The Leaning Tower of Pisa is slowly losing its lean


The Leaning Tower of Pisa is slowly losing its lean

  The Leaning Tower of Pisa is now stable and has even straightened slightly thanks to engineering work to save the world-renowned tourist attraction, experts said on Wednesday.

The tower’s Surveillance Group, set up to monitor restoration progress, said in a statement that after 17 years of observation “the Tower of Pisa is stable and very slowly reducing its lean”.

Engineering Professor Nunziante Squeglia of Pisa University said that the 57-metre monument had straightened by four centimetres, Italian media reported.


Photo: Giulio Napolitano/AFP

The so-called Surveillance Group was set up after Michele Jamiolkowski, an engineer of Polish origin who adopted Italian nationality, coordinated an international committee to rescue the landmark between 1993 and 2001.

The Tower was closed to the public in January 1990 for 11 years over safety fears, as its tilt reached 4.5 meters from the vertical. It has since been straightened by more than 40 centimetres.

The medieval tower, a symbol of the power of the maritime republic of Pisa in the Middle Ages, has leaned to one side ever since building started in 1173. 

Advertisements

Italy: Beautiful seaside towns where tourists don’t tread


Santa Cesarea Terme on Puglia’s Adriatic coast boasts great beaches, explorable sea caves and naturally occurring hot springs.

        The seaside town of Sperlonga in south Lazio has been the getaway of choice for those in the know since antiquity. It’s easy to see why.

The resort of Stintino in northern Sardinia is an enchanting old fishing village home to some of the island’s best sandy beaches.

Termoli on Molise’s beautiful Adriatic coast is practically unknown outside Italy and a great place to go to avoid tourists!

Facing the Tyrrhenian Sea on the coast of Calabria the town of Tropea boasts, sun, sea, sand and everybody’s favourite spicy sausage – ‘Nduja!

The colorful town of Santa Margherita Ligure on the Ligurian riviera is the perfect place to spend a few peaceful days.

The stunning town of Bordighera on the Ligurian coast is where the Maritime Alps plunge into the sea.
The picture-postcard town of Cefalù in Sicily is home to unique Arab-Norman architecture, azzure waters and golden beaches.
The resting place of Renaissance master Caravaggio, Porto Ercole, on the southern coast of Tuscany offers secluded beaches and pristine waters.
The little-known town of Numana on the Adriatic coast of Marche is perfect for those seeking sea air and tranquility.
From The Local/Italy

Dear, Canada, Britain, France, Mexico, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Nigeria, Argentina,Japan, New Zealand and the rest of the world.


Dear, Canada, Britain, France, Mexico, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Nigeria, Argentina,Japan, New Zealand and the rest of the world,

Despite what you read and see on television. America and Americans haven’t lost our minds or our way.  We realize you are bombarded with negative sounds and images emanating from our great nation, leaving the impression we aren’t the welcoming nation we once were.

These aren’t the best of times for the United States

Our current President, businessman with no experience on the world stage    Who in short time, has become the President his competitors warned us about during our presidential primary.

He is easily played.   Compliment him and you’re in.  In his mind, he is always successful.

Like you, most Americans are in a constant state of shock .  Many Americans are overwhelmed by the amount of negative and often destructive news emanating from the White House.

Just when we think our President has reached bottom, he finds a way to go even lower.  He has insulted our neighbors ,Canada and Mexico.  Damaging long-term relationships with our Allies and forging relationships with enemies of our nations.    He is impulsive, and often acts without council and doesn’t fully understand protocol.

Most Americans (not all) are frankly embarrassed.

Its seems, by the hour he is dismantling, environmental laws in favor of business.  Relaxing and reversing laws that benefit the poor, laws that once protected women, members of the gay communities and people or color.

 Two America’s

This picture taken last Thursday in Montana,  gives the impression that Americans  overwhelmingly support the President and his policies.   The reality is far from the truth.  Look at the participants in this photo.  They are good Americans, however they do not represent the majority of Americans.

Donald TrumpImage result for president obama crowd

Compare this picture to the one above.  The participants represent the real landscape of America.

Donald Trump rarely travels beyond his fan base.  Our great cities  with their diverse populations, New York, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco,or Honolulu are not on his itinerary.

