Blighted by over-tourism, devastating floods and the COVID-19 pandemic – but look at this charming city now!
It’s been a turbulent time for Venice in the last year. This charming holiday hotspot much loved for its romantic gondolas, compelling culture and historical architecture attracted tourists in droves for years.
Overtourism took its toll stealing some of the local allure and the city was looking for ways to trim the tourist numbers. This included banning the opening of new “kebab” shops, making it harder for cruise ships to dock and even implemented a tourist tax. To no avail.
Then nature made it happen. In mid-November 2019, the city saw its highest water levels since 1966, causing devastation. On December 23, Venice was struck by another water surge that damaged landmarks and shops in the heart of the city. Water levels reached 74.4” nearly as much as the epic 76.4″ reached in 1966. The town was in a state of emergency with a bill for $1.1 billion for restoration.
Just as Venice began to recover her charm and beauty COVID-19.nade sure there was no one to enjoy the subdued allure of Marks Square, the sparkling, pristine but still canal waters, or the gorgeous sun-dappled architecture emerging from the water in stillness and hush.
Exploring Venice virtually
The good news is that you can see it – virtually – and in all its glory with this sensational “I love you Venice” rolling cam. Seen like this you can get a sense of why the city has for centuries been known as “La Serenissima”, The Most Serene.
Venice, ‘La Serenissima’, at last
A 360 VR guided tour of Venice, by gondola
If you have around 20 minutes to spare, you can join this sensational 360-degree tour of Venice courtesy of Technology entrepreneurs Geneeo.
This virtual tour is interactive so drag the video for 360-degree views as the gondola steered by a stipped-Tshirt clad gondolier, manoeuvers past St Mark’s Square and under the Bridge of Sighs.
There are whispers that the authorities in Venice are asking whether or not it wants tourists to return. Who can blame them?
Simone Venturni.Mayor of Venice said, “This will be an opportunity to move towards intelligent tourism”. It’s a difficult decision to make when so many rely on tourism for their livelihood. But for now, Venice belongs to the Venetians.