"Vanishing Venice ..." NYT Article

Old Oct 1st, 2006, 08:37 AM
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"Vanishing Venice ..." NYT Article

An excellent article on the vanishing of the "real" Venice. When I was in Venice 2 weeks ago, it was like Disneyworld (of course, I was a part of the problem).

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/01/wo...6b&ei=5070
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Old Oct 1st, 2006, 08:48 AM
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You know, Gekko, when we were in Venice in 2000--for the first time--after a little while there, I was wondering why it felt familiar. I later realized that it *did* remind me of WDW, but in the good way!! No cars to ruin the experience of just taking it all in....I loved that aspect of it. But I am aware, like you, that I was a tourist and that life for the natives must be trying at times...
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Old Oct 1st, 2006, 08:49 AM
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PS--just looked at your link. It was nothing like that mob scene when we were there!!
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Old Oct 1st, 2006, 08:55 AM
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I've been to Venice twice. The first in March = nearly deserted. The second in May was busier, but not too bad, especially once away from Piazza San Marco. I would never go in summer.
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Old Oct 1st, 2006, 09:49 AM
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I read the article this moring in my car whilst I was having my morning coffee (I was clubbing until 8AM). Did you notice how fat those tourists in the photo were? No wonder Venice is sinking.

I am with you, Dayle, I would never again go to Venice during the summer. It is just too crazy. Go in February.
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Old Oct 1st, 2006, 10:08 AM
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Gekko,

I just saw Samantha Brown's (travel channel) show on Venice. In it, she comments that "Venitians" are becoming increasingly rare.

Interesting article. When I return to Venice (was there as a teen, many years ago), I plan to view it in terms of its historical significance... Here's a place that still looks much as it did 500 years ago (sans the tacky masks made in China amidst swarms of tourists, myself being one).
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Old Oct 1st, 2006, 10:47 AM
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As the article says, the number of central Venetian residents has dropped to only 62,000. The population of the metro area has also dropped.

When in Venice last month, I spoke with 2 residents, at the Hotel Cipriani. They were both wealthy, retired <i>New Yorkers</i> who paid to us the Cipriani's pool and spa services.
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Old Oct 1st, 2006, 10:55 AM
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paid to <i>use</i> ...

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Old Oct 1st, 2006, 12:34 PM
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we plan to be in Venice in mid-March 2007 and hope it won't be too crowded. In a way, I hope the weather will be cold and wet, perhaps that will keep the less hardy visitors down south...
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Old Oct 1st, 2006, 02:32 PM
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BTilke,
I have only been to Venice once and it was during March of this year. It was lovely and not crowded. We especially enjoyed St. Marks Square around 6pm on our last night. We had the pigeons pretty much to ourselves and got some fantastic pictures with them. You won't have that crowded Venetian experience that is written about so often. It always makes me realize that having to pack my warmer clothes was worth being in Italy off-season. During our two week stay, it only rained a couple of days. When I go back it will be in the Spring or Fall. Have a wonderful time.
Carol

P.S. In response to the mask bashing. I bought a beautiful mask at a shop where I was able to watch the artist/owner making them. If you enjoy the story behind the masks and you make sure to purchase from an actual artist, it can be a very nice item to bring home. Mine is understated, elegant and I like looking at it each time I pass by it in my living room. It takes me back to Venice It was one of many things that I purchased, but one of my favorites.
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Old Oct 1st, 2006, 09:23 PM
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CVerga,
Just to clarify, I was not &quot;mask bashing.&quot;
I was bashing cheap imports posing as the real thing. I think the artistry of the real Venetian masks is wonderful. Samantha Brown points out that many of the masks one sees in town are actually made in China to sell to tourists. That's what I was commenting on.

S
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Old Oct 1st, 2006, 10:30 PM
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My first time to Venice was in 1979. I've been back twice, the last time in 2004. A huge change over the years. In May 1979 it seemed residential, with few shops, few crowds, few people who spoke English, and menus written strictly in Italian. The last time I was there I was so disappointed in the graffiti. But I still love Venice, and I will return.

In addition to two masks, my prize souvenir is a little bambi with a butterfly on its rump that I watched a glassblower make in about two minutes. It cost a couple of dollars--I made very little money back then and it was all I could afford.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2006, 02:03 AM
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I really don't understand when people complain about Strada Nova, Rialto and Piazza San Marco being packed with people. What do people expect? It's the commercial area of the city! I live in one of the most uninteresting cities in the world, and downtown is always busy.

Anyway, the &quot;real Venice&quot; is around San Niccol&ograve; dei Mendicoli in Dorsoduro, San Pietro in Castello, Madonna dell'Orto in Cannaregio and San Giacomo dell'Orio in Santa Croce.

They're beautiful quiet areas with only a few locals hanging out. You certainly have the feeling that you are in a remote town that nobody knows about.
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