At these rallies, the Real Estate business man and Reality Television personality  is energized by his fan base.  Where he seems more comedian than politician, here in a friendly enviroment is where he is the happiest, places where he feels loved.

 His words and global intentions, are often designed to keep this narrow base happy.   Our Commander-in-Chief, goes his own way, he doesn’t like to be told what to do.  He oftens ignores the advice of those with decades of experience in global affairs, to spout conclusions that is loosely based on facts.   Which often confuses and angers our allies and friends around the world

He has often said, he and he alone have the answers to the worlds issues.  The Tariffs he is levying on our friends and neighbors and China, does not have the support from most Americans.   Politicians in both parties and the business community and yet he continues.

In Montana, he made fun of the #MeToo movement.  He insulted our war hero’s, Senator John McCain and former President Herbert Walker Bush, who are highly regarded members of his political party.  Both of these men are ill, one is terminally .

In the United States, he has always been a bit of a social media bully, who often acts differently when in the presence of the people he’s attacked.

While he insists upon loyalty, he hasn’t demonstrated any loyalties to anyone including those he appointed and placed in positions of power.

I have lived in the United States  my entire life.  When one group is attack , we react!    Many Americans are currently outraged by the treatment of children, who were stripped from their parents.  Simply to intimidate those who want to immigrate to the United States.  This has never been a policy of America to separate families.  Again, this was done to appeal to some of the  Presidents supporters, many of whom have long wanted to limited the number of  individuals immigrating from south of our Border.

Many of family members and friends who live outside the United States often asked ,how was he elected?   I believe the fault lies with our leaders. 

The day Donald Trump announced he was running for President and then went on to insult Mexican American and citizens of Mexico.  There was no major outrage from either party.

In 1968, George Wallace the former Governor of Alabama ran for President.   Wallace supported segregation and was outraged by the Passing of the Civil Rights Legislation.  The Governor stood at the entrance of the University of Alabama to prevent a black student from enrolling .

Forty eight years later, both parties were relatively silent.  Presidential candidate and former Governor of Florida, (Father George HW, and his brother George W,  were both Presidents of the United States)  Jeb Bush, whose wife is Mexican American, and has three bi-racial children and other bi-racial family members  wasn’t outraged enough to speak against Trump.    Not one candidate from either party, went in from of the Cameras and screamed “The statement made by Donald Trump goes against everything that America is!  They were all playing politics.   There was an assumption, Donald Trump would never be elected president.

Today, most members of the Republican party remains silent.  Unlike most of the world, the United States, has primary elections then ,General Election in November.   In the majority of the states.  Members of a party can only vote for members of their party in the primary election.  Only in the General Election can citizens vote for any candidate.

Because of our electoral system, and Donald Trump’s current popularity in his party. members of his party is choosing him over party and country.   To criticize him could mean losing in the primary.    While his actions go against many tenets of the Republican party and against many conservative views of the party.   Most Republican bite their teeth and support the President even though his views and actions are not only damaging to the Republican Party and the United States, it’s having a negative effect on our friends and allies.

His insistence in meeting in Vladimir Putin is a slap in the face to Prime minister May  after several Russian based poisonings in the United Kingdom.

If the Russians intent was to destabilize the Western Alliance by meddling in the US election then they were successful.  Our friends very concerned.  Nothing would make Putin happier than a dismantled Nato.

The majority of his party are afraid to speak out against him  because they need to survive the primary .  Even though his practices conflicts with the party and is damaging to the country.  The few member of his party who are critical of him and his policies are not running for re-election.

There is a bright high!     After the initial shock and disappointment,followed by proposed ban on Muslim immigrants.   Americans are angry!   People are all walks of live are getting involved , in numbers we haven’t seen since the 1960’s

The challenge, unlike the 60’s, it’s not just the Vietnam war,  it’s not just civil rights.   There are so many issues,created by this president we are overwhelmed.    We are less confident.  Conventional wisdom says ,with all of this outrage by the American public, there will be a change after this fall’s midterm elections.    However, conventional wisdom said, Donald Trump could never get elected.

To our all of our friends in:  Canada, Britain, France, Mexico, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Nigeria, Argentina,Japan, New Zealand and the rest of the world. .  America is still America, the land of immigrants and the place where dreams can come true.   America is at a crossroads, many American are disappointed with our government.

