Rome Travel Guide

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Pasquino Lite - Rome's "talking statue" gets a dressing down

in happier times
Rome, a city fairly expert on the protest scale, is experiencing a tightening of the noose by right-wing mayor Gianni Alemanno.  Alemanno has cracked down on Rome’s most famous “talking statue,” little Pasquino, who sits in an homonymous piazza right off the larger and more famous Piazza Navona.

Poor Pasquino - as last seen with a lucite stand
(right) and only a few comments
Okay, when you get your first look at Pasquino, he might not seem like much; he’s missing quite a bit of his body.  But, remember, he dates to the 3rd century BC,and he’s battered, but  still standing. 

Pasquino’s fame dates to the 16th Century, when he became the locus for comments critical of the reigning Pope.  And, his body as a place to slap on one’s protests, continues to this day.  Well, almost.  Alemanno now is insisting that instead of putting the protests right on Pasquino, they be properly put on a side board.  Where’s the fun in that?  Of course, most of the posts (the last time we went by) were satirical jabs at Alemanno for this (ahem) stupid policy.  It’s not as though Pasquino’s 3rd century BC body should start being protected now.  The real purpose of Alemanno’s edict appears to be to clean up and stifle criticisms against the mayor himself.

Comments in 2011 criticize the government
But don’t let that stop you from visiting what we now refer to as “Pasquino Lite,” and the piazza is a nice respite (with plenty of cafes and a substantial wine bar) from the busier Piazza Navona.

For more on Pasquino, “pasquinades,” and other talking statues in Rome, see the following sites:

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