Venice is to be considered one of the most famous and sought-after touristic destinations. Everyone wants to visit it, breath it, live it at last once in a lifetime. Although its most popular features remain the highlights that still attracts and arouse the curiosity of the visitors through time, I’ve learned to appreciate it also for the less famous things. Sometimes I find myself preferring to take a free walk in the city and see where it takes me, let it surprising me with new spots, corners and calli.
We have to admit that the great and constant attention upon the city also brings its downside. Venice and tourism overcrowding is a long time issue, an increasing phenomenon that touches the very heart of this fragile city. During the last decades, the evolving of mass tourism and most of all of the cruise industry have brought controversial ecological, cultural and urbanistic impact. Problems of such relevance and importance to draw the attention of one of the biggest stylists and icons of our century: Vivienne Westwood. In January 2016 she used her show in Milan for Man Autumn/Winter 2016-17 collection to convey a bigger message, a campaign called Be Specific. The movement tries to raise the collective consciousness to act in defence of the greatest goods we have: “Save our Ocean – Save Venice – Save our Forest” is its motto. Venice is here considered as “a magnificent mirror on the world”, a treasure to be looked after and preserve. In her vision, outlined by the slogan “Venice for the Venetians. Venice for the world“, Vivienne embraces the cry for help of Venetian citizens about topic issues such as the giant cruise boats that are destroying the entire ecological balance of the lagoon, reaching the very heart of the city, and the lack of appropriate infrastructures to manage something like 30 million visitors per year that are literally sinking it. By joining the call of the Association We are here Venice, Vivienne wants to stress the importance of a sustainable tourism, willing to respect the host city and its frail equilibrium.
The problems emerging in the specific case of Venice are, of course, not isolated: many other cities in the world suffer from the same complications. This is why is so important to ask and act for a change in order to give a strong signal to all the other similar realities in the world. Venice is a heritage to the entire world and it’s up to everyone who visits it to guard and preserve its beauty. We all can make a difference in this, through our choices and behaviour. We can decide not to participate in intrusive cruises, to collaborate in keeping the city clean or to indulge ourselves in a less “touristic” itinerary, for example. Another smart thing to do is going to visit famous and usually overcrowded areas or specific places in strange hours. I find very effective the early morning (from 8 am to about 9.30 am) and noon; you will lose one hour of sleep or you’ll have to change your lunch time but you’ll surely find fewer people around and you’ll have the chance to enjoy much better what you are about to see.
Another astute thing to do is going to visit famous and usually overcrowded areas or specific places in strange hours. I find very effective the early morning (from 8 AM to about 9.30 AM) and Noon; you will lose one hour of sleep or you’ll have to change your lunch time but you’ll surely find fewer people around and you’ll enjoy much better what you are about to see.
Today I would like to show you a little itinerary that, yet touching some crucial points of Venice, will show you some other places that, I bet, most of you don’t know.
❃ Pics by Antonio and me ❃