Every second there are new impressions, that make you drift besotted through the streets. It is like a dream. But as soon as the tourist stream carries you away, you awake from that dream and got hit by the bare reality: Venice is going to die.
Gigantic cruise ships spit out tens of thousands of screeching tourists, that get their selfie-sticks ready, for the next #venice #photooftheday #travel #instagram post, while carrying ugly carnival masks from a Chinese souvenir shop, that has replaced that old established grocery store, where the residents were used to buy their food.
Venice is visited by more than 30 million tourists a year, who only stay for 2.3 days on average. During this time, a tourist will only get to know the Disneyland around Piazza San Marco, will once drive to Murano or Burano, and then believe that this would be Venice.
On the other hand, there are only 50,000 Venetians - and the trend is falling. Life is becoming more and more difficult: rents are rising, job opportunities are disappearing, and good education is almost exclusively available on the mainland. Who can, leaves the city - who stays, tries to endure it or offers resistance.
Only when a tourist stays for a long period in Venice, he can trespass the frontiers of mass tourism. Then he will get to know the heart of Venice and feel its pulse beat!
In Venice everything is done by foot, so life is more strenuous than elsewhere. The purchase of the Rialto market must also be carried over the numerous bridges home, as packages or building materials. Whether they are wealthy or poor, young or old, all go the same way – and on these paths they meet again and again. There is no moment, when one does not meet the neighbors, the school friend or the business partner in an alley. One remains standing and comes into conversation – a reason why Venice is a very communicative city. Hardly any other place makes it so easy to be accepted as a part of the community.
La Serenissima is the name of the Venetian Republic. From the Latin serenus, this means cheerful or calm. What name could better describe this city! It is pure slowing. In modern cities such as Hamburg one has to put up great forces to slow down. In Venice this is part of the life concept. There is no other way to live. And if you try it differently, you will give up after a very short time and adapt to the calm, quiet pulse of the city, which has been the same for centuries. If this has happened to you as a guest in the city, Venice has grabbed you and will never let you go.
The beauty of Venice is the only thing that can still save this city.