Have you heard about the new (2012) film Venice Syndrome? A friend of mine (thanks, Skychick!) just sent me the trailer:
It’s a documentary telling the story of the real Death of Venice (no, not the Thomas Mann version), but the city that is dying as locals leave and tourists and foreign investors and cruise ships take over.
Some of this I believe. I’ve seen a number of my Venetian friends buy houses on the mainland because they can’t afford to buy in the city. In fact, come to think of it, most of my Venetian friends live on the mainland, while the expats I know live in Venice. Virtually everyone I know there works in the tourist industry. But the film website (www.venicesyndrome.com) claims that the markets and shops that sell everyday items are going out of business. I haven’t seen that; I still can get cheese from the cheese shop and eggs from the little market on Strada Nova if I don’t want to deal with the lines at Billa or toothpaste at the drugstore next to the gelato place by Campo Santa Sofia.
The trailer also says that whole neighborhoods consist of empty apartment buildings. I wonder if that’s true. When I walked many of the far reaches of Venice, as I tested out the walks for Seductive Venice, I saw people coming and going from work, carrying groceries, walking the dog. It seemed like people really lived there, and there were no tourists in sight in these places.
I’m looking forward to seeing the film and hope it plays in my area.
What are your experiences with this? I know the tourist hordes and cruise ships are an issue, but have you seen the things that the film maker is claiming?