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Derek2k3
June 23rd, 2006, 04:25 AM
Palermo was the first stop on my trip and one of my favorite. There are plenty of sites to see and it was the cheapest city I visited by far. First thing I noticed was how good-looking and well dressed the people were. I can't say they were friendly but noone really spoke english anyway. I couldn't get over how there were almost no stop lights or signs so learning how and when to the cross the street took some dangerous practice. Motor bikes seem to overun the town and they pervade every street, alley, and marketplace. Some kids that couldn't be more than 10 almost mowed me down in the market. I only walked around the historic part of the city the rest of it seemed filled with those cookiecutter apartment towers...colorful relatives to the ones we have here...O'Hara must travel. However, unlike many of the other places that were overwhelmed by tourists, often creating a theme-park atmosphere, this place felt exciting and a bit dangerous. Besides London, it's the only city I'd like to go back.

After Palermo I went to Pompeii, Sorrento, Amalfi, Naples, Rome, Siena, Pisa, Florence, Venice, Verona, Monaco, Nice, Paris, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, and finally London. I'm going on another vacation tomorrow so I'll post pics of the other places when I get back.

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This is actually a foundation for a new building...and we say new construction in Brooklyn is shoddy.

Derek2k3
June 23rd, 2006, 04:37 AM
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Derek2k3
June 23rd, 2006, 04:42 AM
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ablarc
June 23rd, 2006, 07:20 AM
Looks hot.

Fabrizio
June 23rd, 2006, 08:13 AM
"I can't say they were friendly..."

We are not immediately friendly, and that is by design. Travelers from English speaking countries must remember that in our own language, we speak first in the "Formal" to people we don´t know: "How are you doing today?" is said: "How is he doing today?" ...and so on...until you are given permision to proceed in the Informal. This kind of social training means that everone is kept at a distance. While foriegners often find this cold and unfriendly....we find it gentlemanly. It´s just a difference between cultures. Also: don´t expect automatic thank yous at ticket windows and shops and so forth...a thank you might be given...but it is often just intended. It is simply not as important to us.

antinimby
June 23rd, 2006, 08:50 AM
...O'Hara must travelHehe, that's funny. :)

Going off on another vacation, again? Geez, that list of cities is more than most people see in a lifetime. I'm envious.

MrSpice
June 23rd, 2006, 10:33 AM
This city looks really beautiful.

I wonder if Derek could elaborate why he felt the city was unsfafe. I am just curious where there were any incidents that would suggest so.

zupermaus
June 23rd, 2006, 12:27 PM
ah, Palermo. One of the great cities of the Grand Tour, but suffered heavily from Allied bombing. Although the authorities rebuilt many of the icons, alot of domestic street architecture was lost, and the new build was in that vogue brutale. But the new new stuff theyve put up looks clean and beautiful.

Youve done an ace job of capturing the architecture there in one fell swoop- the classical, renaissance, neo classical, fascist-deco, postwar and postmodern. It reads like a story... cheers.

Zerlina
June 23rd, 2006, 03:27 PM
Well, friends...
as you can see I write from Palermo. I was born in Palermo and i live here. I'm happy that you like my city, (it's sunny, friendly and full of museums and ancient palaces), just as I like NY... and I see that in Derek's pics there's also my "office" (I'm a lawyer)... but... I would like to know why you think that's "unsafe", because I think that a tourist can risk in the same way in every big (ehm... in front of NY, not so much!!!:D ) unknown place...

WizardOfOss
June 25th, 2006, 06:03 AM
Great pictures, beautiful city! I'm looking forward for your pictures of the other places you visited, especially those of "Manhattan aan de Maas" :cool:

Derek2k3
July 24th, 2006, 01:40 AM
Thanks guys.


I would like to know why you think that's "unsafe", because I think that a tourist can risk in the same way in every big (ehm... in front of NY, not so much!!!:D ) unknown place...

Maybe I just remember it feeling unsafe since it was the first city and I might have been feeling a bit apprehensive. I also arrived at night and the city seemed a bit deserted besides speeders on motorbikes and some shady characters. Old, dark, masonary buildings with 20 foot doors also take on a spooky persona by night. By day, I suppose there's nothing unsafe about it other than watching for traffic. I never felt like I was going to get mugged or anything.


I didn't take any pictures in Naples because my camera battery died. The city is huge and feels endless. The tourbook made the place seem like hell so I only toured around the train station for a few hous and it wasn't that bad, just chaotic and dirty. The buildings around there were quite beautiful and remind me of a lot of the stuff in Rome. Outside of the central area, there were endless rows of mundane buildings and industrial areas. Views of the harbor, along with Vesuvius were also really nice.

