Venice: too many tourists make the city sufferDecember 19, 2016
There are probably too many tourists visiting the beautiful Venice every day, and this is probably nothing new. But according to an article recently published on CBSNews, in Venice there are more tourists than residents and this could cause harm to the city.
CBS states that the “problem” has gotten so big that it has reached UNESCO, the cultural body for the United Nation which has threatened to put Venice on a list of world heritage cities in danger. Supposedly, UNESCO has given Italy two years to deal with the problem and, for now, no solution seems to be suitable.
Of course, Venice can’t stop being a tourist destination, since most of its revenue comes from its fame and success with tourists from every corner of the world. But 20 million tourists a year is probably a little too much for the ancient, fragile city of narrow canals and quaint alleys.
The worrying suspicion is in fact confirmed by ecologist Jane Da Mosto: “It’s too small, it’s too fragile… and we can’t look after the people that think they are coming to a theme park.” Of course, she is talking about many ill-mannered visitors who think the city is a theme park, instead of a work of art that must be kept safe and protected.
In the meantime, the residents in Venice are narrowing: in 1951 they were about 170,000, today there are fewer than 55,000 and some of them aren’t happy at all. They are in fact so unhappy that they recently staged a protest.
“We have to find a way to protect the Venetian life,” Mateo Secchi, one of the organizers of the protest, explained, “because a city without citizens is a city without a soul – it’s like Disneyland.” In his opinion, mass tourism is “a double-cut weapon because in the beginning you earn a lot of money and everybody is happy, but in the long distance it’s big trouble.”
As understandable, Deputy Mayor of Tourism Paola Mar describes tourism as “the city’s most important resource,” but admits that something must be done to address the “25 years of mismanagement” that have led to this crisis.
The municipality is currently examining more than 15 proposals to fix the issue. In the meantime, we can only remind you that Venice is precious: if you visit it, respect it as you would with an old but still beautiful lady.