Welcome to the Campaign for a Living Venice Web Site
The site was launched in 2016, after UNESCO had threatened to list Venice as an Endangered World Heritage Site, and our goal is to serve as an English language source for news and information about current events and issues in Venice. The hope is to help build international awareness and support for Venice and its citizens, who are organizing and working towards a sustainable future for Venice and the preservation of a unique and special culture.
Our News page features translations of news from local news sites and journalists in Venice. Stories are posted weekly, and the News page has stories going back to late 2016.
To help orient new readers, here is a brief synopsis of the main issues facing/threatening Venice today:
- The lagoon, and the foundations of the city itself, are being destroyed by waves from too many boats going too fast, and by the huge water displacement caused by cruise ships, as well as by excavation in the lagoon.
- The Venetian population is being forced out of the city due to high rents and lack of available work.
- The stock of residential buildings is rapidly converting to tourist lodgings.
- Too many cruise ships bring far too many day visitors at far too high a cost to the city.
- The MOSE project, designed to save the city from higher sea levels, will not work, after an expenditure of 6 billion Euro. Meanwhile in 2019 acqua alta has reached crisis proportions.
- The vast majority of money being made in Venice from tourism and transportation does not stay Venice, leaving the city unable to finance all its needs.
- Because Venice and Mestre are one city, Venetians are a permanent minority voting bloc in their own home. The fifth referendum for the separation of Venice and Mestre was defeated, so this is likely to be the situation for a long time to come,in particular with the re-election of Mayor Luigi Brugnaro, who was instrumental in that defeat, and also easily won over his opponents in Sept. 2020.
- The all but complete halt of the tourism industry in Venice during the pandemic has also lead to a new set of challenges – and opportunities – with the absence of tourists and traffic. The city’s near total dependence on tourism has led to an economic collapse that is claiming new and old businesses alike, including the revered Florian Cafe.
For a more detailed summary, please take a look (and share!) our Brief Guide to Key Issues Facing Venice. This too addresses issues as they stood before the pandemic in 2019. To some extent the question in Venice now is how to prevent these from becoming problems all over again when the pandemic allows tourism to resume.
Thank you for visiting our site and for your interest in and support for Venice and Venetians. Here below is the video that first launched this project in September 2016: