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.
The lights and the shimmering water make this one of my favorite Venice images I’ve taken recently. It was late at night, the city was asleep except for the odd vaporetto idling by (the stern marker light from one is visible in the lower left). Quiet, stoic, enveloping.
No better place to be on a crisp fall evening. Be sure to click to see it full size!
This was tweeted to us tonight, and we think it does a great job of capturing Doug’s essence, and what makes Sassi Italy Tours more than a little unique in this business.
A treasure in Padova; this video provides a great example of the sorts of insight Doug Sassi is able to offer about not just the well-worn tourist attractions in Rome, Florence, and Venice, but also the off the beaten path cultural treasures Italy has in small towns everywhere.
We’ve been sending folks to Mama Isa for a while now, so that my wife got to take one of her tonnarelli and tiramisu classes for herself instead of hearing about other people enjoying it was just wonderful; I figure I should edit the video and stills from that and do a write up on that first. Several other things that’ll take more time that I want to put together will trickle out in the next week or two, depending on how long this latest bout of jet lag takes to dissipate and let me quit procrastinating. As much time as I spend in airports, one thing I’ve noticed is conditioning doesn’t matter as you age: past 35…sitting in a big metal very arid tube for hours and having your biorhythms disrupted just takes a while to get over. Even a short hop business trip for a few days will leave you drained and dreading airports.
But to tide you fair readers over, I’ll post some pics here and there to share in the wonder that is the Veneto. And yes, I still cry a little when the train pulls out of the station and Venezia recedes in the distance. This one: from the vaporetto *1 at night. Sigh…such beauty. Everyone should see this place at least once. I remain committed to the notion that if they did, we’d end all war.
After a week of cooking classes, meetings, discussions, adventures, forging new relationships, and strengthening existing ones, it’s good to be back home to blog about what we learned. We discovered some great additions for our Veneto tours (new wine and cooking classes, lagoon excursions to exclusive areas of the Venetian waterways, etc) that aren’t found elsewhere, and it was a very productive trip. Lots more to be posted in the coming days!