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Making the Sale

Posted on Jan 12, 2009 | 5 comments

Congrats to TravelWriter for guessing that yesterday’s photo was from San Giovanni in Laterano and for Walker for suggesting it was a pope. It certainly is a pope, which you can see from the Papal tiara he’s sporting, though I’m not sure which one. Perhaps Clement XII who commissioned this facade in the 18th century?The vacant expression cracks me up, but as often happens with “portraits” like this, they are simply made in a masklike fashion instead of capturing the true likeness of a person. The sculpture is also mean to be view from a distance, which changes the style.

Today I bring you some images of men selling shawls and little squeeze toys (which have been on sale since I first visited in 1996, seriously who buys them?). In any Italian town I’ve ever visited you’ll find a variety of people selling handbags, roses, lighters, CDs, scarves, toys, umbrellas in front of tourist monuments and squares. The interesting thing you’ll notice if you’re here for long enough is that it appears as though different nationalities have a market in specific goods. For instance, you will notice that the African immigrants are the ones generally selling handbags. Whereas many of the Asian immigrants sell electronic goods and tripods. I don’t say this to be stereotypical in any way, I wonder if it means that these items come from sources also tied to certain ethnic groups.

I sometimes see people get quite annoyed with these guys, which in a way I understand because sometimes you can be asked by 5 or 6 in a short period of time while you are at a cafe or something. However, a simple no thank you one or two time does the trick. They’re trying to make a living just like everyone else and unfortunately, as I may have outlined in my Italy and Immigration post, it’s not always easy. At least the guy in the bottom photo has a nice sense of humor about it.

In other news, my photos are looking good for the show at Gloss on January 23 and you can see the Facebook invitation here. I hope any of you that actually live in Rome and read this blog will try to make it.

I’m also pleased to say that RomePhotoBlog has been selected as one of the blogs that will represent Italy on a new site that launched today, GlobalPost. It’s a great site gathering news stories from correspondents all over the world, as well as containing a feed of blogs from around the globe. I’m supremely flattered they asked me to be a part of it, so try and check it out.


  1. Regret I had to leave a “decline” on your Facebook invitation to the show, just not possible for me to make the trip. Love your blog and pictures. Thanks for the mention in your post today, cool!

  2. Complimenti per le foto, veramente molto belle, le ho viste tutte quante con attenzione e piacere. Io vivo a roma, dalla tua fotocamera è molto più bella di quanto in realtà possa vederci io! Complimenti davvero!

  3. Hi Walker, sorry you can’t make it, but given the distance to California, I can forgive you!

    Ciao F. – Grazie per il primo commento in italiano. Sono felice che a te piacciono le mie foto. C’e’ tanta bellezza a roma cosi’ e’ facile fare. Spero che puoi passare alla mostra a Roma che comincia il 23 gennaio a Gloss!

  4. Passo volentieri se sono libero… Visto che mi sono piaciute molto le tue foto ti vorrei essere riconoscente facendoti vedere il soffitto di una chiesa dove ti puoi perdere per ore guardandolo, se non lo hai già fatto. La chiesa si chiama sant’ignazio di loyola'Ignazio_(Roma) fammi sapere se ci vai… Se ti fa piacere puoi aggiungermi su facebook, mi chiamo Francesco Villafrate

  5. Ciao Francesco, a si’ certo ci sono stata parecchie volta. E’ magnifico! Ho fatto anche delle foto tempo fa. E’ una delle chiese piu’ fantastiche di roma!

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