One of our favorite meals in the world is the grilled branzino, filleted table side by our good friend Massimo, and served in the incomparable Trattoria da Romano’s outside seating. A little drizzle of olive oil, a squirt of fresh lemon, and the only restaurant in Venice allowed to cook over an open flame shows you why it’s worth traveling around the world for.
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.
Apparently it’s not so simple as just dredging an alternate channel for the 90,000 ton floating behemoths to traverse, as that might worsen flooding and churn up sediments from an unregulated industrial era that have settled on the bottom and been covered up. Venice needs tourism, yes, to survive as we know it, but they need to find a way to dock the huge ships farther out and ferry passengers in via vaporetto.
Brooke took it last year, and it’s still one of my favorites. She posted it on our FB page, but I like it so much I’m reposting here. A view no discerning traveler will ever tire of:
Always regrettable to leave Venice, but one must remember you’re only feeling that wistful sadness because you’ve had the good fortune to enjoy the wonderment that is La Serenissima. It’s been great to have Leah from Leah Travels experience Venice with us, and we’re looking forward to what she writes about her time there with us and our good friends at the Hotel Giorgione. She got a chance to see Venice off the beaten path, to taste cicchetti at side street winebars, to eat the best seafood meals on the planet at restaurants most tourists miss and most big-bus tour operations haven’t even heard of, and see the REAL Venice as it should be experienced–a time capsule of a bygone era that you can see, touch, taste, and indulge in with your whole being.
We hope to see her again soon, and hope to share the magic with you.
Today Doug is conducting a tour of Murano with our friend Leah from www.leahtravels.com. Follow her excellent photography on her Instagram! Tomorrow: Burano and Torcello. Leah has an excellent eye for all things travel related and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with this week in Venice.
Want to travel like Leah? Check out our current special offer!
Dear Venetians: rest assured these folks are *not* Sassi Italy Tours clients. Venice is not a campground where you break out a portable stove or backwater where you drunkenly engage in uhm…adult behaviors in public. It’s not a sunbathing beach (the Lido isn’t that far by ferry, people). It’s a unique connection to the past, a living museum you can walk around in, but please don’t ruin the magic for others while you’re doing so.
The wife spotted this great photo opp on a recent trip and it just might be my favorite Venice picture ever. The bit of seaweed floating, the stillness and quiet of a slowly decaying city that decays beautifully, the gondoliero waiting for his next fare, hat in hand. It’s ancient Venice perfectly preserved.
One of the more magical spots in a magical city. Saying it exudes mystery and romance is almost redundant.