|The Rialto Bridge|
Because of a recent article in The Telegraph: Outcry over plan to charge Venice day trippers...I'm climbing onto my soapbox:
Tourism in Venice has drastically changed in the last 10 or so years. Too many, but not all, come, think it's a beach, walk around shirtless, wearing flip flops and in bathing suits, swim in the canals, climb on historic builidings that are hundreds of years old--all in a city where not long ago travelers knew when in Venice wearing short pants wasn't/isn't acceptable.
Today, visitors pack a lunch as if they're going to a park, sit on centuries old steps in the Piazza known as the 'finest drawing room in Europe' and eat their meals without realizing where they are or what they're looking at, and then leave little behind except their trash. This is the reality.
So, as a resident of Venice province for almost 30 years, where my family's livelihood has depended on tourism for three generations, I agree something must be done to save Venice.
If today's tourists don't understand that this city is a VERY special place, and they continue to treat it like another notch on their 'been there done that' post, then the city must do something to either educate the masses (which in today's society is probably impossible) or keep out those who don't know how to respect and acknowledge Venice as one of if not THE most beautiful, fragile and precious cities on the planet.
I'm sorry, but it is evident that anyone who doesn't understand why paying to enter the city is being discussed as a possible option hasn't spent more than a day or two in Venice in the last few years. And if they have, and still don't understand the problem, perhaps they are guilty of some of the insulting behavior the Venetians are tired of seeing their city be abused by.
Have you been to Venice recently? Do you agree with my comments or do you think it's okay to ignore decorum in this treasured city, and 'disrespect' the Jewel of the Adriatic?
I'd like to hear your thoughts, too.
You can find the Telegraph article here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/11032231/Outcry-over-plan-to-charge-Venice-day-trippers.html