"The biggest tourist trap in Venezia… sorry," Top 5 Page for this destination Venice Tourist Trap Tip by Trekki
Venice Tourist Traps: 253 reviews and 264 photos
Very sensitive topic!!
…but this are we ourselves, we visitors. I came to the point to understand and support Venezia’s officials’ pricing policy. Just imagine that only 20% of us tourists stay overnight, all others arrive in the morning and leave in the evening, mostly by cruise ships. Often 150.000 visit the city per day! This is double as much as Venetians are living in their town today!
We add ourselves into the queues at the hotspots such as Basilica San Marco, Campanile, but stay around the hotspots between Piazza San Marco and Ponte Rialto. We have increased the amount of water taxis and cruise ships that sail along the Canale di San Marco to reach the docks of Zattere: 2000-3000 more day tourists who definitely won’t consume within the city, because there are the meals on the ships. One day, when I was wandering along Riva della Schiavoni, one of these huge cruise ships passed – I nearly got a heart attack just seeing the size and especially the size compared to the buildings! It was all so surreal, I felt like in the movie of Koyaanisqatsi, with subtitle "life out of balance".
The ship in the main picture was one of the cruise ships I saw when walking towards Zattere. I had this surreal feeling or question who is within the zoo fence and who is outside.
We, no matter if we are day tourists or stay longer, produce waste, be it cigarette stumps, empty water bottles, napkins, you name it. Our waste is three times higher than the one of locals, waste that must be disposed of. And being located in the water, garbage trucks cannot just drive by, all has to be done by boat. We need to go when nature calls. Locals have their home, their offices or shops with their own toilets. We need to use public restrooms, or, if eating somewhere, might use their facilities. And again: "nature calls" waste needs to get disposed of, and it cannot be disposed of into the lagoon of course.
Then the water taxis… we come in masses. Some of us plan ahead (flight and train arrivals and departures) and use the more reasonable vaporetti or the airport boats. Some do not but use the water taxis. Water taxi traffic increases. Their higher speed agitates the water more than a vaporetto, thus bringing more oxygen into the water, thus increasing the amount of algae, thus adding to a quicker deterioration of the lagoon’s water, thus increasing the necessity for cleaning the water in shorter intervals, thus increasing the yearly costs to keep the city clean. Of course we have to pay our share for this - prices increase. We cannot just leave the costs to the locals because we come to see the city.
(This is the key message I hope to bring across).
This all adds to the higher prices, we have to pay when visiting Venezia. I am well aware that I am still sarcastic. Especially because I was and will be part of the daily mass tourism in Venezia.
I am also well aware that I live close by, with a 90 minute only flight. But if you are visiting Venezia for only a short time, and cannot coming again and again – please consider all this. Maybe you find your own way to visit Venezia but also look after the needs of the city on water. Even if it is not to be grumpy about the prices, or look for supermarkets to buy water, sweets or fruit. I am sure every careful consideration helps the town, the locals and also helps to keep the price levels (and not increase it).
Please - no misunderstandings or hard feelings. Cruises can be nice. But it is very likely better for the lagoon and the keep up of Venice's artwork if they sail in seas and dock where it is easier and not in the lagoon where extra deep navigation channels have to be digged, and destroying the water equilibrium.
© Ingrid D., May 2007 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.). Update June 2015: wording.
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