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Tourists in Italy should keep their wits about them

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Tourists in Italy should keep their wits about them and be wary of taking the great sights at face value. In Venice, part of the facade of the Ducal Palace turns out to be a full-size photograph of the real thing, disguising restoration work taking place behind. Only the cut-away corner, occupied by an artist's impression of the interior, gives the game away. At the other side of San Marco the same trick is played on the facade of the great clock tower, but here there is no clue that the facade is only a photograph and it is only when you step to one side that scaffolding becomes visible.

In Florence, one side of the Palazzo Feroni on the Lungarno has been given the same treatment. Where else and what next? Has anyone checked the Coliseum? The Roman Forum? A 'click' fix for Italy's perpetual restoration problems, but a sad step towards virtual reality for visitors who want to see the real thing.

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