"The biggest tourist trap in Venezia… sorry," Top 5 Page for this destination Venice Tourist Trap Tip by Trekki

Venice Tourist Traps: 252 reviews and 251 photos

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  • ...... (no words.... for this ....) - Venice
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  • One of these....... things.... - Venice
      One of these....... things....
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  • Another of these.....things, clipping a campanile - Venice
      Another of these.....things, clipping a campanile
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  • Tuuuuuut - monsters approaching..... - Venice
      Tuuuuuut - monsters approaching.....
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  • The result - more algae at the walls and wood - Venice
      The result - more algae at the walls and wood
    by Trekki

…but this are we ourselves, the tourists. And I fully understand and support Venezia’s officials’ pricing policy. Just imagine that only 20% of us tourists stay overnight, all others come in the morning and leave in the evening – mostly by boat. In a newspaper, I have read that on the first weekend in May this year (= when I was there as well), 150.000 tourists have been visiting the city ! Onehundred and fifty thousand people !!! This is the same amount as Venezianos living in their home city 50 years ago – today so many have fled from us the mass tourists and left only 50.000 local Venezianos living there. The day tourists consume almost nothing in the city, maybe an ice cream, as they perceive the prices for food as too high. They add in queueing to enter Basilica San Marco, and / or the viewpoint of Campanile, but hardly leave the neuralgic spots between Piazza San Marco and Ponte Rialto. This all has increased the amount of water taxis and huge cruise ships that sail along the Canale di San Marco to reach the docks of Zattere, where they land and spill out their content – 2000-3000 more day tourists that definitely won’t consume in the city, as they have all on their ship. One day, when I was wandering along the Riva della Schiavoni, one of these huge things came along from the east – I nearly got a heart attack of its size ! It was all so surreal, I felt like in the movie of Koyaanisqatsi, whose subtitle is life out of balance. I felt so sick, I was almost ready to feed the fish….
The ship in the main picture – full of ….. (now it depends on your viewpoint) German apes watching Eurodisney or Germans, watching the apes in Eurodisney is an MSC boat, and according to their website, leaves weekly (!!!) with 1566 passengers on board for a cruise to Greece and Croatia.

Unique Suggestions: We, no matter if we are day tourists or stay longer, produce waste, be it cigarette stumps, empty water bottles, napkins, whatever. This waste of 3 times as much tourists as locals, in addition to the locals’ waste, needs to be disposed of. Now the garbage collection cannot just drive along, it is all by boat, thus increasing boat traffic on that end. We need to go and powder our noses. The locals have their home, their offices or shops, or wherever they work at, for this. We need to use public restrooms, or, if eating somewhere, might use their facilities. But same story here – this our waste needs to get disposed of. It is a ridiculous thought, as I have read it here and there, that all is disposed into the lagoon.

Then the water taxis… As we come in herds and not all of us are taking the cheaper vaporettos (= the waterbusses for the locals), the amount of water taxis 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 very much deterioration of the lagoon’s water, thus increasing the necessity for cleaning the water in shorter intervals - and of course we have to pay for this with prices increasing - we just cannot leave it to the locals to pay for us ever increasing tourists and our waste ! (This is the key message what I want to get across).

Fun Alternatives: This all adds to the higher prices, we have to pay when visiting Venezia. I am well aware that I am writing quite sarcastic, and moreover, I was also part in the mass tourism, and will be again and again – but I will stay for longer and not only a day. And yes, I am well aware that I am lucky to live “close by” (only 90 min flight or an overnight train). But if you are coming to visit Venezia for only a short time, as you live far away and just can’t afford coming again and again – try and think about all these things, I described above (which is only a short part of the whole picture), and maybe you can find possibilities to participate from your end – be it only to understand the prices (and not scream scam) or eating somewhere off Piazza San Marco or buy in spuermarkets or smaller local shops, sweets or fruit, or whatever. Believe me, it supports a tiny bit the locals’ shops, of which a lot must close, as there are not enough (local) customers, and are replaced by another souvenir shop, which maybe even sells more Chinese crap, faked as “made in Venezia”.

Oh, and don’t misunderstand me – cruises can be nice (I won’t go on one though). But it is way better if they sail in seas where they are made for, and not in lagoons where extra deep navigation channels have to be digged, and destroying the water equilibrium.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Sep 6, 2009
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