There’s no place on earth quite the same as Venice and you can almost hear the city breathing a sigh of relief at that fact because without it they’d be in serious do-do.
There’s no doubt this used to be a magnificent city but I have to wonder what it has become. A victim of it’s own success perhaps? I have no idea how much money has been poured into “saving Venice” but it’s either not enough, has been badly spent or targeted at the wrong projects.
Don’t get me wrong, the place is full of atmosphere and history, oodles of it. It is still a “must see before you die” kind of place but if you tune out the ‘magic’ what you are left with is an overcrowded, run down, dirty, inconvenient, at times rude and always expensive Italian tourist trap. Surely there will come a time when people see it for what it is and those visitor numbers start to seriously nose-dive.
What it badly needs is some serious competition, but it doesn’t have any and never will. So as long as the tourists come in their millions each year, no matter what, then what incentive is their for the merchants of Venice to clean the streets, lower the prices, clean the graffiti off the Rialto bridge or any of the other improvements this place is in need of before you can compare it to other resorts around the world?
We visited Murano today, another place living off past glory. There are not many things I hate more than slimy, pushy (desperate almost) salesmen who also manage to get across the message that you’re wasting their precious time but Murano is full of them. Second on my hate list and also abundant in Murano is the system of marking items with high price tickets and then blowing discounts up your arse. “Just tell me what the final price is and them push off, slimeball!”. They need to cut their prices by at least 30% before the value equation makes any sense at all. A tiny, pathetic ashtray size plate for €40, a giant chandelier for €100,000+, none of them worth buying. We saw two “busts” we liked, about 50cm high perhaps, ticket price was something like €7,000 for the pair but Mr Slimebucket got down to half of that without us saying a word! Still three times the right price so we left him to terrorise some Japanese tourists instead.
The nearby island of Burano is a little more down to earth. Couple of pictures from there below.
Last full day here tomorrow, we need to do the Fenice and a lot more hot and sweaty walking around. Looking forward to lake Como.