In defence of Venice tourism
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Wednesday, October 18, 2017
By James Fraser Photography
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In Venice in July I recognised the dismay many have for the scrum that is often St Mark's Square, the Basilica, Doge's Palace and the Rialto Bridge. Venice is rightly a huge magnet for world tourism but I sense a whiff of elitism in the critics of mass tourism to compete in the nostrils with some of the city's backwater canals. Even in July, you can easily find hidden Venice - empty, historic, beautiful piazza, like Campo San Polo, Venice's second largest square, a 15 minute stroll from high season mayhem in St Mark's Square.
Try lunch there for €15 euros including wine. Or the the many small bacari bars offering cicchetti, Venetian tapas for €2 euros a piece.
Explore Dorsoduro, Cannaregio, the Lido or dreamy Murano, a 15 minute waterbus ride from St Mark's.Or better still, go in November or March. Are we suggesting that Venice traders put up their prices to deter the riff-raff? Hope not.We'd just bring sandwiches and drinks in our rucksacks.Is Venice a city to be enjoyed by only those wealthy elites swooning over Byzantine stone carvings with a bottle of Giacomo Conterno Monfortino, Barolo Reserve (1978)? Hope not. The MOSE tidal protection barrier will be completed next year and will go a long way to defend Venice's foundations. The cruise industry has been limited, but not banned. Yes - protect Venice, not for the few, but for the many. Ps...Never had to queue for The Louvre?

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