mass tourism Venice 2

Mass Tourism in Venice, 2



tour heritage frequent (2)
bridge can’t help square (2)
give up overrun locksmith
guide dilemma upholstery
alive counter- seek/sought/sought
steer navigate troubled waters (2)
survive conduct present (3)
district attention draw attention
rent cross (2) draw/drew/drawn (2)
decline hot topic rise/rose/risen
decide propeller move away
full of gradually seek/sought/sought
local backdrop carpenter
wound onslaught bookbinder
repair trade (2) prosperous
pride mattress all that’s left
lagoon provoke tourist trap
trip churn up pay/paid/paid
pose flood (2) cruise ship
cruise outraged day-tripper
effect consider foundation
vessel welfare craftspeople
piston threaten fishmonger
clay subsoil produce (2)
silt pile (2) wash away
palace charming initiative (2)
go by prevent even more
canal level (2) sink/sank/sunk
invest eat away rise/rose/risen
bridge wonder foundation
port authority displacement
fear ram (2) terminal (2)
chance reassure keep reassuring
fume resistance grow/grew/grown
release exhaust eventually
air overrun on the right course
worth seek out corporation
port trap (2) operate (2)
radical strategy counter (3)
full up paradox the time has come
stay sacrifice feel/felt/felt
reduce figure (3) reasonable







Every time tour guide Paulo Patuzzo crosses the Rialto Bridge, he can’t help but wonder where did his charming city go — the one that’s now overrun with millions of tourists.

How can Venice protect itself from the onslaught of visitors?

He’s sure this piece of world cultural heritage won’t survive as a photo backdrop alone.

Paulo Patuzzo, Tourist Guide: “My love for this city makes me seek out places and people who are keeping Venice alive. Because there are enough people counter-steering, and navigating the city into troubled waters.”

Like most Venetians, Paulo lives from tourism, which presents him with a dilemma: he now conducts special tours to draw attention to the city’s problems, like in his own district, where rents are rising as flats are being used as holiday homes.

More and more Venetians are moving away.

At the bar Paulo frequents, Venice’s decline is a hot topic.

Ettore Silvestri, Upholsterer: “Twenty years ago, the city was full of craftspeople who produced things for the local people: upholsterers, carpenters, locksmiths, bookbinders — they’re all gone!

Today, no one makes mattresses or repairs shoes anymore.

And that’s wounded Venetians’s pride. Is this all that’s left of their once so prosperous trading city?

Paulo shows us the Mercado de Rialto, the old fish and vegetable market, now it’s just a tourist trap. Venice has become a city in which few people actually live.

Paulo Patuzzo, Tourist Guide: “Here there are more tourists taking photos than paying customers. That provokes people, which is why a few fishmongers are considering asking for money to pose for photos in front of this tourist backdrop.”

The cruise ships are also a huge problem. Activist Stefano Micheletti is outraged. Not only do these huge vessels flood the city with day-trippers, they’re also threatening the lagoon city’s very foundations.

Stefano Micheletti, No Big Ships Campaign: “The big ships’ propellers have a piston effect. They churn up all the subsoil, clay and silt from the lagoon are gradually washed into the open sea.”

As a result, Venice, a city built on wooden piles, is slowly sinking — and could eventually be completely underwater.

But Micheletti isn’t giving up: his citizen’s initiative has managed to prevent even more cruise ships from coming into Venice.

Stefano Micheletti, No Big Ships Campaign: “When a ship like that goes by, the water level in the nearby canals sinks by around twenty centimeters and then rises again right afterwards due to the displacement. This hugely powerful force eats away at the foundations of the palaces, churches and bridges.”

But not everyone in Venice is happy about Micheletti’s initiative. The port authorities invested millions of euros in modern cruise terminals. Now due to the success of the protests, only half of them can be used.

Galliano Di Marco, Venice Passenger Terminal Managing Director: “For four years, we’ve been listening to these fears that our ships could even ram into Venice.

I can only keep reassuring people, even with the biggest ships, the chances of that happening are zero.”

So the industry is still fighting to keep the huge ships cruising by St. Mark’s Square. It’s a business worth millions.

But resistance is growing, also due to the exhaust fumes the ships release into the air. More and more Venetians feel their city is not on the right course.

Stefano Micheletti, No Big Ships Campaign: “So far, big construction projects have been decided by the corporations operating the port in the airport. It’s only about growth, ever bigger, ever more.

As for the city’s welfare, there’s no strategy, whatsoever.”

That makes Paulo Patuzzo both angry and sad. Each year, Venice’s fifty-five thousand residents are overrun by thirty-million tourists. Many think the time has come for radical counterstrategies.

Stefano Micheletti, No Big Ships Campaign: : “It’s paradoxical, but the best tourists for Venice is the one who stays at home. We’re more than full up with more than thirty-million visitors a year.”

It’s clear something must be done to reduce the number of visitors to a reasonable figure. But for that to happen, Venetians will need to sacrifice some tourist dollars to save their beloved city.



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1. Some Venetians believe there too many tourists in their city. True or false?

2. Is the local Venetian population increasing, decreasing or staying the same?

3. There is a dilemma or paradox for locals. Is this right or wrong? What is their paradox or dilemma?

4. Has Venice always been like this or has it changed over the decades? How has it changed?

5. Do the visitors spend lots of money in Venetian restaurants and shops?

6. What is the other (bigger) “problem” for Venice? Why is it considered a serious problem?

7. Does everyone agree that Venice has serious problems?

8. Is there a solution for Venice?


A. I have visited Venice. Yes or no? Have your friends visited Venice?

B. Do all your friends, colleagues and neighbors want to visit Venice?

C. Are there tourist hot-spots in your city or country? Is it very famous? Do many tourists go there?

D. Is tourism good or bad? Is mass tourism entirely positive, mostly good, good and bad, in the middle, so-so, most negative or totally negative?

E. What might happen in the future?

F. Should anything be gone about (mass) tourism? What should people and governments do?

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