Venice – The City With No Locals

My parents took me to Venice during the summer of 2012 to celebrate my 25th birthday. I was living in the U.K. at that time and in the thick of working on my dissertation — so it was a very welcome birthday trip. I was only there for a few days and unfortunately was so caught up in just walking around and sight seeing that I didn’t get a chance to get off the beaten path too much. But, this is what I took away…

Venice is truly as beautiful as advertised in every vintage poster or postcard you have ever seen. There is absolutely no other place like it. As many of you probably know, there are no roads in the historic part of Venice. If you need to get somewhere you can hop on a water taxi or a water bus (yes, they exist and they have routes).

The city of Venice is literally a city full of tourists. People from all over the world clamor to Venice for it’s unique beauty. Also, I feel like there might be some urgency to people wanting to see Venice as it’s a sinking city that won’t necessarily stand the test of time. As Venice is a city of tourists, it doesn’t really have locals. The Italians you see working there don’t actually live in the historic part of Venice. It’s just too expensive.

A friend and course mate of mine is Venezian and he was back in Venice when I visited. I met up with him and his girlfriend in the city one night and they explained that outside of the Venice I knew was a Venice with actual roads and cars.  The “locals” don’t live in the main part of the city but they work there in the thriving tourism trade selling Murano glass and Venecian carnival masks or running shops and working in restaurants. Tourism is an old trade in Venice — it’s probably one of the oldest tourist attractions in the world and people have been coming to marvel at it for centuries. And it’s no wonder why…


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