Venice is one of the most visited places in Italy, as tourists flock to see its famous canals. Every day, thousands of passengers disembark from cruise ships to take in St Mark’s Square, the Doges Palace, and the Rialto Bridge. These are short-stay visits, often only a matter of hours, just time to take a few photos, enjoy a gondola ride and buy some souvenirs. These lightning halts often leave visitors disappointed that they didn’t discover the romantic Venice they had imagined.
But the tourists are not the only ones dissatisfied. The Venitians themselves are paying a high price for mass tourism. With this continuous flow of visitors, the residents feel they have been dispossessed of their city, which sometimes seems more like a giant theme park. Living conditions are becoming increasingly difficult due to pollution, traffic gridlock at the entry points to the city, dangerous boat traffic on the Grand Canal, noise pollution, and so on. In the past half-century, the city has lost some 50,000 inhabitants.
This documentary takes us to the heart of the problem, which some experts think is set to continue. At this rate, the whole city could soon be emptied of its population. What is daily life really like for those Venetians who have decided to remain? What is the price for saving their city from the economic, environmental and sociological disaster that hangs over them?
Directed by: Linda Bengali
Genre: Investigation & Politics
Available versions: French, English