Don’t be a litter bug!

In Roma..

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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20 Responses to Don’t be a litter bug!

  1. Revixit says:

    Ma Padre, ma Padre, non capisco! Parlo italiano come turista usa in trattoria e tassi.

    I can get around Firenze on my own ordering in bars and trattorias, directing cab drivers, buying what I need or want in stores, for days at a time, without using English, when my Italian-speaking spouse has gone to Roma on business.

    I know when to wish a friend “Buona fortuna” and when to say “In boca a lupo” instead.

    But I am by no means fluent in Italian and this plaque is straining my eyes and brain, especially since I haven’t had coffee yet, and My Italian-speaking better half is busy elsewhere at this moment.

    So Padre Z, give us a translation, per favore.

    Mille grazie.

  2. jucundushomo says:

    25 scudi! That would sting indeed, it being substantial wages for a laborer. To give an idea: 25 scudi was THREE MONTHS earnings in 1764! (Say US$12,500 in today’s money at a salary of $50k per year.)

    I can understand why the option of “another punishment” was included, otherwise the populace would be going bankrupt.

  3. I don’t speak or read Italian either, but I can tell that it’s something like this:

    “By order of Milord the most illustrious and ? president of the streets, it is thus prohibited that any person of any grade to throw? or have thrown? into this place filth? of any sort, and for the cleaning must pay a fine of 25 scudi or whatever other penalty, according to the judgement of his most illustrious lordship….”

    And then there’s something about it being composed and published on the 4th of June, 1764.

    But that’s mostly guessing and cognating, and extrapolating from what was said above and in the comments.

  4. I will add that I know next to nothing about Italian tenses and plurals and other grammar, so I’m sure I’ve made mistakes there.

  5. Tom in NY says:

    Is it possible the “Commissioner of Highways” would have been a cleric in the days of the Papal States? Could immondezze include horse exhaust? Mi Dio!
    Salutationes omnibus.

  6. PAT says:

    Is that a long way of saying something like, “Don’t Mess with Texas”?

  7. irishgirl says:

    Wow-that’s quite a mouthful!

    PAT-‘Don’t Mess With Texas’! Very funny!

  8. Revixit says:

    Thanks for the suggestions. Cognates can be tricky, however, so I don’t like to rely on them. Given larger text, I could have translated it with the aid of a dictionary. I just can’t enlarge it enough on a laptop to make out the words, need new glasses.

    I used to read “La Famiglia Christiana” whenever we were in Italy and get the gist of articles but wonder how much I was getting wrong, based on my three years each of Latin and French and independent study of Italian, some Spanish.

  9. trespinos says:

    One wishes that a similar prohibition against graffiti had been laid down back then and stringently enforced to the present, every single square decimeter of Roman street walls now being defaced to the height of a man’s reach.

  10. PAT says:

    Just in case some may not know, “Don’t Mess with Texas” really is an anti-litter campaign in Texas, and a highly successful one.

  11. Roland de Chanson says:

    I think suburbanbanshee got the gist of it. Here’s another attempt:

    Per order of the most illustrious and most reverend President of the Streets, it is prohibited for any person of whatever class to throw or cause to be thrown on this site garbage of any sort, and even more to make there a garbage dump under penalty of 25 scudi for each offense over and above the other penalties provided in the edict published 4 June 1764 by the will of his most illustrious lordship.

    I’m not sure that I translated “farvi il mondezzaro” correctly. Mondezzaro is Romanesco for mondezzaio (I think). Of course, in Roman it would be monnezzaro but they probably wouldn’t put that on a sign. I’m not sure also of the sense of “al quale” (to which) at the end. Some sort of legal formula, or “q.v.”?

  12. Fr. Thomas LaHood says:

    Having lived in Italy, I’m sure there was regularly a pile of trash under this sign. Just as you see people smoking under the “Vietato Fumare” signs.

  13. Animadversor says:

    By order of the Most Illustrious and Most Reverend Lord President of the Highways, it is forbidden to every person of whatsoever rank to throw or cause to be thrown on this site garbage of any sort, and even more to make there a dump, on pain of twenty-five scudi for each offense, in addition, at the discretion of his Most Illustrious Lordship, to the other penalties threatened in the edict published on June 4, 1764, q.v.

    I wonder what were those other penalties? Excommunication among them?

  14. C. says:

    Happy Edict Day!

  15. C. And also with you!

  16. mpolo says:

    Where is this sign located in Rome? (I’m always looking for excuses to get students to explore the Eternal City…)

  17. Revixit says:

    “Having lived in Italy, I’m sure there was regularly a pile of trash under this sign. Just as you see people smoking under the “Vietato Fumare” signs.”

    I also thought of the ineffectiveness of “Vietato Fumare” signs when I read this, Fr. LaHood. In a family-managed pensionato where I stayed several times, taking students on art history tours of Florence, with side trips to several other cities, there was such a sign. When asked about it, one of the brothers responded that it was indeed forbidden but might be necessary. He was a smoker himself, though the rest of the family were not.

    Consequently all our students (college kids, mind you) learned to blow smoke rings from the other trip leader while sitting in the lobby of the pensionato. I don’t think we ever had a regular smoker in the groups we took, leaders included, but all had tried smoking at some time and the maestro trained them all in the art of blowing smoke rings. I had long known that I can’t whistle or blow smoke rings but enjoyed watching them doing it.

    Those were fun times, despite the kids who learned the hard way that drinking an entire bottle of vin santo will make you very, very sick and that you really should not go to Piazza Navone with your wallet in your back pocket, as we had told them. It has been, however, infinitely more peaceful traveling in Italy with only my Italian-speaking spouse.

  18. Vincenzo says:

    Looks like Adobe’s Trajan Pro font.

    http://i48.tinypic.com/2w3wbbr.jpg

  19. JSBSJ says:

    I was just leaving the Jesuit community here in Rome to attend mass with the FSSP at Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini when I came across another sign just outside our doors that reads – essentially – the same thing. I don’t know where this particular sign is, but – if you’re ever in Rome – you can find a similar sign on Via Di Seminario just 100 feet from the Pantheon: with your back to it, it’s on your left. And, of course, if you’ve come that far – come visit the Jesuits in Rome who are studying at the PBI or the Greg… You’re also invited Fr. Z.

  20. JSBSJ says:

    Would you believe that I just came from mass at Holy Trinity,and there – outside the front doors on the building across the street, to the right – was the plaque. There is also another down the side-street beside the church that speaks of a lesser fine for littering. Actually, today, I noticed a few of them.