National Geographic : 2009 Aug
• 0mi 1/4 0km 1/4 San Marco Basin GRAND CANAL GRAND CANAL GIUDECCA CANAL SACCA FISOLA TRONCHETTO SACCA SAN BIAGIO ISOLA DI SAN GIORGIO GIUDECCA DORSODURO SAN MARCO CANNAREGIO SAN POLO SANTA CROCE PIAZZA SAN MARCO Correr Museum CAMPO SAN PROVOLO CALLE DELLE CARROZZE CAMPIELLO DEI MORTI CAMPO SAN FILIPPO E GIACOMO CAMPO SANTA MARGHERITA RIALTO BRIDGE San Giorgio Maggiore Doge's Palace SANTA LUCIA RAILWAY STATION PIAZZALE ROMA (PARKING) PONTE SAN GIOVANNI CRISOSTOMO (BRIDGE OF TOYS) PIAZZETTA SAN MARCO Palazzo Nani To Mestre 4.3 mi (7 km) " e city is consumed by tourism," says Sal- vadori, seated in his o ce in the 16th-century Palazzo Contarini Mocenigo. "What do Vene- tians get in exchange?" A frown as his brow plummets. "Services are strained. During part of the year Venetians cannot elbow their way onto public transportation. e cost of garbage collection increases; so does the price of living." Does it ever, particularly when it comes to resi- dential property. A 1999 law that eased regula- tions on the conversion of residential buildings to tourist accommodations exacerbated an ongoing housing shortage. Meanwhile, the number of hotels and guesthouses since 1999 has increased by 600 percent. " ," Salvadori says, "we put a city tax on hotels and restaurants. ey say tourists will not come---but I say, tourists won t come for a few euros?" He glares. "I cannot be worried about hotels. I have to think of the Venetians. My battle is for the city. Because Venice"---his voice softens, he touches his chest---"is my heart." Tourism has been part of the Venetian land- scape since the 14th century, when pilgrims stopped en route to the Holy Land. With the Reformation of the 1500s, tourism lagged, but regained momentum in the 17th century as upper-class Europeans, intent on acquiring the ne sheen of cultural experience, embarked on a "grand tour." So, what s so di erent about tourism now? I ask Ortalli, a er he has settled into his o ce. "Yes, there was the grand tour," he replies. "But then people were invested in hospitality. Now, Venice gets giant cruise ships. e ship is ten stories high. You can t understand Venice from VIRGINIA W. MASON, NG STAFF SOURCES: CITY OF VENICE; FORMA URBIS; PROVINCE OF VENICE TOURISM SERVICE Tronchetto, an artificial island made of dredged canal mud, serves as a parking lot for traffic from the mainland.