giovedì 9 agosto 2007

Rome, land of hucksters

Rome, Pantheon Square

In no other European city one can witness the same presence of 'hucksters' than in Rome. Escaped from the povery of their native countries, many of them have arrived to Italy and can nowadays be seen in all the beautiful and historic roman squares of the Italian Capital.
Stationary from dusk until dawn, these people are busy every day selling their goods: fake designer purses, glasses, but also little gadgets.
Their excessive number causes, evidently, negative effects on the aesthetics of Rome. The roman Administration, that tries in several ways to make Rome a modern and cultural city (a part from the ruines, that we have inherited), organizing, for example, many international events - even if we are far from the lively London or New York- seems to forget that the look of the Eternal City can be affected also by other elements.
First of all what everyone can see along the streets of the old town. In Rome, even the more vacant look cannot avoid to notice all these hucksters, with their goods well exposed on sheets placed on the ground. This view strucks the citizens, like it does the turists, that while is busy admiring a nice monument like the Pantheon (see picture above), is destined to bump into a crowd of pitchmen, all selling the same items.
The 25 millions tourists that at the end of 2007 will have visited Rome will remember of course the monuments, the exhibits, the nice buildings, the food, the weather.. but they will probably also remember the dirt, the garbage and the absurd number of hucksters spread everywhere around town.
No-one enjoys their presence: not the citizens (they all sell the same items so how many fake designer purses should we buy, after -maybe- the first one?) nor the shop owners (competitors).

Who, then, benefits from the hucksters?

If the Mayor wants to mantain this type of commerce why doesn't he organize it like in Manhattan, where they all concentrate in one place (the always busy Canal Street) leaving in peace the rest of the town?

1 commento:

Stefano ha detto...

We should avoid buying anything from those people first because it is illegal, and second but most important, behind them there is the Mafia..