The living statues of Italy

During a recent chat with a client about her itinerary, she said she definitely wanted to see the living statues in Florence.  I racked my brain, running through Florence’s famous statues in my head, thinking she must be referring to something in the Accademia Gallery or the Bargello. But I still couldn’t figure it out, so I asked her to describe them.

You know, the famous living statues!

Of course. Living. I mean actually alive. As in actual people pretending to be statues.  As in the famous living statues of Italy.

These “statues” are essentially buskers. They stand completely still, in costume, not blinking or even appearing to breathe, for hours. It’s not an easy job, as this article in the Guardian describes. And although I have no clue what attracts people to the job, after reading that article I’m giving them a little extra coin next time. Watch them carefully and they may wink at you. Give them money and they may pose with you for a photo.

Here’s one in Florence (this one needs to buy an iron!).

Living statues Italy

Photo credit: © Piazza della Signoria – living statue by Friar’s Basalm

Living statues can be seen all around Italy (and across Europe, actually), if you keep your eye out.  Here’s one in Garda, with an invisible partner:

Garda living statue by uzi yachin flickr

Photo credit: © Charlie Chaplin in Max&Co by Uzi Yachin

What about you – have you seen these living statues and if so what did you think? Are they believable and earning their money or do you just ignore them?

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