Monday, August 29, 2016

Postcard from Lake Como

We've been in a quiet town on Lake Como for the past week and return to Venice later today. During the time we've been away, here are some of the things that have happened in Venice (in no particular order):

It was reported that the latest test of the multi-billion euro flood gates (known by the acronym MOSE), which are supposed to "save" the city, was a complete disaster. Having only discovered in the past year that sea water actually contains salt (who knew?), the crack team of thieves engineers at Consorzio Venezia Nuovo still haven't found a way of preventing it, along with all the other things that are known to be in the sea (by everyone other than themselves, it seems), from fouling the barriers' operation...

Two young tourists (one English, one American)--the latest in a very long line of tourists gone wild--were arrested for stealing a gondola. This, just a few days after a young woman was photographed defecating in broad daylight into the water in front of Palazzo Ducale...

While Italy's flags are at half-mast for the earthquake victims in Umbria, and the Venice Film Festival, out of respect for them, has cancelled its usual gala dinner, Venice "first citizen", Mayor Luigi Brugnaro, was photographed partying at a big bash at the city casino...

Ah, "Romantic" Venice...


  1. Steve....You have nothing on us for true disrespect:

    1. I'm sorry I only just discovered your comment, and now the link doesn't work. Alas, I'm afraid there's plenty of disrespect to go around everywhere.

  2. Taking that picture of that woman and publishing it is as shameless as her behaviour. I am shocked by both. But maybe the woman was seriously in neediness because of a dysentery problem as a result of unaccustomed food in Venice... or what ever. And maybe she thought it the cleanest possibility to use the canal. How would one know? Careful with denunciations!

    Btw: (Aug. 30) (Aug. 27)

    1. Well, yes, publishing the pic was shameless, as was taking it--though in both cases the perpetrators would probably say it was the most compelling proof of the seriousness of the problem. Do you believe this? I don't know...

      But if she had bowel issues she (as I believe tourists used to do) could have purchased something in one of the many nearby bars or restaurants in the area and used their restrooms. Yes, it would cost her money (a euro or two for an espresso?)--but, as things now stand, if you really want to avoid spending any money at all, Venice is probably not the place you should visit.

      And, as things now stand, if Venice and its fine mayor are content with the crowds, then they have the responsibility of creating more public restroom facilities. The few that they now have, cost €1.50--for example, near the post office near the Museo Correr--but they are few and far between.

      So, yes, while I think that a good share of the outrage about tourist misbehavior owes its vehemence to a desire to cover up the city's own complicity in the behavior, I can't justify defecating in the canal or urinating in the street. If you are visitor who can afford to travel to a place like Venice, you can afford to pay the relatively small price it may unfortunately cost at present to relive yourself. I'm unaware of any "hard luck stories" who wash up on the shores of Venice by accident.