Venice. I love this city.
While I cannot exactly say that’s where I grew up (I didn’t go to school here, for example), I have enough family ties and Christmas memories to somewhat call it home.
I have seen it change, through the years, to become more tourist-oriented.
Yet, it still holds some secret quiet spots where to find relief from the crowd.
Yes, it is a very controversial place, where Venetians complain, yet open another ‘candy’ or souvenir store.
So, a blog article can only show a very limited percentage of this - and it would be far beyond my scope to explain it all, and get into the politics of what happens behind the scenes.
I want to, instead, focus on observations from my recent week there.
I decided to spend my week of holidays at home and, between the historic regata, the film festival and the biennale of architecture I have had a very culture filled one.
La regata storica (The historic regatta):
I was so surprised how this was kept so traditional. Strangely, however, many venetians consider it ‘just for the tourists’ but many tourists were completely unaware of what was happening on the canals and were, well, shopping instead! What a shame (?) . Result: not as many spectators as expected, still a lot but not an impossible-to-wade-through crowd. Good for us. Not sure for the regata’s future...
Have to admit: I didn’t catch any film at the actual lido, but watched some that caught my attention at the cinema nearby where they were screened the following day. The films I watched were definitely worth of a film festival, but I have heard the critics against some of the more ‘Hollywoodian’ ones...and then there is all of the costs that the film festival brings and while it does also brings some money in, the beneficiaries of this are limited, as breaks were not long enough to allow for money spending activities in the more central parts.. so who benefits from hosting these kind of events? For sure, not the citizens...
This year’s theme: free space. Sub-topic, sustainability. So interesting. Every country had a pavilion at one of the two locations (giardini or arsenale), and was very inspiring and mind spinning how the interpretation of this free space theme was very different between the different countries. But mostly, a general interpretation seemed to be that the space should be design to serve the people and the environment and be of multiple uses. Yet, in Italy in particular and in a city such as Venice even more, space can be limited and much of the space is dedicated to money. Money money money. Not for the citizens advantage but for the capitalistic system. And that more and more useful commercial activities and public palaces are getting shut down to leave space for restaurants, hotels and shops selling candies, masks and general ‘made in China’ objects. Controversial that exactly this was the city in which an exhibition about the free space was held....
Have you experienced similar things?
I'd like to hear...
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