From Naples, I took a train south to Pompeii...it's larger than I expected and not very flip flop friendly.

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Derek2k3
July 24th, 2006, 02:50 AM
From Salerno I took a bus to Amalfi...The busride there is an experience onto itself...I can't even explain. Larger pics here. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/98487711@N00/)

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pianoman11686
July 24th, 2006, 09:47 AM
Beautiful pics, Derek! Thank you. It sure brings back a lot of memories. Naples is, indeed, a dirty, chaotic town. So many back alleys to get lost in, lots of ghetto-type residential neighborhoods. I wonder if you were able to walk through this huge glass-canopied galleria that they have, near the city center. That was truly breathtaking. I'm also glad you made a stop in Pompeii, which made a lasting impression on me. I don't know if you explored it on your own with maps; we had a great tour guide, a real local actually, who spoke good English and was really into history. I'll never forget that day. Oddly enough, I was wearing flip-flops too. Not a good idea. Finally, the Amalfi Coast: I drove through it, from Salerno all the way to Sorrento, and then by highway to Naples. I wish I had used a digital camera back then, so I could post some pics. Unfortunately it was all film.

gmc75
August 6th, 2006, 08:16 AM
"I can't say they were friendly..."

We are not immediately friendly, and that is by design. Travelers from English speaking countries must remember that in our own language, we speak first in the "Formal" to people we donīt know: "How are you doing today?" is said: "How is he doing today?" ...and so on...until you are given permision to proceed in the Informal. This kind of social training means that everone is kept at a distance. While foriegners often find this cold and unfriendly....we find it gentlemanly. Itīs just a difference between cultures. Also: donīt expect automatic thank yous at ticket windows and shops and so forth...a thank you might be given...but it is often just intended. It is simply not as important to us.

I think they wanted to say something else!:)

Most Italians do not look "friendly" not because they ask "How are they today?" instead of or more friendly and easy going "How are you?" but becuase:
1) we don't have any sense for space: compare it to NYC or London.
Do forget to have a certain distance between you and other people around you, when you are walking on an Italian street.
People walk very close to you (too close...) and also might push you without saying sorry;
2) in Sicily people tend to be more gregarious and generous than where I live. But this behaviour of theirs might not be told a "friendly attitude", but a lack of respect for others' privacy by some tourists.

These are just two silly examples. But i wanted to make them just to say that sometimes we don't seem "friendly" for lots of reasons which don't have nothing to do with grammar rules.;)

Fabrizio
August 7th, 2006, 10:48 AM
Your examples are good and very valid...but I think you are wrong to believe that our "formal" tense does not have an effect on ( or is the result of) how we view new aquaintances. Language has that kind of power.

gmc75
August 8th, 2006, 03:00 PM
if you deal with a shop assistant in the States or UK using "you" towards you instead of "they", (s)he indeed sounds 10 times more formal than an italian one, who uses "they" towards you, but who doesn't thank you for buying goods in her/his store.
Everything just depends on what you pay attention to: language might have a certain role, but when you dont' thank the others after being served, you'll be told rude in any given countries, not matter if you use "they" istead of "you".
Moreover, English does have its formal "vocabulary".

Fabrizio
August 8th, 2006, 03:45 PM
Sorry, but I think you are simply wrong....and unable to grasp a rather elementary point.

( And as the Queen said: "We are not amused..." )

Italian is a language that has a form of address designed to keep strangers at bay....it is not optional....and that mode of speaking, (mind-set really) shapes all the behavior that follows.

Quite different from the English-language mind-set that immediately puts everyone on the same playing field.

http://italian.about.com/cs/grammar/ht/formalinformal.htm

http://experts.about.com/e/t/t/T-V_distinction.htm

ablarc
September 14th, 2006, 04:51 PM
Police bust pair for growing pot in Palermo park

Thu Sep 14, 9:17 AM ET

ROME (Reuters) - Two brothers have been arrested on charges of growing a marijuana plantation in one of the biggest public parks in Palermo, Sicily, Ansa news agency reported on Wednesday.

Police say the men, aged 25 and 30, had grown about 20 marijuana plants each at least two meters (six and a half feet) high in the Italian city's Parco della Favorita, Ansa reported.

The pair were arrested as they carried watering cans to the site, which was hidden by vegetation. Police who raided their home found 3,000 seeds, more marijuana and cash thought to be from sales of the drug.

The men's parents also have been charged in the case.




Must have been a dry spell in Palermo.

.

