Welcome To Venice, Italy!
All of the photos here were taken by my wife and I when we visited Venice in September – a city of incredible beauty – need proof?
The world’s most famous “floating city” is an urban paradise – 160 square miles – but only 3 feet above sea level!
That means when you go into San Marco Square at night, you see pools of water – which make for some incredible reflections…
Venice has more than 150 canals and 400 footbridges – and was built on wooden stilts in the middle of the Venice lagoon – so when you are out on the lagoon you sometimes find places that have been “given back” to the sea:
Venice Is Sinking – But Not Because Of The Water…
All of these pictures highlight the beauty of the city, but underneath this facade is a very big problem that threatens to sink Venice for good.
You may have read many times about the fact that the city is slowly sinking back into the sea, but that’s not the biggest problem facing it right now…here’s what we encountered on our visit:
Venice Is Being Sunk – By People!
Wow, talk about crowded! At every turn we encountered big crowds of tourists, all there for the same reason we were – to walk the streets this city.
You know things are bad when there’s even a “gondola traffic jam!”
You see, FIFTEEN MILLION tourists go to Venice every year – and the weight of their impact on the city has gotten UGLY.
One afternoon we were sitting on a terrace overlooking the entrance to the Grand Canal – an amazing view:
As we sat and stared out, I saw something moving – something unusual, oversized, beginning to dwarf the architecture – by the time we got back to sea level, this is what we saw:
Look at the size of that Mega Cruise Ship! We watched as it slowly paraded past San Marco Square before heading off to dock – and it was one of FOUR mega cruise ships we saw arrive in a single day!
This is a far-too-common sight now in Venice, and the locals are rising up against it.
According to a terrific report recently in The Guardian.com:
“Earlier this month an estimated 2,000 Venetians marched against a tourism industry they argue has eroded their quality of life, that is damaging the environment and driving residents away: Venice’s population has fallen from about 175,000 in the post-second world war years to 55,000 today.”
When my wife were there, we were told that many locals can no longer afford the city – and the overwhelming impact of tourists is negative.
As The Guardian’s great reporting revealed, the locals are close to giving up on their great city:
“Luciano Bortot, who was born here, is feeling anything but serene. “You’re asking me what it’s like to live with this crap?” he said. “It used to be wonderful, we had lots of artisans … the problem now is the mass tourism, the people who come for just a few hours and see nothing – it’s as much of a nightmare for them.”
So the impact of tourism has made the city more crowded, more expensive, and more deserted of locals – a bad trend.
Venice is magical in so many ways – so I hope they can come up with solution to the population decline, the sinking city, and the mega cruise ships that are clogging the city and depriving it of life…
If you want to see more of this city, especially at night, you can click on my story here, where there are more pictures of Venice…
We were in Venice to depart on The Simplon-Venice Orient Express Train to Paris, where we saw incredible sights like this:
We literally watched history pass by our window…see more here:
Let know if you’ve seen this mega ships in Venice…