Rome,Tuscany and KC: Urban Experience

Do a trip report here....go to another city and want to relate it to what KC is doing right or could do better? Give us a summary in here.
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moderne
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Rome,Tuscany and KC: Urban Experience

Post by moderne » Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:08 pm

Took the bucket list history and culture tour of Roma, Sienna, San Gimignano, Voltera, Pisa, Florence, and the Cinque Terra coast. Will not bore anyone with my awful pics or recite the itinerary. Just want to make a few comments about the urban experience in Italy and KC
We always hear the old motto about KC having more fountains than any place but Rome. But KC has more in common with Roma Eterna than water. The topography of both is very similar. KC is built on a disected eroded limestone plateau. Rome on a disected eroded volcanic plateau. The famous hills of Rome are similar to KC's hills. The Roman hills are analagous to the hills on the blufflines along the Missouri, Kaw, and Blue rivers. The 3 Roman hills that stand detached from the "bluffline" are small and would have been graded out of existence in KC a century ago(e.g., the Pearl Street hill at the foot of Grand).
The extensive use of limestone in KC gives both towns a similar hue. This was probably more so fifty years ago, but less now with the addition of all the glass curtain walls.
As to fountains. Roman fountains are different in design and purpose. They were built for water supply, in KC for decoration. They are constantly flowing renewed water fed from aqueducts. Because the displays are gravity fed, the visual effects rely more on waterfalling over sculpture. KC has more jets shooting skyward because they are electrical pump powered. My favorite fountains are the hundreds of utilitarian ones throughout the city.Sort of like a skinny bronze fire hydrant with a curved spout constantly pouring water into a grate on the curb. If you put a finger to plug the spout a tiny jet of water shoots from a pinhole from the top. Cold delicious mountain spring water for free.
As much as I love the Italian cities I would have a hard time living there. Most people live on very narrow streets, not only a limited view but usually in the shade all day. There is no such thing as convenient parking. There is no such thing as a vacant lot in a city. Italians would be truly perplexed by such things as the vacant south forty of Crown Center or the KC Life pastures. In some places cars are restricted to residents only. To keep non resident cars out there are bollards across the street. Residents use a remote to lower the bollards. I as a dumb American was unaware that I was walking over a bollard in the recessed position and was nearly impaled when it began to rise out of the pavement.
Italians seem to have natural good taste and sense of style. Nowhere in the cities, towns or countryside did I see anything like our urban wastelands of ugliness. The only slum I saw was an area between the 2 sides of an elevated autostrada near an industrial port.
Due to the design of the cities and towns, and the climate, people seem to spend more time on the streets and piazzas than inside their homes.
One tourist warning. The Chinese now have a middle class equal to the entire population of the US. And they all seemed to be in Italy. Engaged singly or as a family group they are lovely. But en masse, they are like an implacable tsunami. The Vatican Museum was the worst museum experience in my life. The vast corridors were packed wall to wall. One could not stop to look or linger because the human tide slowly moving was irresistible. If there had been a loud noise of something falling I am sure hundreds would be stomped to death. The traffic into the Sistine Chapel is all wrong for a correct experience as you enter from the rear beneath the Last Judgement. They do at least allow you about five minutes to linger and gaze at the ceiling. Binoculars are a must as the figures seem tiny from below, not like the illustrations in art books.
Favorite Tuscan hill town: San Gimigano. Favorite place to die: any of the seaside towns on the spectacular Cinque Terra sipping Chianti, eating fresh pesto while the sun sets. Best unexpected sights in Florenze: the Medici chapel (sort of a hidden treasure), stumbling across Dante's house, crossing the Arno and climbing the hill and soaking in the panorama from the Piazelle Michelangelo.

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grovester
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Re: Rome,Tuscany and KC: Urban Experience

Post by grovester » Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:26 pm

Great post!

bobbyhawks
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Re: Rome,Tuscany and KC: Urban Experience

Post by bobbyhawks » Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:57 pm

moderne wrote: One tourist warning. The Chinese now have a middle class equal to the entire population of the US. And they all seemed to be in Italy. Engaged singly or as a family group they are lovely. But en masse, they are like an implacable tsunami.
The Japanese had to invent a word for it.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/new ... -year.html

loftguy
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Re: Rome,Tuscany and KC: Urban Experience

Post by loftguy » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:00 am

nostalgia nostalgica

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