Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Europe > Italy
Reload this Page >

Wet steps to protect churches

Wet steps to protect churches

Old May 31, 17, 9:04 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Heraklion, Greece
Posts: 6,551
Wet steps to protect churches

I know, the title sounds weird, but this is a really nice/strange/bad (choose the word you prefer) idea!

Florence authorities have come up with a novel way of discouraging tourists from sitting and snacking on the steps of the cities' cathedrals: hosing the sites down with water.

Last edited by obscure2k; May 31, 17 at 10:10 pm Reason: clarification
KLouis is offline  
Old Jun 1, 17, 12:02 am
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Pasadena, California
Programs: UA 1K, 1MM
Posts: 10,062
There is a lot about this solution that appeals to me. It's simple. It's cheap. It's likely to be effective ... perhaps. But I'm not sure it will work if they don't make sure that garbage cans are available. In all seriousness, has that not been tried?

I'm not saying that you need to stick a garbage can right in front of a church (nor would I promote that), but it seems to me that you're just moving the problem elsewhere. Perhaps the garbage problem would be more manageable if picnicking tourists were encouraged to eat elsewhere, and they were given a place to put their trash?
iapetus is offline  
Old Jun 1, 17, 6:52 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: SFO, VCE
Programs: AA EXP >4 MM, Lifetime Plat
Posts: 2,881
Originally Posted by iapetus View Post
There is a lot about this solution that appeals to me. It's simple. It's cheap. It's likely to be effective ... perhaps. But I'm not sure it will work if they don't make sure that garbage cans are available. In all seriousness, has that not been tried?

I'm not saying that you need to stick a garbage can right in front of a church (nor would I promote that), but it seems to me that you're just moving the problem elsewhere. Perhaps the garbage problem would be more manageable if picnicking tourists were encouraged to eat elsewhere, and they were given a place to put their trash?
They can't do that because it's illegal to picnic at monuments, churches, and in a Piazza in Rome, Florence, Venice and other cities. The same as the USA. You can't have a picnic at the Lincol Memorial, or the steps of St. Patrick's Cathedral or at the Statue of Libery. You'll either get a ticket or be shoo'd along.

Last edited by Perche; Jun 1, 17 at 7:05 am
Perche is offline  
Old Jun 1, 17, 6:56 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: SFO
Posts: 3,596
Originally Posted by KLouis View Post
I know, the title sounds weird, but this is a really nice/strange/bad (choose the word you prefer) idea!

Florence authorities have come up with a novel way of discouraging tourists from sitting and snacking on the steps of the cities' cathedrals: hosing the sites down with water.
And then the steps would also be clean, too.

Originally Posted by iapetus View Post
There is a lot about this solution that appeals to me. It's simple. It's cheap. It's likely to be effective ... perhaps. But I'm not sure it will work if they don't make sure that garbage cans are available. In all seriousness, has that not been tried?

I'm not saying that you need to stick a garbage can right in front of a church (nor would I promote that), but it seems to me that you're just moving the problem elsewhere. Perhaps the garbage problem would be more manageable if picnicking tourists were encouraged to eat elsewhere, and they were given a place to put their trash?
The thing is, there will always be a type of tourist willing to just sit on wet steps like it was nothing. And at least in the major sites in Florence that I'm recalling from memory, there ARE trash cans pretty much everywhere.
PWMTrav is offline  
Old Jun 1, 17, 9:47 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: SFO, VCE
Programs: AA EXP >4 MM, Lifetime Plat
Posts: 2,881
Venice likes the idea, and is contemplating doing it.
http://www.veneziatoday.it/cronaca/f...i-venezia.html

A few excerpts from the article:
"This is an idea to discourage ill-mannered tourists and impede rude behaviors that are prohibited by community norms."

"The mayor of Florence gave the order to wet the steps of sacred churches because tourists use them as places to sit and drink, and eat take out food."

"Good idea say Venetians. It might help get rid of tourists who carry sacks of food and eat on the steps as if it is their living room couch."

"People are keeping an eye on how it goes, with the possibility of copying this new Florentine system in Venice."

"With high season coming, episodes of ill-mannered behavior by tourists multiply, with them jumping into the canals, bicycling on the sidewalks, and having picnics everywhere."

"The mayor of Florence said that this in accordance with the requirements of managing a UNESCO site, where it's forbidden to camp out on church steps, eating and drinking. This will keep the space clean, and discourage tourists whom we'd otherwise have to fine."

"It is our task to respect the beauty and livability of the city. Who knows, maybe the mayor of Venice can push this."
Perche is offline  
Old Jun 1, 17, 12:40 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 3,872
Certainly in Florence. Probably in Venice.
In Rome, however, I see more beggars on church steps than picnickers. Pretty good spot for begging, you have to admit.
rickg523 is offline  
Old Jun 1, 17, 1:31 pm
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Pasadena, California
Programs: UA 1K, 1MM
Posts: 10,062
Originally Posted by PWMTrav View Post
The thing is, there will always be a type of tourist willing to just sit on wet steps like it was nothing. And at least in the major sites in Florence that I'm recalling from memory, there ARE trash cans pretty much everywhere.
Yeah, I guess I'm just trying to acknowledge that there are two problems that need to be solved here. Maybe ensuring that there are enough trash bins around isn't sufficient. (Come to think of it, I don't recall ever having had a hard time finding one in Rome ... well, in the center anyway.) But I would be surprised if people were willing to sit on wet steps. I would just hope that it doesn't lead to lots of accidents.

I don't think that this would work in southern California. The water would dry so quickly that you'd have to do this constantly. Though Italy is more humid than California, I'm not sure you wouldn't have the same problem in July!
iapetus is offline  
Old Jun 1, 17, 2:53 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: SFO, VCE
Programs: AA EXP >4 MM, Lifetime Plat
Posts: 2,881
Originally Posted by iapetus View Post
Yeah, I guess I'm just trying to acknowledge that there are two problems that need to be solved here. Maybe ensuring that there are enough trash bins around isn't sufficient. (Come to think of it, I don't recall ever having had a hard time finding one in Rome ... well, in the center anyway.) But I would be surprised if people were willing to sit on wet steps. I would just hope that it doesn't lead to lots of accidents.

I don't think that this would work in southern California. The water would dry so quickly that you'd have to do this constantly. Though Italy is more humid than California, I'm not sure you wouldn't have the same problem in July!
They will have the same problem. I only translated a little of the article. The headline included, " A Firenze acqua sui sagrati per impedire i bivacchi: sperimentazione del sindaco Dario Nardella per scoraggiare i turisti dal sedersi sulle gradinate (anche se l'acqua evapora poco dopo)." In Florence, water on sacred areas to impede picnicking on the stairs (even though the water will evaporate a little later). I guess the hope is that having someone frequently come out with a fire hose to spray the steps will convey the idea that public places are not there for picnic. In Italy if you want to eat in public you're supposed to go to a park.
Perche is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread