Venice. Some think it’s overrated, some make this Italian city their honeymoon destination. For me, it’s home.
We all know what the world thinks of Venice. But do you know what Venice thinks of you? All 33 million-a-year-you?
A quick Google search will tell you that the total area of the city, including all the islands, is 414.6 Km, and has a population of 264,557 people.
Just to give you a comparison, London is 1,572 Km and has a population of 8.788 million.
Given its tiny size and its global reputation, the Venetian economy survives almost entirely on tourism, and locals are certainly very grateful to spendthrift visitors for putting a meal on their tables every night.
What you might not know, is that if on one hand your keeping us alive, on the other hand you’re making our daily life a struggle.
With 74,000 visitors a day, day to day tasks as grocery shopping or taking a walk can become a problem for the locals, especially for the vast elderly population.
It pains me to know my granny is probably zig-zagging through endless entourages of people blindly following a guide’s umbrella right now, almost tripping over the trash they leave behind.
Nobody in their right mind would blame the clueless visitor for the problems of the city. You’re just there to eat some good food and enjoy the romance in the air, we get it.
The change should come from within, as our leaders realise their greed is taking a huge toll on their people.
In the meantime, if you plan to visit Venice, allow me to give you a few simple suggestions:
Be mindful of where you are, be respectful of the ancient history of our island and of the people who inhabit it.
Do this, and you’ll always be welcome.