In a Venice asphyxiated by tourism, bars, souvenir shops and fast food proliferate

March 29, 2017; By Andreina Corso

Venice bustles while the debates continue to grow and develop over the crises and the destiny of this city beleaguered by millions of tourists, reduced to 55,000 inhabitants, forced to watch the expansion of tourist rentals, of artisanal shops closing, book shops going dark.

These voices for now are completely obscured by the effervescent energy of those who are working, thanks to their obtaining municipal change of use permits.

Bars proliferate, and fast food, so busy during Carnevale, a bit in every part of Venice. Leave from the Ponte del Guglie and start towards Strada Nova: there is only the embarrassment of the choice, sprouting like new mushrooms and greedy novelties, between one bridge and the other. Licenses for clothing, hardware, butchers, and perfumeries all transformed in to stores aimed at day-tripping tourists in defiance of Unesco and of the promise of the city Administration to review and re-regulate “this commercial world” and possibly intervene, to prevent excesses, when possible.

Moving from Strada Nova and going towards the Ponte di Rialto, and then pressing on towards San Marco, the reality of the bars, open pubs, along with stands that offer objects and souvenirs to tourists, one cannot imagine a remedy (at least any time soon) for a drift that so clearly perpetuates the problems of the city, rather than removing them.

We know that today it is simple to turn a food store in to a souvenir store, changing a license is not a problem. But all this should be regulated together with the mobile stands, between the City and Management of the Monuments, with a view capable of gathering the urgent remedies that Venice calls for.

This last, which has been addressed by Unesco with Mayor Luigi Brugnaro, is and will be the subject to analyze and examine in all its shortcomings and deformities. At the fringes, but easily distinguishable and also waiting for answers, are cultural questions which remain always at the margins of events, while so important and necessary for the city to live.

And now Venetians know they must bear, apart from the crowds, even loud music, and toward morning, at the first gleams of dawn, that which remains of Venice, even if the new police combined with the veterans have tried everything to control the inevitable.

Source: La Voce di Venezia

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