It’s time for my annual what to see and do in Venice.
However this year, I am a little afraid to recommend my favorite places given the behavior of recent tourist. I love sharing what I have learned in 20+ years of working in Venice, but I fear some of these hooligans would turn up in my favorite spots to bath or who knows what, having searched on google for what to do in Venice, as I am sure they all have a smart phone attached to their body.
Just their manners and upbringing are missing. So I am limiting it to WHAT NOT TO DO in Venice in pictoral form!
Drawing Room of Europe
It is not hard to understand why the Venetians tire of so many people invading their city (30 Million in 2015). A city that was described as the “drawing room” of Europe is being turned into the bedroom and bathroom for the “maleducated” the rude, ill-mannered people. Maybe I yearn for the days of the “Grand Tour” when the world sent their young adults around Europe to be schooled in art, history and the finer things of life. (I was never one of those elite – I just think it would have been fabulous!)
You’ll have to run the gauntlet to get over this bridge. And they are missing the finest part of Italy – it’s food and wine! I often eat a panino (sandwich) and have a glass of wine which cost all less than 5 Euro – And I get to enjoy it in my favorite bar not sitting on the steps of a bridge, maybe read the local newspaper – or watch sports on TV. So I am not forgiving them that this take out is cheaper! And certainly not that it is better!
Yes Venice is an expensive town for a hotel room. But this is not the answer, try the youth hostels. Use that cell phone for “couch surfing” or AirBnB or?? Better planning is the answer! Take a night train to anywhere, it has bathrooms and you can sleep in relative safety. But actually it is far safer here on the streets of Venice than almost any place else. But it certainly does not make the Venetians feel safe when they must tiptoe over these sleeping beauties to get to the grocery store or to their local cafe for the time honored cappuccino.
After a good night’s sleep, well you certainly want a bath, and where better than in Piazza San Marco? This was the scene this week. The other tourist seem to be oblivious of intruding into his royal bath. Make no mistake, he is absolutely in San Marco Square – not in some hidden space. Where is the Council of Ten when we need them?
But well what would you say if you walked out into the main square of your neighborhood and found someone bathing?
I certainly never yearn for the days when grown men take a bath in San Marco Square or pull our their sleeping bags on Strada Nuova. Or break the windows in a clothing shop in San Lio to steal armfuls of clothing. If you recognize any of these people feel free to forward their wonderful pictures to them (or preferably their parents)….from their Venetian experience.
Relief is on the Way: Separate Vaporetto Boarding Lines:
One of the most often heard complaints are from locals who can’t get on the vaporetto to get to work, school, hospital, grocery store, baby sitter (you know the places you usually drive to – well they have to take the boat. But tourist who have no idea where they are going stand in the platform blocking access while the vaporetto motors away. One of the things I learned very early on about Venetians: They are punctual! They know exactly when the vaporetti will arrive and depart for every stop in Venice. I have a hard time calculating how long it will take me to get from my apartment to the boat stop – Venetians know in split seconds!
At least Venice is attempting to make it a little less burdensome on the locals with new boarding lines for locals, pendolari (commuters who work daily in the city), students and disabled. These special lines will be available only in the higher traffic vaporetto stops, but should relieve the problem of locals unable to enter the vaporetto because tourist are jammed at the platform. Once pass the entrance, everyone will still be on the same vaporetto.
Reserved Seating on Vaporetto
NOTE: The first rows in any vaporetto are designed for handicapped, elderly, mothers with babies….remember your manners and give up these seats when one of these come on board.
…Summer is to be endured in Venice.