One Italian Rant

Since I am still a bit off schedule, allow me one brief rant. What is the deal with musicians in restaurants in Rome? At several places I ate at in Rome, musicians would walk up and start playing an assortment of instruments (accordion, guitar, violin, clarinet, etc.) and singing various songs. Then after a while, they would then come around looking for monetary gifts.Street performers I understand, and can put up with since I can walk away – but when I am eating and trapped in place, it is very frustrating to have to hear yet another version of Volare and then be hit up for money. The worst was in Pompeii. The musician, who to be honest was only so-so, was persistent and would stay at each table holding out a tambourine until someone at the table coughed up some Euros. When he got to our table, I was quite willing to wait until the bus left before I would give in. I actually entertained the thought of taking some money from his tambourine and saying “thanks.” Anyway, the couple from Argentina at my table eventually felt bad enough to donate some money to him. The worst was when I was leaving, I heard a woman tell our guide that “Wasn’t that musician great?” This nearly led to an international incident……

RSM

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