For nearly 10 years, there has been a civil war within our government.  A war of a zillion words which has been damaging to Americans as our needs have been ignored.   Many frustrated Americans wanted something different, something new, as the old guard had placed their political ambitions and party over the needs of its citizens.

Something you maybe currently experiencing in your country.  In America, we basically have a two-party system, this was deliberate.   The Republicans and the Democrats have made it difficult for other parties to participate in the system.  There are many political parties in the United States.   However, Americans are unlikely.  to hear from them.  They are not allowed to participate in public media debates.

 As a result, we have limited choices in this great nation.   Some, angry americans chose, a business man whose “business” reputation is so poor, he cannot get a loan from an american bank,   A man who had well known credibility problem, a man whose family has a legal history of not renting to people of color,and a man who has little respect for women, over the status quo.  Despite all the money in world, spent to prevent him from being elected,  Donald Trump became President of the United States.

I do not represent all Americans in my views.  But I am sorry.

I hope you learn from our mistake.  I believe in choosing a leader, demand experience, and integrity, empathy and heart.   Avoid, shiny objects, with promise, but doesnt have a history of performance or you may just elect a Donald Trump

Better days to come

CityFella

 

 

 

Condominium blues


If he doesn’t get his way, expect one outcome only.

By: Elaine Luti/The American in Italia

There’s a man in my condominium complex who has decided he’s the boss of the place. He expects everything he wants to go his way. What he doesn’t propose, he resists or undermines. He’s admittedly done a lot for the building, which might be regarded as helpful or controlling, depending on your viewpoint. He talks a lot and you’re likely to see him hanging around on the stairs, in the courtyard, in the immediate neighborhood. I have an irregular schedule, which means I can come and go several times a day, but I almost always run into him. His strategic lobbying, or lurking, gives him plenty of time to get to know everyone in the building, chat them up, make jokes, and get them to like him. At each condo meeting he comes armed with deleghe — proxies signed by residents to allow him to cast their vote.

Though I’m largely allergic to such meetings, I do make an effort to attend if major decisions loom. The man, naturally, is omnipresent. If things don’t go his way, he uses his booming basso voice to cow people into changing their minds. If he doesn’t get his way, he usually storms out.

I say he has hysterical attacks, which may sound odd since hysteria is usually associated with fluffy women who exaggerate distress to draw attention to themselves. It wreaks of high soprano voices, and perhaps a bit too much makeup.

The word hysterical derives from the Greek for uterus, “hystera,” an organ once thought to wander around and lodge in some part of the body causing what today would be called conversion symptoms. Personalities who responded to stress in a volatile way were called “hysterical.” They were seen as overly reactive, tending to exaggerate emotional expression in an effort to be seen and admired. The condition was once considered exclusive to women, but Freud was the first to propose that men were just as susceptible.

Despite my therapist vocation, I don’t often use diagnostic terms, and I certainly would never use one as a weapon (which happens all too often, even by people who should know better.) At the same time I admit to being strongly tempted to do so, particularly in the presence of a man who dismissively talks over women, yelling at them as if he’s the smart man who righteously refuses to recognize silly and hysterical female thinking.

It’s admittedly rare to call a man who expresses booming emotional opinions as “hysterical,” and yet that’s just what he is. Sadly, he often gets his way because loud-mouthed aggression is often considered authoritative. In this paradigm, foghorn macho is “good” while the needy expression of emotion is “bad” (if not stupid or flat-out pathological.) Yet they’re the same thing.

I have plenty of businesswomen as patients. Corporate work, medicine, law, even professional cooking all share a certain macho mentality. As my patients acquire self-confidence, many begin moving up the career ladder. That upward path frequently puts them at odds with old boys’ networks, and subtle or not-so-subtle efforts to put them down. I tell them to think of these critics – men but also women who have risen to top positions — as needy children of a sort. A needy child will use any means possible to get what it wants and needs. Adults turn to bullying, including loud voices and body language, to assert a similar kind of superiority (much like a dog). The best defense is to refuse intimidation and to deal with such posturing outside conventional “top dog” rules. Turn it on end and apply maternal sympathy. “Oh, poor boy, you can’t get your way? Let me know when you finish your hysterical fit.” If you’re lucky, the condo meeting disrupter will just storm out.

