Sunday, July 9, 2017

A Summer Sunday in Piazza San Marco, 4 Views



During the Venetian Republic the arcade pictured above running along the Piazzatta side of the Palazzo Ducale was known as the Broglio, "where", according to Robert C. Davis and Garry R. Marvin's book Venice: The Tourist Maze, "the Republic's patriciate gathered to promenade, make legislative deals, and sell their votes to the highest bidder." By the 1950s and 1960s, the same authors note, it had become a primary setting for the traditional Venetian evening stroll (called the listòn in Venetian, the passegiatta in Italian). For the last half century, though, it, like the rest of the Piazza San Marco area, has belonged to tourists, offering some all-too-rare public seating for the footsore, weary, or heat-stricken.  


  1. Replies
    1. There are any number of things to be sad about in Venice, Jon, but everything above is pretty much as it's been for decades--and, in fact, on the days I took these shots, it was less crowded in the Piazza than I'd expected. The line to get into the basilica was crazy, which is nothing new, but there weren't any visitors, say, scaling the facade of the Palazzo Ducale or urinating in trash cans or anything like that. If this was the worst of it, it wouldn't be so bad at all. Alas, it's not the worst of it!

  2. I'm glad you're so positive Steven. But I pretty much think that this jet-age and cruises massive tourist invasion is not comparable with other break points in this city's tourist industry. It is far more viral than the last two, the eighteen hundreds arrival by train and the 1900 arrival of modern car.
    But then again, I am a tourist too...

    1. Alas, I rarely feel at all positive about tourism in Venice, Jon, but it's nice of you to give me credit for being so-- at the very least it's a change from how I might usually be characterized! I was just pleasantly surprised on those particular days that it wasn't at those moments as hellish as it often is, though in truth it was hellish enough. To really induce despair I would have posted other images--for example, from pretty much any day on the Rialto Bridge. THAT is something you really don't want to see.

      (I recently read an interview with Donna Leon who, I just discovered, moved out of Venice 3 years ago [only returning for one week a month while], and she specifically cites the crowding on the Rialto Bridge as being one of the experiences that finally convinced her she couldn't bear it anymore.)

  3. Meanwile, in Copenhagen: Homes in the Dutch capital are automatically removed from Airbnb’s site if they are rented out for more than 60 days per year.