110 points7
DoreenMichele5 hours ago

In 2015, the city of Riccione, approximately 130 kilometres (80 miles) southeast of Bologna, allocated an €11,000 budget to pay a wage to umarells to oversee worksites in the city – counting the number of trucks in and out to ensure materials were delivered/removed according to the receipts, and guarding against theft when the site was otherwise unattended.

This is brilliant. We should do more stuff like this -- acknowledge that it adds value, slip the person a few bucks.

gota4 hours ago

Not to mention involving older people in active duties is great for their mental health.

slig6 hours ago

Seinfeld did this bit back in the 90's

indifferentalex5 hours ago

You can also buy a 3d printed desktop Umarell here:


chewyshine6 hours ago

Old school letsdig18 and dirt perfect

marcodiego5 hours ago

Actually watching construction in Italy may seem very interesting. Where else in the world can you watch buildings from 300 A.D. close to classical and gothic architecture combined with modern engineering techniques?

snvzz6 hours ago

I find the concept amazing.

Personally, I stay away from construction sites. Besides dangerous, they're loud and dusty.

adeltoso6 hours ago

I'm left wondering, why is this here? Why was it translated in English, even.

westoncb6 hours ago

I think because it's a consistent pattern, so its causes may reveal something interesting about human nature or society.

klyrs6 hours ago

Not the first time that I've looked for an article about Italian culture, and there's articles in multiple languages but not Italian.

I think that umarells are an interesting phenomenon. They sound like they were annoying construction workers (bikeshedding) but rather than treat them as a nuisance (loitering->fines or jail), a purpose was found: they get paid an honorarium for "jobs" most of us would find eyewateringly boring but provide value for the construction companies.

sasaf55 hours ago

Because often software teams have one or two Umarells among the members.

jacquesm5 hours ago

It isn't rare to have teams consist exclusively of Umarells. Usually this is the result of evaporative cooling.

tra35 hours ago

This explains why YouTube channels like Andrew Camarata's [0] have a million plus subs. Something about watching people work is fascinating.


Borrible4 hours ago

To attract lurker.

If you're lucky it elicites even some self-referential Statler and Waldorf comments.

aledalgrande6 hours ago

because it's hilarious

eric4smith5 hours ago

Not surprising.

If you're a guy, you're gonna be watching people doing work or creating things.

If you're a gal, you're gonna be watching more relationship/people oriented content.

All over the world, men are fascinated with these kinds of activities. I've seen men being fascinated by these things in every country and continent I've ever been on. I guess in Riccione, its more of a tradition to stand a look every day.

I'm a programmer, but I'm watching videos about

Construction, road painting, lawn care, truck driving, metalwork and CNC, factories, farming -- yeah, some relationship stuff too. But in general, that's the differences in genders when it comes to this stuff.

No one should be surprised.

zwaps5 hours ago

You know, you are probably right statistically, although the true coefficient is biased (maybe in either direction) due to selection effects and societal endogeneity.

However, I always wonder, when people say things like "if you are a guy, if you are a gal" with such force and authority... what about the outliers, and what about the overlaps of these distributions?

I know a gal who loves nothing more than analyzing ongoing construction sites. I certainly know several who love to watch programming videos.

Wonder how that feels, when someone brings all the biotruths at ya, and you happen to sit at that point in the preference distribution where looking at technical going-ons is actually what you enjoy.

Like, how large is the percentage of people who literally have never met any woman who is genuinely interested in technical things, and feel totally comfortable making such absolute statements? Must be some good percentage, at least.

mahathu3 hours ago

thank you!!

rahimiali4 hours ago

A strange thing about your comment, beyond it making easily verifiable claims without substantiating them, is that you focus on the gender of the spectators. You could have focused on their age, their posture, that they look at only construction and not other forms of public labor, or that this has a name in Italy and not elsewhere. Why the fascination with gender?

JoeyBananas3 hours ago

A great tactic to shut down strangers who you disagree at the bar or whatever: demand evidence for obvious claims. This actually has been verified, look into studies relating to how children react to toys whose apparent target audience is the opposite gender. And also look into the widely accepted phenomenon that men and women in developed countries tend to gravitate more towards occupations traditionally associated with their own genders, even when presented with other opportunities.