“The charm of certain vacant grassy spaces, in Italy, overfrowned by masses of brickwork that are honeycombed by the suns of centuries, is something that I hereby renounce once for all the attempt to express; but you may be sure that whenever I mention such a spot enchantment lurks in it.” —Henry James
We’ll not renounce it, yet know any and all such efforts inevitably will fall short of what Hank could come up with.
Interesting Venice related political rant makes the NYT Op-Ed section. Good read on the need for sustainable tourism and how Italy’s local graft and incoherent national approach to politics isn’t helping Venice. Our comment was submitted to the NYT, we’ll see if they publish it.
“No effective provision on Venice’s behalf has been enforced so far by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, although protection of environment and cultural heritage is among the fundamental principles of the Italian Constitution.”
This is the maddening bit, right here–the Italians know what treasures they have, but their internal bureaucracy and graft prevent meaningful responses to crises like this. Local authorities being at odds with Rome over preservation is an understatement, as il Sindaco, the mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro is unabashedly and unashamedly in cahoots with the cruise ship biz, and makes no secret of his favoritism toward destructive tourism. Venice needs visitors, but it needs responsible, sustainable tourism, which is the only kind we’ll engage in. Please, visit Venice, but do it in the off season, don’t take a cruise ship but instead arrive by train or water taxi from VCE just across the lagoon, and stay in locally owned boutique hotels, and eat in family run restaurants away from the tourist traps close to San Marco that cater to the cruise ship crowds. Please, to help preserve Venice for future generations.