Four landmarks for the Italian Avatar

Well, I know LingQ has much more important priorities, but may I placidly suggest four italian landmarks for the Italian Avatar? I forgive the LingQ team for this rather long delay, because when it comes to Italy, there are so many wonders, so many monuments, so much history that one gets lost. I mean, Rome has almost 3000 years of history, and things definitely happen in 3000 years. Confronted with the same difficulty, I decided to restrict my chronological range to the years between 1861 and the present. In these 150 years, Italy has been one independent country, whereas between the fall of the Roman Empire and 1861 it was either divided in an infinity of little sovereign states or at the mercy of foreign powers. Sure, many marvellous monuments date back to earlier than 1861 (St. Peter in Rome, St. Mark in Venice, the Duomo of Milan - and that’s only churches), and it really hurts me to leave them out, because I visited many of them (all the afore mentioned churches for instance) and found them glorious. Unless an exclusive 1280x800px Italian Avatar is made, there is no way to cram all these monuments in. United Italy has had bad days, no doubt (think of Fascism or, more recently, xenophobic movements), but it has left a pretty good legacy already, despite its young age. Here are the monuments I suggest, and they cover all Italy, from the north (which admittedly has more landmarks dating from 1861 onwards), to the center and the south.

Altare della Patria (Rome): also known as the “Typewriter”, this monument was built to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of unification. I find it majestic. Victor Emmanuel II Monument - Wikipedia

Grattacielo Pirelli (Milan): the tallest building in Italy. A symbol of the economic boom that Italy experienced after the second world war. It even inspired the MetLife building in New York. It is the masterpiece of Italian Rationalism. Even the “Milanesi” love it, and that is quite an achievement Grattacielo Pirelli - Wikipedia

Mole Antonelliana (Turin): The symbol of Turin, first capital of The Kingdom of Italy. It was built soon after 1861 as a synagogue, although at present it houses the National Museum of Cinema. It is believed to be the tallest museum in the world. Mole Antonelliana - Wikipedia

Stadio San Nicola (Bari): the local stadium of my hometown. A testament to the passion surrounding football in Italy. It was designed by no less famous an architect than Renzo Piano, in occasion of the 1990 World Cup. In Bari, people refer to it as “The Spaceship” Stadio San Nicola - Wikipedia

PS: Maybe, if we add “Old Italian” as a Beta language, then we can consider all the other fantastic landmarks Italy is known for.

A better view of the stadium:

Please, let’s be serious… The landmarks should be famous symbols for which Italy is known worldwide! :slight_smile:

Just a selection of famous monuments includes:

  • Mole Antonelliana in Turin;
  • Duomo in Milan;
  • Saint Mark’s basilica or Rialto bridge in Venice;
  • Torri degli Asinelli in Bologna;
  • Duomo with Giotto’s bell tower or Ponte Vecchio in Florence;
  • Leaning tower in Pisa;
  • many monuments in Rome;
  • trulli of Alberobello (Puglia);
  • many possible monuments in Southern Italy;
  • nuraghe in Sardinia.

This is a short list. I would prefer if you chose something traditional and of high cultural and historic importance. Stadiums and sky-scrapers exist everywhere and I doubt anyone would notice the specificity of Pirelli sky-scrapers and San Nicola stadium.

But, most important… please DO choose four landmarks and have them designed! :slight_smile: I am tired of seeing the “Coming soon” promise. :frowning:

We apologize for the delay in getting these up. Your post(s) have served as a great reminder of this!
The buildings we’ve chosen, in no particular order, are… a secret for now :slight_smile:

Michele, I explicitly said my suggestions dated from 1861 to the present day. I would be equally satisfied if other, more known monuments were added instead. Sure, no one can deny The Tower of Pisa or the Duomo of Parma are more beautiful, if not more characteristic, then the Pirelli skyscraper, but if we want to consider Italy as the Italian Republic, and not just as a geographical region, then my suggestions are more sound. People here on LingQ are learning Italian, and before 1861 no one had actually tried to enforce it as a national language. Piedmontese soldiers stationed in Naples could not make sense of what people there were saying. At any rate, as I said before, I would be equally satisfied with your choice of monuments, I visited several of them and found them amazing.

“If we want to consider Italy as the Italian Republic, and not just as a geographical region, then my suggestions are more sound.”

Do we really want to consider Italy as the Italian Republic ONLY? Well, I don’t! Today’s Italian Republic has its roots in the past, from the Middle Ages (if we don’t want to consider the Roman times) to Garibaldi and the Kingdom of Italy. Our history and culture cannot be reduced to the Republican decades!

“People here on LingQ are learning Italian, and before 1861 no one had actually tried to enforce it as a national language.”

But Italian was recognized as a language back in the Renaissance (Pietro Bembo, “Prose della volgar lingua”), no matter whether it was the official language of a country or not. It has been the “official language” of the Italian culture since the Renaissance!

