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.
This is actually a foundation for a new building...and we say new construction in Brooklyn is shoddy.
"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.
Hehe, that's funny.Originally Posted by Derek2k3
Going off on another vacation, again? Geez, that list of cities is more than most people see in a lifetime. I'm envious.
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.
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.
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!!! ) unknown place...
Great pictures, beautiful city! I'm looking forward for your pictures of the other places you visited, especially those of "Manhattan aan de Maas"
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.Originally Posted by Zerlina
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.
From Salerno I took a bus to Amalfi...The busride there is an experience onto itself...I can't even explain. Larger pics here.
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.
I think they wanted to say something else!Originally Posted by Fabrizio
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.
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.