Reality Stares Venice In The Face

Sometimes the situation facing a person, a city, a community doesn’t really need to be described in words, as one can tell just by looking when something is plainly wrong.  This is one of those situations, as merely watching this behemoth churn through a narrow dredged canal near Venice shows you just how silly it is for La Serenissima to tie her fortunes to these floating monstrosities.  You don’t have to be an oceanographer to realize why a city sinking into the sea shouldn’t have its fragile foundations attacked by the turbulence these beasts generate.

To hear hoteliers and restauranteurs tell it, it’d be one thing if the upshot having a series of city-sized ships slinking through the canals was netting them an influx of customers who make their businesses more profitable, but that isn’t happening–cruise ship folks generally don’t have a professional guide like Doug Sassi showing them where to find the authentic Venice away from the tourist traps.  They don’t stay over night for multiple nights if they stay at all, they don’t venture past Piazza San Marco and the Rialto, they don’t spend money with local businesses other than the occasional tourist trap trinket shop selling fake Carnivale masks, and they don’t really take in the real Venice in a sustainable way.  There needs to be an alternative to driving sustainable business here.

3 thoughts on “Reality Stares Venice In The Face”

  1. I totally agree! Every time I see one of these floating hotels slinking through St Marks my heart sinks. Venice makes her money from the licences she charges ships to dock rather than from the tourists themselves but I would love to see the ships moved to the Adriatic Coast outside the lagoon. Short-sighted, unsustainable and unsightly!

    1. The political class is making money that way, but not the merchants, and it’s a devil’s bargain even for the city govt, as the long term damage these ships are going to do just isn’t cost justifiable from what I can tell. I wish they’d find a way to help the average Venetian merchant trying to pay the exorbitant rents.

      1. I haven’t lost hope that the big ships will be banned again through the courts and in the meantime its important to keep spreading the word about the damage they’re doing. If tourists knew they were killing the very place they wanted to visit some may reconsider. Lets hope we get rid of the cruise ships before its too late.

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