HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » The death of Venice? City...

Sun Jan 6, 2019, 12:20 PM

The death of Venice? City's battles with tourism and flooding reach crisis level

A tax on daytrippers has hit the headlines, but La Serenissima’s mounting problems also include rising waters, angry locals and a potential black mark from Unesco

Why Italy regrets its Faustian pact with tourist cash

Venice’s Santa Lucia railway station is packed as visitors scuttle across the concourse towards the water-bus stops. Taking a selfie against the backdrop of the Grand Canal, Ciro Esposito and his girlfriend have just arrived and are unimpressed with what may greet them in future if the Venetian authorities get their way: a minimum city entry fee of €2.50 throughout the year, rising to between €5 and €10 during peak periods.

It is the price of a cappuccino, but for them “it’s going too far”. “They are using people like a bank machine,” says Esposito. “We are in Europe and can travel freely across borders, yet we have to pay to enter one of our own cities.”

In earlier times it was the wheeled suitcases that tourists rattled over the cobbles that drew the ire of Venetians – so much so that the authorities pledged to fine anyone caught using one up to €500. That never happened, but now another – more plausible – penalty is being concocted. To manage the impact of the 30 million people who visit the lagoon city every year, the daytrippers – those who come, take pictures, and leave – are to be forced to pay, although it is unclear when the tax will be introduced or how it could be enforced.

Venice may have a centuries-long history of cultivating tourism, devising crowd-drawing events such as the annual carnival, the Biennale international art exhibition and a star-studded film festival, but the advent of mass tourism has left it struggling with how to deal with the near-constant hordes who trudge around its precious sites, through its 11th century basilica, over its famous Rialto bridge, and along its maze of winding calle. The influx is a blessing for the local council’s coffers but a scourge on the city’s fragile monuments and environment.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/06/venice-losing-fight-with-tourism-and-flooding

-snip-

In a move to allay environmental concerns, Brugnaro tried to indicate to Unesco in late 2017 that he was getting tough on the cruise ships that, weighing more than 96,000 tonnes, disembark thousands of passengers in the heart of the city. They would no longer be able to sail past St Mark’s Square, he announced, and would instead take a less glamorous route via the industrial area of Marghera.

Environmentalists have claimed that waves caused by the cruise ships have eroded the underwater supports of historic buildings and polluted the waters. But the plan is yet to be approved by the national government. If and when that approval comes, work on the new route, which requires the dredging of canals and construction of a new port, would take an estimated four years. And while diverting the ships would better preserve the historic centre, the move will do little to address concerns about pollution.

It goes without saying, however, that Venice’s troubles are not limited to tourism. The city is also endangered by recurring acque alte, or high waters. On 29 October last year, three-quarters of the city was hit by the worst flooding in a decade. Rain poured for almost 24 hours, with strong winds raising the water to 156cm above the normal sea level – a record reached only five times in the history of the city. As tourists persevered with their holidays – wading through knee-deep water in wellies and venturing to deluged shops and restaurants – locals counted the cost of the damage.



9 replies, 596 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply The death of Venice? City's battles with tourism and flooding reach crisis level (Original post)
turbinetree Jan 6 OP
lindysalsagal Jan 6 #1
Major Nikon Jan 6 #2
Loki Liesmith Jan 6 #4
dhill926 Jan 6 #3
lindysalsagal Jan 6 #6
dhill926 Jan 6 #7
lindysalsagal Jan 6 #8
dalton99a Jan 6 #5
smirkymonkey Jan 6 #9

Response to turbinetree (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2019, 12:27 PM

1. I was there a few years ago: I'd actually go even further: No entry without an island hotel room

The cruise ships are a huge problem and absolutely should avoid the area.

But they also spend money on souvenirs and food and drink. So, I'm not sure there is a good solution: They need the money and they are drowning.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to lindysalsagal (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 6, 2019, 12:29 PM

2. My wife went there and says she has no desire to go back

I've never been but I've heard the same from many. Not high on the list of places I want to see.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Major Nikon (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 6, 2019, 12:56 PM

4. Smells bad

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to turbinetree (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2019, 12:46 PM

3. headed there for a couple days in September.

Hoping the crowds won't be too bad by then.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dhill926 (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 6, 2019, 01:10 PM

6. Skip the gondola and go on the vaporetti (water bus) to see glass blowing on Moreno.

Basilica, Doge's Palace including the dungeons, piazza San marco, rialto bridge, and while at the bridge, eat near the fish market where the locals eat.

Also, get a reservation at a good recommended restaurant not on a major street: They're overpriced and most of the tourist places are just awful.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to lindysalsagal (Reply #6)

Sun Jan 6, 2019, 01:12 PM

7. thx for the info...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dhill926 (Reply #7)

Sun Jan 6, 2019, 02:56 PM

8. Another great cheap tour is to load a vaporetti that will circle the area and just stay on it.

They only charge you to board: They don't keep track of where you get off. And, wear waterproof shoes: The water washes right onto the deck of the boat unless you're way up front away from the entrances. Entry spots are in the middle on the sides.

It's fun to hear where everyone's from: They all swear in their own languages every time!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to turbinetree (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2019, 01:02 PM

5. See it once

and only once.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to turbinetree (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2019, 04:14 PM

9. I was there years ago and I am glad I got to see it.

It's such a shame what is happening to the city. I saw a tv show that showed a Venice restaurant that was open with knee-deep water and things were carrying on as usual. People just wore their Wellingtons and sat at tables like nothing was wrong. I think that would make me uncomfortable.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread