One of my favorites parts of living in Rome is that it’s nearly impossible to encounter boredom; there is always an enlightening new pocket to discover within this glorious city. With that in mind, I wanted to share a story that ran in The New York Times Travel section this past weekend, titled “Three Quiet Museums in Rome.” I had visited Doria Pamphilj as part of a Caravaggio walking tour my first time here, but had never heard of the other two: Centrale Martemartini and Museo delle Anime dei Defunti, the latter of which is dedicated to the souls of purgatory. I do intend to check ’em out one o’ these days, and while I’m happy they got some love from The New York Times, I do hope that all three remain “quiet,” free from loud, meandering and reckless tourist crowds. Only time will tell, I guess.
Secondly, I came across this little item that Cathy Horyn, the NY Times fashion critic, posted on the “On the Runway” blog and felt compelled to share it as well. I know I don’t work in fashion, but I couldn’t help but find that Horn’s comments seem to echo some of my very own New-York-weary sentiments in regard to larger-than-life branding and how everything is just so in-your-face. This applies to all industries and just about every other facet of NYC life.
Horyn’s item, titled “Europe’s Lesson for New York,” also resonated with me because she cites two European cities with which I’m completely enamored: Paris and Milan. Paris and I have are like this (crossed fingers) and have been for several years–even though we don’t speak the same language, something about the two of us just clicked and we’ll be friends forever. While Milan, on the other hand, I was only slightly acquainted with prior to moving to Italy, but we became fast friends! It helps that we speak the same language, to an extent. 😉 I grow increasingly more fond her and her vigor with each and every visit, and now we’re besties for life.
While I’m probably better versed to speak for Milan/Rome/Italy as these are the locales where I’m living and traveling, I have to say that I completely get Horn’s point. Here in Italy, I’ve had the honor of attending events in my industry–food, travel, etc.–and it’s refreshing to see branding that isn’t upstaging the events’ true focus: food and wine, and the talents behind both. Don’t get me wrong, there is some promotional tactic overlap to be found…the MAC cosmetics billboard on the scaffolding in Piazza del Popolo (pictured above) is proof of this as is the ginormous “Coming Soon” signage outisde the soon-to-be Versace store in Piazza di Spagna, but overall, these types of materials are just not as ubiquitous as they are in New York. And nowhere near as pervasive. And the MAC ad thankfully came down with the scaffolding, I might add.