Riva Schiavoni invaded by stalls and tents. Venice is a big bazaar.

The growth in mobile kiosks hasn’t stopped, adding another three stalls in front of San Marco. Commission President Pelligrini: “We have established rules, but they are not applied”

By Alberto Vitucci

7 Oct. 2019

VENEZIA. The line of stalls seems to have no end. And, in some cases it blocks the view of the beauty of the bacino San Marco. Their dimensions are imposing. One meter by two, at times with protrusions and the goods in full view. Souvenirs, statuettes, clothing and hats, and sometimes junk, and items that have nothing to do with Venice. Here is the Disneyland of Riva Schiavoni. Fifteen “little stores”, originally traveling on wheels, today genuine street shops.

The confusion is massive, and the tourists numerous. They arrive on vaporetti, from the piazza, from the Gran Turismo boats that dock at the nearby Riva of the Cornoldi barracks. Here as well the stalls are dense and numerous. It’s an old problem, but now the problem is exploding. With the growth in number of tourists, the stalls of the “casbah” are also growing in number, along with their merchandise.

The latest frontier is a large stall positioned in front of the entrance of the sotoportego of San Zaccaria, between the outdoor seating of two restaurants. Movement is difficult, as this is a path to the vaporetti. The view of the Bacino is occluded by the tents and stalls, by the umbrellas of the other mobile tourist businesses. From the sotoportego it is hard to see the island of San Giorgio. There are thousands of tourists, and the stalls.

To this already crowded group of stalls on the Riva, three more have now been added, those that were made to leave the campo of San Filippo and Giacomo.

The visual effect is quite powerful. “We have begun a laborious effort of putting some situations back in order”, says Paolo Pellegrini, a Fuscia counselor who is president of the Municipal Commission of Commerce, “and in some cases we have obtained satisfactory results, such as with the pianini of San Leonardo, Strada Nuova, Sant’Angelo. We have established rules. But often the rules are not applied. It’s not enough, we have to do more”.

The area of Riva Schiavoni, for example, turns out to be one of those “already subject to regulation”. But the result is embarrassing. Pellegrini tells of other difficult situations – Rialto, San Marco, the stalls in the monumental campi moved and reduced in size.

One does not see any results regarding outdoor restaurant seating, granting the use of public soil to the private owners of bars and restaurants so they can put out tables and chairs. The occupation is spreading, often without any regulation. “Those surprised to find themselves in violation often don’t even pay the fine”, he relates. Perhaps the profits are so high that even the fines are added to the budget.

More drastic sanctions are being considered, such as the possibility of sequestering the area after three violations. But this is like trying to dry up the sea with a teaspoon. There are hundreds of businesses that have opened their doors in the past few years, exploiting the holes in the rules, the law of the free market and the lack of regulations and prohibitions.

Source: La Nuova Venezia


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