I’m fairly often in Rome but as with the whole of Italy I’m taking it slowly. It’s not that it’s going anywhere. Sometimes I do act according to what you tell me.
Blogging world is so cool for many things, one of them being recommendations I get browsing your blogs. When it’s talk of Italy, I prick up my ears even more.
The first example is the blog of the travelling pigeon, LEBLOGDUPIGEONVOYAGEUR, with three recommended “best” gelato establishments in Roma. This one is a no-brainer. Up goes my map, down go the addresses and off I go to the most convenient one of the three. When something comes recommended as “best” in the sea of gelato places, one expects something a bit special. Let’s just say that the one I chose didn’t deliver, even though limoncello flavour was tasty and refreshing.
Another example: recently I saw on DreamDiscoverItalia that there is Banksy exhibition in Rome for the entire summer. I was happy to hear this and yesterday I went to the Palazzo Cipolla, the Onion Palace, to have a look. No matter how deeply moving the experience was, I’m torn on the whole thing.
The first thing you see after paying 12 EUR together with plenty of other visitors, many of whom are rather young, is the inscription: “I Can’t Believe You Morons Actually Buy This Shit.”
What follows is a thorough collection of his anti-capitalist, anti-consumerism, anti-war messages. Some made me gulp and swallow a big ball of something gathered in my throat. That’s how I usually know if something is legit.
His career, including many clandestine actions in the most famous museums and dyeing of live animals, is listed on a wall in a too tight place with too small letters, so there is a queue and one has tough time go through it in any natural order.
I’m opposed to dyeing of animals. Like, A LOT. And yet one cannot help but consider entering a room with vivid, multicoloured wallpaper. And after a while one can see that there is an elephant in the room, dyed to match the background. And nobody is talking about it.
And when you Exit through the Gift Shop (there is an acclaimed film by the same name about him), you encounter a neat pile of fridge magnets with his designs and other consumer goods on expensive offer in said giftshop.
As I understand he has nothing to do with this exhibition, it has been put together with works from international private collections. But what I think that Banksy (of England) should do is hijack his own exhibition and start paying people who come to see it. 12 EUR sounds a bit low though.
At first I was a bit sad that I was not allowed to take photographs inside, but no sweat: I made a few turns around Roma’s packed streets and I saw this in a shop window. Banksy would know what to say to those who buy it. (And if you can’t see the price, it’s 25 or 28 EUR per shirt sporting his design.)
Yesterday was a touristy route I took: from the “typewriter” – Il Vittoriano – along Via del Corso where there is the Banksy exhibition – so cute, they put him in the middle of the busy boutique-hopping touristy Roma too! – and back over Piazza Navona and Campo dei fiori, but next time my intention is to follow one or several suggestions from this post by an American expat in her blog Surviving in Italy, which is full of worthwhile ideas nobody tells the tourists.
Not so sure about promises of catcalls, though. But I can go and chill at the Rome’s Non-Catholic Cemetery with Shelley and Keats after. And look, there is Gregory Corso.
Photo: a © signature mmm production