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Venice: No Disneyland

 
 
Reply Fri 25 Aug, 2006 11:28 pm
Quote:
Population decline set to turn Venice into Italy's Disneyland

John Hooper
Rome

http://i8.tinypic.com/25kouc2.jpg

Venice is on course to become a city virtually without residents within the next 30 years, turning it into a sort of Disneyland - teeming with holidaymakers but devoid of inhabitants.
Depopulation is getting to the point of no return, the Venice council housing chief, Mara Rumiz, said following the publication this week of the latest figures. "Beyond then, Venice will never again be a normal city, but will become a mere tourist destination and lose its charm - even for the tourists themselves," she was quoted as telling the daily La Repubblica yesterday.


The register of residents, tallied every 10 years, shows that the population of Venice proper has almost halved - from 121,000 to 62,000 - since the great flood of 1966. A city that once ruled an empire now has a smaller population than Herne Bay and, if it continues to lose full-time inhabitants at the same rate, it will be "empty" by around 2046.
Although the pace of decline has been slower in the past 10 years than in previous decades, it is now speeding up and threatens to strip Venice of its full-time residents even sooner. Since 1996 the register of residents has shrunk by 800 a year. But in 2005, 1,918 more people moved out of the city or died than moved in or were born there.

Today, 25% of the population is over the age of 64. The latest council estimate is that the rate of decline will increase to between 2,000 and 2,500 a year. That does not mean the city will be without inhabitants because foreigners and Italians are continuing to buy second homes in Venice, but it does mean the native Venetian is an endangered species. Venice may then become a living museum-city - a place to which, as La Repubblica remarked, it would be "normal to charge entry". The 1966 flood led to the ground floors of some 16,000 houses being abandoned and the growth of mass tourism, combined with rising water levels, has made living in Venice increasingly challenging.

Yet it looks like Italy's new government will suspend work on the Moses Project to build a flood barrier. And the volume of tourists, already 50,000 a day, is climbing inexorably.

House prices have meanwhile soared beyond the reach of all but the richest Venetians.


(phptp from pages 6 & 7 of the print edition)
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Tico
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Aug, 2006 08:35 am
I've always dreamed of visiting Venice ~ but obviously so do 50k tourists per day! Shocked

Unless it is the government's intention to turn Venice into a museum city, this seems to be an example of terrible civic management. Does anyone know if this is deliberate policy (and why) or not?
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Aug, 2006 08:50 am
Venice is just built at the wrong place - sinilar to New Orleans.

And it's far too expensive for privates, to restory their (historic) buildings more than twice a year.

Interesting reading/links: The Venice Charter Revised Conference 2006
0 Replies
 
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Aug, 2006 11:45 am
venice is still on our list of places to visit .
both our dentist and our family-physician (and their wives) visited venice in may . i had supplied them with some information that i have started to accumulate about what to see and how to avoid falling for 'tourist traps' .
they and their wives thoroughly enjoyed their visits - they also visited some other places while in europe - and suggested we make a visit soon .
i've noticed that hotel prices decline - some steeply - starting in november .
guidebooks i've read state that november is a good time to visit : fewer tourists , getting a little cooler - the locals are beginning to appreciate the tourists again by that time of the year .
hope we'll make it this year or 2007 .
i've noticed that hotel prices on the lido really tumble come november - a 5-star hotel goes for the price of a 3-star hotel on the mainland .
comments i've read are all over the place . some say : one MUST stay on the mainland . others say it's much nicer to stay on the lido and take the ferry across .
any comments , anyone ?
hbg
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Aug, 2006 12:37 pm
I stayed in the Dorsoduro section in Mid March - the city wasn't all so horrible re tourist clumps then, for us.

I've read a lot of books about Venice over the years, some fairly scholarly, but my recent reads have been by Donna Leon; she's done a set of police procedurals that have in toto covered a lot of Venice's problems as part of the storylines.

There is a difficult set of problems to solve, starting with, as Walter said, where the city was established, and perhaps ending with some difficulties exaccerbated by practices in mainland cities, mediated with some instances of human greed (et al) over many years.
0 Replies
 
princesspupule
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Aug, 2006 07:53 pm
hamburger wrote:
venice is still on our list of places to visit .
both our dentist and our family-physician (and their wives) visited venice in may . i had supplied them with some information that i have started to accumulate about what to see and how to avoid falling for 'tourist traps' .
they and their wives thoroughly enjoyed their visits - they also visited some other places while in europe - and suggested we make a visit soon .
i've noticed that hotel prices decline - some steeply - starting in november .
guidebooks i've read state that november is a good time to visit : fewer tourists , getting a little cooler - the locals are beginning to appreciate the tourists again by that time of the year .
hope we'll make it this year or 2007 .
i've noticed that hotel prices on the lido really tumble come november - a 5-star hotel goes for the price of a 3-star hotel on the mainland .
comments i've read are all over the place . some say : one MUST stay on the mainland . others say it's much nicer to stay on the lido and take the ferry across .
any comments , anyone ?
hbg


We camped by Jesolo, took a ferry past Murano and Burano to Venice this past June. We really enjoyed Venice and the place we camped (Marina di Venezia) was like the Club Med experience (for $60 euro/night for 7 people. Live nightly entertainment, 3 restaurants, stores inside the campgrounds...) It worked for us, but next time, I want to go w/out kids and stay in a hotel in Venice.
0 Replies
 
princesspupule
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Aug, 2006 07:59 pm
Walter Hinteler wrote:
Venice is just built at the wrong place - sinilar to New Orleans.

And it's far too expensive for privates, to restory their (historic) buildings more than twice a year.

Interesting reading/links: The Venice Charter Revised Conference 2006


You know how Dresden was rebuilt after WW2? I would hope the same efforts and resources could be put to saving Venice... If I were a multimillionaire, I would save a residencial chunk... At any cost... Unfortunately, I am nowhere near that affluent... I met a very nice Venetians when we visited last June. I hope some sort of subsidy can be arranged for them to remain in Venice and maintain Venice...
0 Replies
 
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Aug, 2006 01:28 pm
pricess : thanks for your comments !
hope to report back from an enjoyable venice vacation sometime !
hbg
0 Replies
 
Eva
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Sep, 2006 03:48 pm
Venice is my favorite place on Earth. I was there during May 2000 and stayed in a hotel on the Grand Canal. It was heavenly.

I wonder why housing prices are rising if the availability is also rising? (It must not work on supply and demand like in the US.)

As far as it being built in the wrong place...

An architecture professor I once knew said that any physical feature that makes a place desirable also makes for difficulties in construction. Trees, water, mountains, etc....I believe it.
0 Replies
 
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Sep, 2006 05:08 pm
hoping to get there before it's being closed down !
it doesn't look very crowded to me .
hbg

http://paul.ilcs.hokudai.ac.jp/Venice%20canal%20gondola%204.JPG
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Sep, 2006 05:21 pm
Eva wrote:
Venice is my favorite place on Earth. I was there during May 2000 and stayed in a hotel on the Grand Canal. It was heavenly.

I wonder why housing prices are rising if the availability is also rising? (It must not work on supply and demand like in the US.)

As far as it being built in the wrong place...

An architecture professor I once knew said that any physical feature that makes a place desirable also makes for difficulties in construction. Trees, water, mountains, etc....I believe it.




It was the right place for security back then, whenever it was, something like the 800's or early 900's...
0 Replies
 
 

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