Re: Is Tourism Killing Venice?
I have to make some comment in this thread.
I visit Venice every year on a 17 to 19 day cruise and have done for the past 10 years.
I am currently on such a cruise and was in Venice YESTERDAY !
So some facts are in order
Firstly, Venice is a stunningly beautiful city, the very "Pearl" of the Adriatic. It is unlike anywhere else in the world and it won't be there forever because it will eventually sink beneath the water. Now is the time to go and see this unique and stunning place.
Here is a picture of the Grand Canal with the gorgeous buildings and hustle and bustle of water craft.
Here is a picture of the famous St Marks Square and Doge's Palace:
I never ever tire of visiting Venice.
This said I understand completely why the Venetians are not happy. The truth is they were unhappy many years before cruise ships started landing there. The regular tourists arriving via plane and train had already turned Venice into a hugely commercial place in many parts and resulted in native Venetians moving out.
Now only 1 in every 10 residents are actually Venetians.
I personally find that very regrettable but it is the case the world over that the most beautiful places become tourist attractions and thus become commercial with more shops, bars and restaurants. Tourism feeds the local economy but those who don't participate in that cycle of course will not benefit from it.
The cruise ship berths in Venice were enhanced a few years ago. They can now very comfortably hold 6 cruise ships in that berthing area which is located at the back of Venice.
The local authorities, bowing to Venetian public pressure, have already stopped the larger cruise ships from entering from the direction of St Marks. The smaller ships such as the 1500 passenger one I am currently on, have no problems as yet.
Note however that this is jjust about the ROUTE the ship takes to get to the berthing area. The "sail in" to Venice is one of the most magical events a traveller can witness when entering a city. Entering via a cruise ship which passes St Marks Square and the Doges Palace is a sight to behold and one never forgotten.
Ultimately they will insist on ships using a different route which essentially see the ships go around the back and thus this ability for a magical sail in will be lost forever.
Venice will never imo actually stop the cruise ships from coming. It simply generates far too much money for the local authorities and for the general economy.
All they are doing is stopping ships coming in from their current route, along side St Marks.
As a regular but empathetic cruise passenger visitor to Venice I feel sorry for the Ventians and would support anything that would help them and appease their concerns.
Less frequent ship visits would be fine by me
Imposing a tourist tax would be fine by me
In the end though it's a fantastic place and a "must see" in one's lifetime.
Figure on how many millions of people flood into London every year to see the sights there. Do you think they will stop those people arriving? Nope.
Neither will they do so in Venice.
Visit Venice if you can, and by cruise ship if possible