Tuesday, January 5, 2021

The Holiday Season's End, and A Coal-Worthy Decision

A last trace of the season chanced upon in Calle del Tentor


The holiday season officially ends in the wee hours of tomorrow with the visit of La Befana, the witch who leaves sweets for good children and coal for bad ones (she's reputed to do some housekeeping in some places, but we've had no such luck in our home). 

I've found myself looking forward to the end of the holiday season this year and have only just realized that it's because I've been looking forward to things in the city getting back to normal. But of course things won't get back to anything like normal: the shops and bars and restaurants and hotels that have been closed lately were not closed because of the holidays so they will not reopen when the holidays have passed. 

One group of institutions that could conceivably reopen on January 15, according to regulations formulated on the national level, will remain closed until April 1 because of decisions made on the local level in Venice, led by its mayor Luigi Brugnaro, who also happens to be the Vice-President of the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia which is directly responsible for the decision, as well as (and I laugh every time I think of this) the city's Councilor for Culture.  

The Venetian guide, cooking instructor and event coordinator (among other talents), Monica Cesarato, has posted an excellent piece on this decision and its ramifications for the city, its residents, and its standing in the larger world of culture that you can read here: "Venice 2021: All civic Museums closed till April!"

It's a piece well worth reading about a decision well deserving of any number of large sacks of coal for those responsible for it, and another example that when it comes to Venice's recently re-elected non-resident mayor, the historic city's residents are consistently among the very last of his concerns.


  1. I'm absolutely speechless!How terribly shortsighted. What about all the research, restoration and other work that goes on in museums? Just read the full article you mention, and - honestly, they must be mad or crooks! Makes no sense.

  2. So many times we can only be frustrated and angered by the terrible actions of Brugnaro. However this time, Ytali has started a petition, so that our voices can be heard. This is the post with instructions for signing: https://ytali.com/2021/01/03/this-is-how-culture-in-venice-is-killed-an-appeal-in-defense-of-the-city-museums/