FOOD FIGHT! Why thousands of people join a massive food fight in this Italian town each year


Why thousands of people join a massive food fight in this Italian town each year
Ivrea’s Battle of the Oranges is one of Italy’s most famous and messiest carnivals. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

Italy is home to many spectacular spring carnivals, from masks and extravagant costumes in Venice to political satire in Viareggio. But one of the most unusual festivals takes place in a small town in northwestern Italy, where thousands gather each February to wage war… with oranges.

 

The three-day food fight in Ivrea, Piedmont has taken place each year since 1808, making 2018 the carnival’s 210th edition.

Huge crowds descend on the city for the Battle of the Oranges, a messy fight believed to commemorate a revolt against the monarchy. The festivities kicked off on Sunday and continue until Tuesday, February 13th, the day before Ash Wednesday and the Christian festival of Lent.

According to legend, a 12th century rebellion began after a baron visited a peasant girl on the eve of her wedding, hoping to exercise the right medieval lords supposedly had to have sex with any women from the lower classes.

But the girl fought back, beheading the baron and marching around the town with his head, an action which sparked a peasant uprising.

These days, the battle is recreated using fruit, and festival-goers or ‘aranceri’ (orange-throwers) are divided into teams. Those on foot represent the commoners, split into nine teams with different emblems. Others, portraying the Napoleonic troops who used to rule the town, fight back from horse-drawn carts.


Participants in this year’s carnival. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

People dressed up as the Mugnaia (‘miller’s daughter’, the peasant girl who started the revolt), also called Violetta, and Napoleonic officers parade through the streets. Violetta hands out sweets and other small trinkets to those who have come to watch.

Huge stacks of crates filled with the citrus fruits line the streets to supply the participants with ammunition, while the carts are stocked with oranges too.

It is not exactly clear why oranges are the fruit of choice, and in previous decades, beans or apples were used instead. Each year, hundreds of thousands of kilograms of oranges are imported from Sicily to the northwestern town.

Spectators can choose to wear a red hat to mark themselves as a bystander (donning the hat also means you cannot throw any oranges yourself) or stay safe from flying pulp by sheltering behind the nets which are put up to protect Ivrea’s buildings.

Other rituals include a large bonfire, again symbolic of the revolt but also of the arrival of spring, as well as the musical and theatrical performances common to many Italian carnivals.

Seven reasons autumn is the best time to visit Italy


Seven reasons autumn is the best time to visit Italy
Beautiful sunsets and empty streets: That’s autumnn in Rome. Photo: Moyan Brenn/Flickr
It’s never a bad time for an Italian holiday, but autumn is when the country really comes into its own. Read on for the top reasons you should book a trip here now.

1. The Colors


Autumn by Lake Como. Photo: rglinsky/Depositphotos

Whether it’s the autumn sunshine illuminating reddish city buildings, the changing hues of leaves in the countryside, or glistening reflections in one of the country’s many amazing lakes, autumn is surely the most beautiful time to spend in Italy. Instagrammers rejoice: no filter needed here!

 

2. Streets to yourself

Get to see Castel Sant’Angelo without the hordes.. Photo: pio3/Depositphotos

Italy is a popular choice for summer holidays, so between May and September the city centres swell with tourists. This means it’s harder to find a quiet table at restaurants; hotels, airlines and train companies hike their prices; and queues for the most famous tourist attractions can reach ridiculous lengths.

With autumn finally here you can breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy having the streets to yourself. You’ll also get a more ‘authentic’ sense of Italy, as most Italians leave the cities during the summer months – meaning many local businesses and eateries close down during peak season too.

3. Food festivals

Autumn is the best time to visit your local market. Photo: davidewingphoto/Depositphotos

Autumn means harvest time, and in Italy that means plenty of regional festivals celebrating the local dishes. It’s a perfect time to explore nearby towns, with many of them hosting a sagra (food festival) to celebrate – and eat! – their truffles, chestnuts, pasta sauce, figs and mushrooms.

Look out for the white truffle festival on October weekends in Alba, Piedmont; the aubergine sagra in Savona; and the limoncello festival in Massa Lubrense. For travellers with a sweet tooth, time your visit to coincide with the massive Eurochocolate fair in Perugia in mid-October or Cremona’s nougat fest. Those are just a few of the options, so make sure to check out what’s happening near you.

