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Very well said! The history of Venice as a city-state as well as its physical location makes it seem so remote from the rest of Italy, an entity unto itself. One wonders about the native Venetians as well; how is life in a city where so much of the population is transient? Where so much of the real estate is reserved for visiting foreigners, the rents must be sky-high. Besides, the local economy depends on tourists to visit the restaurants and buy from the shops, so it cannot be easy to distance oneself so completely. Whether - and how often - they take advantage of the city's cultural wealth is also a fascinating question; surely it is taught in school, but probably becomes mundane in adulthood.So much to be said about Venice still! I loved how the extraordinary becomes commonplace: water-taxis and police-boats and cargo-boats offloading crates of Coca-Cola and sacks of flour like it was the most normal thing in the world. As someone who never learned to swim and has a healthy fear of water, the whole concept of a city with canals for roads is unnerving and yet so compelling and beautiful when you actually see it.Completely agree about the decay as well - it is a bit shocking at first, but you come to appreciate the poetry and history in it.
Your experience of the city is similar to my own. I went out early and watched them set up the big market so I got to see natives interacting. I was also 3 months from my degree in urban studies so from that perspective I felt it worked as a city and an aesthetic whole because of a powerful central authority exercising tight controls, both at the time of construction with a single vision, and now controls over changes.
Adwoa, it must indeed then be very odd for you to walk around Venice... with all that water everywhre! I do hear that lots of the natives are fleeing because of that continual tourism; it must be tiring to live with, and you have to separate yourself from it because otherwise you'd go insane. Notagain - must be great to study urban design or similar in Venice! I was thinking maybe there's a very strict system in place that doesn't allow anyone to tear anything down. Or build something new. You Must Let It Decay. Prop it up, let it all hang, but Nothing New. Old is better. It's almost unusual...And yes, there is still so much to say. I also wanted to bang on about what other writers have thought of it (the city attracts writers somehow). From Goethe to Byron to even William Gibson, who (I think in Idoru) wrote about a Virtual Venice app. I love that concept.Also, when I wrote 'scooters' above, I meant to say scooters and *cars*. Any city without cars is an anomaly these days, and should be celebrated thus.
Really enjoyed this post. I plan to be one of the tourist hoards to Venice in the next few years and this gave me a thoughtful perspective.
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