Just how bad does Venice smell?

Old Jan 9th, 2007, 07:36 AM
  #41  
MaureenB
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P.S. If your travel partners are reluctant, maybe they just aren't interested in Venice and will be unhappy there regardless of smell/no smell. Maybe shorten your stay there to three nights?
 
Old Jan 9th, 2007, 11:09 AM
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The only time I got a whiff of something truly awful in Venice is when I happened upon a recently drained canal in the Dorsoduro. Workers were toiling in the muck fixing something, or maybe it was an annual cleaning of some sort. Very pungento!
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Old Jan 9th, 2007, 12:25 PM
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I went to venice on last summer on a contiki. I dont remember any bad smells. If anything it was the pigeons that were disturbing.. so many of them .. yuck
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Old Jan 9th, 2007, 02:54 PM
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Have been to Venice 6 or 7 times and never noticed any smell. In NYC we live on the East River....every once in awhile there are very difinite smells.
So.... if you come to NYC... don't go near the water -
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Old Jan 9th, 2007, 02:55 PM
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I meant DEFinite smells. (Nothing diffident about them when they do occur.)
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Old Jan 9th, 2007, 04:04 PM
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Apparently there was a pretty bad odor years ago but it was due to the continued dumping of trash and sewage into the canal. I believe it has been at least 25 to 30 years since it was cleaned up. Katherine Hepburn once fell into a canal during the filming of a movie scene and had a lifelong sickness from it. They used to be very dirty. I, like others on this forum, have never noticed any odor in my two summertime trips to Venice.

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Old Jan 9th, 2007, 04:10 PM
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The canals had problems a number of years ago when the city had a budget crunch and cut back on regular maintenance for a few years. But that's been some time back.

The tides naturally flush the canals daily--even with the former total dumping of waste into the canals, they didn't stink, except for the odd backwater canal here and there. But those few years with the lack of regular maintenance were difficult.

I've been to Venice several times at different times of the year and never detected anything but seaport smells--like any other city on the sea.

Amsterdam opens the gates to let its canals "flush" naturally as well. Of course, Venice does not yet have to open any gates for the natural flushing action to take place.
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Old Jan 9th, 2007, 05:50 PM
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When I went in early March 03, it brought back memories of my childhood down the shore. The smell of marsh land where the locals went crabbing but only while riding on the vaporetto down the grand canal. So, to me it wasn't too bad of a smell.

When I went in November/05, just missed acqua alta and there was no smell.
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Old Jan 9th, 2007, 06:11 PM
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Well, it's settled. Four days in Venice it is, and they are going to be fabulous! We'll also spend 5 in Rome, 4 in Florence and 4 near Montepulciano.
Can't wait.
Judith
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Old Jan 9th, 2007, 06:49 PM
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I visited in June - no smell just enchanting! I've been told if St. Marks is dry it is fine but if wet then....
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Old Jan 10th, 2007, 05:14 AM
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Muskoka,
We sure think alike. Not only are you staying in 'our' hotel in Venice, but we also stayed in Montepulciano. We rented a lovely apartment there for a week (it's listed on vrbo but we happen to know the owner so we rented directly with him) and from there we visited Pienza several times, Sienna, and Montalcino.

Make sure you visit the church just outside the walls of Montepulciano, San Bagio, I think. Wait till the church is empty then go stand in the middle of the floor directly under the dome, clap your hands hard once, and you'll hear it echo around the dome 17 or 18 times.

As far as restaurants go, in Montepulciano, Acquacheta is excellent and fun for a casual lunch or dinner and don't miss the lovely Cafe Poliziano for breakfast and lunch or just a coffee and sweet -- if the weather's nice try to sit out on one of the little balconies and you'll be 'floating' over Tuscany. I didn't care for my dinner at Quattro Vente (found it way too salty), but most people love it so I'd give it a try.

In Montalcino (actually about 5 km outside it), is Poggio Antico -- very pretty, very classy, formal but warm service, delicious sophisticated food, excellent local wine and VERY pricey. Montalcino is a lovely town to visit and if you're into wine, be sure to go to the Fortezza where you can taste the famous Brunellos of the area.

I'd envy you your trip if it weren't for the fact that I'm off to France in May!

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Old Jan 10th, 2007, 05:39 AM
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I think MaureenB is right: it is something of an urban myth. Several people have told me that the canals smell but they're always people who have never been to Venezia: it's always somebody who has a friend who has a neighbour who has a colleague who's been there, or somebody who knows somebody who was there in 1947, etc ...
The city is beautiful, enchanting and unique.
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Old Jan 10th, 2007, 05:43 AM
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Yes, Venice smells really, really bad, don't go there. I suggest Peoria, I hear it doesn't smell at all.
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Old Jan 10th, 2007, 06:26 AM
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Venice stinks. But if you wear a gas-mask and wave your arms above your head you should be OK.
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Old Jan 10th, 2007, 07:09 AM
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New York City stank two days ago: Theyíre blaming New Jersey for the stench. So, letís not pick on Venezia.
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Old Jan 10th, 2007, 11:09 AM
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How can it be an urban myth when I actually walked alongside a canal which was empty and being cleaned and I could smell a strong odor? We went into a restaurant nearby and could still smell it. It didn't taint my views of Venice which I love, buy my nose knows.
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Old Jan 10th, 2007, 12:57 PM
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Thanks, hdm. Restaurants were next on my list of memorable places to just spend time with a fine meal and a glass of wine, ogling the scenery. We'll be staying at La Saracina.
We were in France in September '05 and I would have returned this year but for the promise to accompany friends to Italy. Either way, you and I can't go wrong!
Judith
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Old Jan 10th, 2007, 01:01 PM
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My husband and I honeymooned in Venice in September and the weather was warm (after a long period of rain) and there was no smell. Venice is a exquisite gem of a city. You should not miss it. It really is one of the most romantic places on earth (even despite the tourists!)
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Old Jan 10th, 2007, 01:08 PM
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We were there last March and there was no smell at all.
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Old Jan 10th, 2007, 01:14 PM
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Muskoka,
I'm about to start planning our itinerary after Paris. Where did you go in France and what are your recommendations?
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