MidtownGuy
September 28th, 2006, 11:41 AM
I will post some Palermo pictures first, though it wasn't my first stop, since Zerlina will be excited to see them. We took so many, I had to give up choosing favorites and just get some posted. Some of these were taken by my traveling companion.
Palermo was easily my favorite Italian city. It is so dynamic, and the people of Palermo seem determined to reclaim their rightful place on travellers' "must visit" lists. It's a town of palm-filled parks and incredible people. I'm including photos of Monreale in the Palermo thread. I love this city, and we felt the great energy crackling in the air as soon as we stepped off the train. The taxi driver sang himself a lovely song the whole way to our hotel.

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MidtownGuy
September 28th, 2006, 11:42 AM
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lofter1
September 28th, 2006, 11:55 AM
Thanks, midtown ... looks fantastic (those Italian folks are good looking too, eh?)

Is that Zerlina with the camera?

And how might the weather be in Palermo in February / March?

MidtownGuy
September 28th, 2006, 12:07 PM
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MidtownGuy
September 28th, 2006, 12:31 PM
More pictures uploading.

Yes they're very good looking. That's just some girl.
Zerlina is more lovely.

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MidtownGuy
September 28th, 2006, 12:42 PM
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Fabrizio
September 28th, 2006, 12:46 PM
^ examples of what I was saying in another thread about stone.

OmegaNYC
September 28th, 2006, 01:36 PM
More pictures uploading.

Yes they're very good looking. That's just some girl.
Zerlina is more lovely.


Wow... Zerlina must be good looking! Nice pics! If I had the money, I would so take a trip.

Zerlina
September 29th, 2006, 01:05 PM
MidTown! What could I say after what you've just showed? You're always an artist, and I'm sure you'll back here, sooner or later! (Well... I'd prefer sooner:D... also because you can't leave here all alone your little sister;) )

Zerlina
September 29th, 2006, 01:07 PM
Thanks, midtown ... looks fantastic (those Italian folks are good looking too, eh?)

Is that Zerlina with the camera?

And how might the weather be in Palermo in February / March?
Hi Lofter! The weather is good in february/march... because we're almost in spring time... think that tomorrow I'llgo to the beach and that I've never seen the snow in my life!!!:cool:

ablarc
October 1st, 2006, 10:25 AM
I see lots of Moorish influence in the architecture.

lofter1
October 1st, 2006, 12:07 PM
I've never seen the snow in my life!!!:cool:

what about snow on Mt. Etna ...

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ablarc
October 1st, 2006, 01:18 PM
what about snow on Mt. Etna ...
Oh, that'll be gone in about twenty years.

MidtownGuy
October 1st, 2006, 03:58 PM
The upper reaches of Etna get snow in the winter, but I had asked Zerlina if she'd ever been there at that time and she said she hadn't.

This is how it looked when we were there:

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We didn't hike up Etna while in Taormina, I'm saving that for next time since I will definitely be back to Sicily soon. There will be a small thread of pictures from Taormina posted later today.

The Moorish influence is wonderfully suffused in the people and food as well as the architecture. Palm trees are as ubiquitous as archways. Palermo is filled with gardens, parks, and beautifully maintained plantings that line many streets.

Zerlina
October 2nd, 2006, 09:46 AM
what about snow on Mt. Etna ...


Dear Lofter,
I live in Palermo in the middle of the Conca d'Oro, while Mt Etna is the biggest european volcano... and it's near Catania... just a little beat far away from my town...
I'm sure you've never thought I could live on a volcano, also if I'm a mediterranean girl... Have you?:D :eek:

Punzie
November 25th, 2006, 04:26 PM
Italian is a language that has a form of address designed to keep strangers at bay....it is not optional....and that mode of speaking, (mind-set really) shapes all the behavior that follows.

Quite different from the English-language mind-set that immediately puts everyone on the same playing field.

I understand exactly what Fabrizio is saying, because I was raised in a 4-generation bilingual household (English/Spanish); Spanish has a myriad of informal/formal distinctions and subleties, too.

My friend who has lived in Bergamo, Italy his whole life, (but has traveled extensively), says that the Italian informal vs. formal varies by region, city, town, and in some cases, neighborhood. This the case with Spanish, too -- and to make things even more difficult, there are so many Spanish-speaking countries!

In some Spanish-speaking areas, a native could use an informal verb form to a superior and it would be worse than cursing. In fact, the native could be thrown in jail. I use the word "native" because if a tourist does it, s/he is dismissed as "stupid".

If there's any conclusion here, it's that Fabrizio knows what he's talking about. Most English-speaking people don't care for it, but go try changing tremendous cultures that have been around for centuries -- and really don't want to change.