sienamystic: (Venice)
Well, she said, I'm back.

I've been back a little over a week. The trip was pretty great, went differently than I expected (but don't they always?), and seemed to pass so quickly that I'm vaguely startled that I have proof that I actually was there, and I'm already wondering how and when I can get back.

I keep thinking that lots of stuff has changed, but I don't know if that's true or not. English certainly is more present there. 15 years ago, I think even in the big cities you encountered people with little to no English, and here it was just everywhere. My scant handful of Italian helped on a few occasions, but most of the people we encountered spoke English that was lightyears ahead of my Italian.

There seemed to be more street vendors - or maybe my frustration at having to decline the purchase of a selfie stick every five minutes just made it feel that way. There were moments that I was just worn out by them. There also were just as many people there - if not more - as in the height of July, which surprised me. I suppose everyone's figured out that if you can visit when the weather is a little cooler, you should do it. Venice was particularly overstuffed, even past the "well of course Venice is crowded standards (partly by, I think, some Italian tourists there for a breast cancer awareness group parade) and because of how things worked out we didn't get to push past the main streets and off into the more appealing less populated zones. I think my sister was a bit shocked by the graffiti we found everywhere (and perhaps it just looks more startling in elegant Venice) but you also get the impression that Venice is really struggling to keep up against the tide of tourists and their trash. I know there are concerns with turning Venice into some sort of artificial Disneyland by limiting the amount of tourists permitted per day, but let's just say that I have different feelings now than I had previously.

So. Lots of photos below. )

I think I'll post this and then do Florence, Perugia and Rome in another entry.
sienamystic: (skeleton)
A sculptor from Venice during the High Renaissance.

Tullio Lombardo, sculpture of a warrior saint

Sculpture of a Warrior Saint

detail, Tullio Lombardo sculpture

I love his lion armor.
sienamystic: (Venice)
What do you do when a city is so alluring to the entire world that it becomes nearly unlivable for its own citizens? When a city is beautiful, appealing, ready to accept tourists without hesitation, and yet is so fragile that the same tourists that are its lifeblood are also destroying it?

The Venetian Dilemma, a film by two Americans who also live in Venice, poses this question, and provides some insight into both sides of the coin by letting Venetians speak for themselves. We hear from a tough-minded graphic designer who crusades for child care, an older writer who runs a group that petitions the mayor to enforce boat speed limits (heavy backwash from propellers is literally eating away at the foundations of the buildings), a fruit and vegetable vendor fighting to keep his stall in the same campowhere it has been since the 1950s, despite heavy pressure from the government to have it demolished, and finally, a representative of City Hall itself, a charming and well-spoken man who thinks that the solution to many of Venice's problems is a high-speed underwater metro and new convention center.
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La Bella Serenissima )


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January 2017

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