I don’t want to deny the importance of the monuments you suggested (hmmm… apart from the stadium, maybe), but I don’t think we should exclude what came before the Republic just because, at that time, Italian was not the official language of a country. Anyway, I don’t want to start a quarrel, either. We are talking about four designs for an avatar, after all!

So, I won’t write in this thread any more.

PS: Please, Alex, don’t make us wait too long! :slight_smile:

Regardless of the buildings selected, I’m looking forward to seeing the Italian landmarks. My avatar has spent too long wandering in a building-less landscape…

Michele, I had great doubts on the stadium too, but then, mine were only suggestions. And of course I know our history and culture cannot be reduced to the republican decades (have you read my posts completely? I show appreciation for all Italian history)

“It [Italian] has been the “official language” of the Italian culture since the Renaissance!”

Of course! Leopardi or earlier artists wrote in Italian too. But it was only after unification that the Kingdom of Italy enforced strongly its use as institutional language, teaching it in schools throughout the country.

Anyway, I don’t want to start a dispute either. My goal is not to see those horrible “coming soon” scaffolding on the Italian avatar anymore.

The Stadio San Nicola in Bari is a very beautiful and impressive stadium, Adalberto. I like stadiums. Especially football stadiums. When I assist to a football game in the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona I feel myself connected to the worlds energy. They are the contemporary arenas of the modern gladiators.

When I think about Italy (I’ve been there twice, once in Rome and once in Turin), I think about the Colosseum, the Tower of Pisa, pizzas, paintings, etc. The Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II is indeed a very beautiful building, you can almost see it from all over town. I didn’t know the other buildings you mentioned, but they look very impressive to me.

Italy is a very nice country to go, very hot during the summer for me as Northerner (in the Netherlands we just had over a 180 mm of rain in July!). I hope that the monuments in Rome are well protected, I’ve heard the monuments in Naples aren’t very well maintained. Actually, I only hear bad news about Naples, monuments collapsing, waste problems. Is it really that bad??

@ Boris

Finally, someone that sees the history underlying stadiums, which goes back to the ancient Greeks and beyond, and not just their occasional outbreaks of vulgarity or violence. I’m not a fan of football, but I can appreciate good architecture and history.

@ Siccow

I’ve not been to Naples recently, so I can’t say anything with certainty. The last time I visited Pompei was five years ago. Yes, there may be conservation and management problems, and also pickpockets and the like, but then, Pompei is out in the open, it was destroyed by mount Vesuvius in the first place and 2000 years of atmospheric agents have done their job really well. Consider that until recent times (eighteenth century?) no one gave a damn to it. I mean, Popes in seventeenth century Rome wanted to knock down roman ruins to make room for their buildings.

The eruption of the Vesuvius is what made Pompeii famous in the first place, and that’s just one of the many reasons why the area of Naples is such an interesting place to go. It’s just sad that a lot of bad news is coming from such a beautiful place. And about the Pope, I don’t think we need to worry about him anymore, all he’s allowed to destroy is the Basilica di San Pietro, which would be a really stupid thing to do since it’s the most beautiful building he owns. ;D

@ siccow

Here is what really troubles my inner sense of logic. They say the mafia is behind waste disposal, and that they make billions out of the business, by essentially dumping everything (from egg shells to radioactive byproducts) in one place. The only thing the state does is sending trainloads of waste to Germany, where waste is properly disposed of. The Germans make a profit out of this. Recycling can be a profitable activity. Why wouldn’t the mafia do it in the first place?

I don’t think the mafia has the resources to do that. Why doesn’t Berlusconi come to Naples and say: ‘We will get rid of all garbage and within the next 48 hours Naples will only be occupied by its inhabitants!’, like he did on Lampedusa. Maybe he realized Lampedusa wasn’t a success story and he didn’t want to make the same mistake again? I don’t know.

@ siccow

Berlusconi did go to Naples and promised colossal action, maybe 2 years ago. The fact is that Naples has been in a state of “waste emergency” for more than 20 years. So is Sicily, in some places. And I don’t blame Berlusconi. He is one man, after all, and the mafia (if it is behind this whole thing) deals with whom it pleases. I still think some education programs should be launched. The average kid in Belgium learns to recycle waste (as I and my family do) in kindergarten, as play. The average kid in Naples sees people throwing cigarette ends or more voluminous objects on the streets daily. I’m proud that my hometown, Bari, is by far the city that recycles most in southern Italy, the major once announced a recycling rate of approx. 28%. While this figure can seem low, I think it is good for a city with 400.000 inhabitants. Some little towns, especially in northern Italy, reach rates of over 90%, but their population is well under 10.000 inhabitants, so action can be coordinated more effectively.

In the Netherlands recycling is promoted by the government. We have to separate paper, plastic, glasses, biodegradable waste, etc. In my city, the local authorities handed out blue paper waste bins to every household. Once a month a truck comes to collect it. I agree with you, I think a lot of people in Italy just don’t know what to do with their garbage. Berlusconi owns some TV-stations, right? Maybe he could start broadcasting some commercials about recycling?