Is Venice really dirty?

Oct 19th, 2014, 06:04 PM
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Plenty of people go to Venice and only spend time at Piazza San Marco and Rialto.

They walk the tsunami highway between the two, stopping only to eat in a tourist trap restaurant.

Venice is so much more than San Marco, the Rialto, the Bridge of Sighs.

Yes, Venice stinks like sea brine and there is garbage in the canals. The city floods during the Aqua Alta...

But, it is still one of the most hauntingly beautiful places on earth.

If you want fake and shiny, visit Bruges.

Frankly, I wish more people didn't like Venice.

Pepper_von_snoot is online now  
Oct 19th, 2014, 08:54 PM
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No, didn't witness dirty. I was there in September a few years ago. It is a different experience which I am glad I didn't miss.
Plray is offline  
Oct 19th, 2014, 10:29 PM
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Janisj's definition of a "friend" is somebody you call stupid. Read her long trip reports about the stupid "friends" she repeatedly travels with but can't stand.
sandralist is offline  
Oct 20th, 2014, 12:42 AM
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Dirty is relative.

When I see what accumulates on my white window sills the day after the housekeeper visits (and my neighborhood is very clean), I shudder to think what diners are swallowing as they eat their meals curbside along 7th Avenue in Greenwich Village. At least our vehicles in the U.S. don't have the severe exhaust fume issues that the Romans must endure as they eat outdoors year-round.

Venice is filthy. If you rent an apartment that will come with no window screens, you'll see what it takes to keep the place clean, daily. Wait until you see what crawls through the open windows and the front door.

With millions of tourists visiting each year, how could any intelligent person assume the place would not be filthy? If you want to see just how dirty Venice is, be out at 6 AM and watch the street sweepers do their thing with a broom that looks like something borrowed from the set of "Wicked." Or visit during Acqua Alta and see what floats by your knees.

Considering most of the canals are less than 4-feet deep, don't expect to see the bottom or anything other than a rat swimming near the surface. And God forbid you fall in or get splashed by a passing boat. The water is disgusting. There are plenty of people who use the canals as a toilet, including #2 (something I've witnessed far too many times), and many Venetians use the canals as their backdoor garbage dump.

The garbage bins near San Marco, Accademia Bridge, and the Rialto are always overflowing. The city can't afford to employ enough people to empty and cart the garbage from the bins, because the mayor is busy scamming funds from MOSE for his retirement home on Sardinia. Italy's corruption is severe. All it takes is a slight wind, and there's no place for all those rolling plastic bottles to go but in the canals. You don't really see the accumulation of bottles floating until you take your romantic gondola ride down the more narrow canals. In some small corners of Venice, the bottles are so abundant you can't see the surface of the water as your boat floats by.

Yes, Venice is really dirty.
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
Oct 20th, 2014, 02:33 AM
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Venice is horrible. I first visited on a day trip. As I emerged into San Marco and saw the cathedral seeming to float like a jewellery box in front of my eyes, I took an instant dislike to it. My four other visits have only confirmed my distaste for the place. I can only bring myself to endure it for two weeks at a time.
Definitely don't go.
MissPrism is offline  
Oct 20th, 2014, 03:33 AM
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Ain't nothing wrong with a bit of dirt
bilboburgler is offline  
Oct 20th, 2014, 04:29 AM
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It is hard to keep big cities clean and the ships that come into the port daily loaded with thousands don't help. My eyes were bloodshot this last trip to Boston and in NYC I have to take a couple of showers a day because you feel the grime. Still love it. Rome was the city I felt was the most dirty but Florence looked very clean. I know our inlet water turns and stinks so bad certain times of the year. The cruise ships don't help. Go and judge yourself.
flpab is offline  
Oct 20th, 2014, 06:55 AM
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I have seen dead rats in my home city, I have seen dead fish floating in the water in the canal between Brugge and Damme... sometimes things die, one dead cat does not a city make.

I loved Venice, and didn't find it dirty. On the other hand, one of the strongest impressions I did have was of a sense of decay that pervades a large portion of the city. Walking early in the morning, or even during the day if you get away from the tourists (which, for such a small city, is remarkably easy.) it can feel like stepping back in time, but I do try to imagine what it would have looked like 300-400 years ago when the buildings were new.
glenmd is offline  
Oct 20th, 2014, 07:03 AM
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My two well traveled SIL's just visited Venice and proclaimed it the most beautiful they have ever visited.

If you want clean, visit a computer chip manufacturer.
IMDonehere is offline  
Oct 20th, 2014, 07:29 AM
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zeppole/sandralist/et al: >>Janisj's definition of a "friend" is somebody you call stupid. Read her long trip reports about the stupid "friends" she repeatedly travels with but can't stand.<<

The person I called 'stupid' is westcoastgal's friend, not mine. It was just a throw away line - but based on the OP, it was the first thing that came to mind. If I knew her I might not call her stupid - just misguided (if she was a friend of mine). But since I don' t know wcg's friend I can call her stupid just based on what was posted.

