's everywhere.

Jim
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