I've posted many MANY trip reports (unlike you who have NEVER posted a TR under any of your several screen names) - no, I don't travel 'repeatedly' w/ nitwits. I have traveled twice w/ a friend and her sister - the trips didn't end well. But heck, everyone deserves a 2nd chance. To call twice 'repeatedly' is . . . stupid

I've posted many TRs re wonderful trips - two had unfortunate 'issues' --

How about posting a TR of your own and let us in on your wealth of 'superior' knowledge
janisj is online now  
Oct 20th, 2014, 07:58 AM
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"I do try to imagine what it (Venice) would have looked like 300-400 years ago when the buildings were new."

It was much filthier than it is now. It had no plumbing. No sewage system. And they burned wood for heat. The place was constantly filled with smoke and ash, and I'm sure the smell was unbearable, especially the smell of everyone's breath.

There are lots of paintings that capture Venice from its earlier years. A simple visit to the right museum and one can easily see and imagine what a difficult life it was.

"if you think sandralist/zeppole has a point"

Who really cares, janis? No one! Your last two posts are incredibly defensive. The fact that you spent so much troll retaliation time speaks volumes about yourself. If you're going to be snarky with your opinions, own them. The defensive posturing makes you appear spineless and petty.
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
Oct 20th, 2014, 08:08 AM
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I am in Venice this week and have to add my on-the-ground observations. I have not seen any dead cats, just two very alive, very big, and very mean cats that gave my 30kg Foxhound quite the scare on today's morning walk. We haven't seen any rats, either, dead or alive, but I can say that last week there was a squished rat on my street in Vienna (it was removed promptly), so perhaps Vienna is dirty, too. Only one pile of doggie business on the sidewalk, and lots of seagull poo.

Today was trash day and we, like everyone else in the neighborhood where our rental apartment is, either hung their trash on their door, or placed it beside the door to be collected. We've also seen the street sweepers out early, sweeping cigarette butts and assorted detritus into little piles for collection. Some of the trash bins near the touristy areas are overfull by late in the day, but that is to be expected.

This is only day 3 for us, with 3 more to go, and we are already bemoaning how little of Venice we're seeing. Thankfully we're only about a 6 hour drive away and can return easily, save for wading through the thick tourist density around the Rialto Bridge and Piazza San Marco, that is. Once was enough of that scene!
fourfortravel is offline  
Oct 20th, 2014, 08:16 AM
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I think the Clooney wedding pics of Venice will increase interest and more visitors. I just would pick a time when there isn't so many ships in. The new class ships hold thousands. At least do a day trip.
flpab is offline  
Oct 20th, 2014, 08:20 AM
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I just would pick a time when there isn't so many ships in.

And when would that be?
Michael is offline  
Oct 20th, 2014, 02:23 PM
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Please, heed the advice of dfourh!
jujubean is offline  
Oct 20th, 2014, 06:15 PM
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I'm sorry, my previous response was a bit snarky. Seriously, I think that while it is often a good idea to ask others for ideas you MUST judge for yourself. Your friend may have been tired or troubled that day, leading her to judge things more harshly, when normally she would overlook something - or perhaps her sensibilities are different that yours. For example, I love the outdoors and don't mind a rustic setting, my best friend does not "do" rustic, for her its luxury or stay at home. You may not mind graffiti, your friend may find it unsettling - you just don't know the threshold of others.

These days we have so many resources available to us, it is easy to get an idea of what Venice is like simply by googling "Venice images". Of course a question like yours will also give a good idea as will a search of trip reports on Venice - there are plenty to help you make the decision for yourself. For me and my family, Venice was lovely and a floating cat, rat or whatever, would not have impacted my assessment of this wonderful city.
jujubean is offline  
Oct 21st, 2014, 02:17 PM
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Michael, I really thought Venice was going to stop the bigger ships coming into port there, or keep it at five a day. We joke in Key West that if they all flush the toilet at the same time on the island we are sinking. KW is so quiet in the early morning before the boats arrive. They must leave by sunset so that is a plus also.
So sorry Westcoastgal that your thread took an ugly turn. I don't care for some of Italy and you and your friend are entitled to your own opinion. Don't stop posting.
flpab is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2014, 12:55 PM
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Just don't walk around with bare feet if there is acqua alta. Dog droppings, maybe a bit of broken glass. Otherwise, Venice is really pretty clean.

Streets are swept each morning, as is each campo. I have seen the odd dead pidgeon, no dead cats.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2014, 01:50 PM
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Our first visit to Venice over 30 years ago was in July, a hot one at that, when truth to tell the canals were a bit pongy but it didn't deter us, as we've been back several times since.

What I have noticed when looking at photos of the Grand Canal etc is that it was far less busy then, even in the height of summer, with a few gondolas gently floating around in the middle of clear water, whereas the last time we went you could barely see the water at all for all the vessels and their wash.

which I would thought is a good reason to go now, rather than leaving it any longer.
annhig is offline  

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