Even if you can’t make it to a local sagra, the variety of fresh vegetables available at local markets, and the smell of chestnuts as sellers roast them on the streets, make Italian autumn a foodie paradise. Many restaurants will serve seasonal specials, so make sure to ask your waiter what they recommend.

4. Wine time

The Italian wine harvest. Photo: tepic/Depositphotos

After all that food, you’ll need something to wash it down – and luckily it’s the wine season, with harvesting taking place in each of Italy’s 20 regions. If you can’t make it out to the vineyards, you can visit any one of the many towns and villages that host grape festivals (Sagra dell’uva), and taste world-class Italian wines.

Olive harvesting takes place around the same time, so if you prefer you can also experience the first stage of another Italian speciality: extra virgin olive oil.

5. Breathing space at the beaches

This is Sperlonga beach near Rome – in November. Photo: Catherine Edwards/The Local

The combination of tourists going home and locals deciding it’s far too cold for beach weather makes autumn an ideal time for a coastal excursion. No longer will you have to battle for a sunbed or a spot to place your towel, or deal with hiked-up prices for deckchair rental and gelato. You may even find you get the beach to yourself.

6. Autumn weather

Tuscan sunrise. Photo: sborisov/Depositphotos

Speaking of which, Italian autumn is altogether a much more pleasant season for those who find Italy’s sweltering summers tough to bear.\

After months where anything other than taking a long siesta and eating ice cream in piazzas seems far too taxing, the cooler – but usually still sunny – autumn means you can finally go on long walks, sightseeing afternoons and explore all that Italy has to offer without having to stop for a drink of water in a shaded area every few minutes.

7. Culture overload

The autumn months are the perfect time to get dressed up for a show. Photo: wulfman65/Depositphotos

Theatres are generally closed in Italy over summer, but the cooler months see theatre and opera seasons kick off again, so even on rainy days you won’t get bored.

High profile events taking place over autumn include the Rome Film Festival and Montecatini Opera Festival in central Italy, while Bologna’s Jazz Festival is well worth a trip to the north of the country. There are also plenty of smaller festivals on across the peninsular, from the mainstream to the niche; for example, the Siena Palios are over for the year, but you’ve still got time to plan a trip to the annual Donkey Palio in Cuneo.

 

The Local

Tourism is killing Venice, but it’s also the only key to survival for the Italian City


'Tourism is killing Venice, but it's also the only key to survival'
Throngs of tourists flood the streets of Venice. Photo: Venezia Autentica
By Catherine Edwards/The Local
Venice has topped travellers’ bucket lists for centuries, but in recent years the city has struggled to cope with mass tourism, while tension has grown between visitors and locals.

 

By the 17th century, a trip to Venice had become a rite of passage for upper class northern Europeans, who flocked to the lagoon city as part of the Italian Grand Tour. Writers and artists drank in inspiration from the city where imposing architecture was reflected in glittering waters and Venice became a symbol for Italian romance.

Fast forward to the 21st century, and the city is groaning under the weight of tourism.

Cheap flights, huge cruise ships, and the city’s Instagram appeal attract so many travellers that on a given day, there are more visitors than residents in the Veneto capital. It’s the type of tourism as much as the sheer amount that causes problems: the majority of visitors don’t stay overnight in the city, meaning most of them spend their time and their money in the same small areas.

Small businesses and artisans’ craft shops have been replaced by identikit souvenir stalls and fast food restaurants to cater to day-tripping bargain hunters. In recent years, Venetians have staged frequent protests against the mass tourism which has pushed up rents and forced many families out of their hometown.

But could the visitors hold the key to Venice’s survival?

“Venice is a one-industry city; it relies on tourism, like our bodies rely on food to survive,” says local resident Sebastian Fagarazzi.

“But in order to thrive, you need to have the right kind of food; the right kind of tourism. The wrong kind can mean death.”

Sebastian Fagarazzi’s family had to close down its textiles shop due to the pressure created by mass tourism; he says all his friends have left the city. Photo: Venezia Autentica

Fagarazzi and his partner, France-born Valeria Duflot, have launched Venezia Autentica, a social enterprise with the aim of promoting responsible tourism and supporting local business in the city.

Frustration with visitors has grown to the point that last summer, angry locals plastered the city with flyers reading ‘Tourists go away! You are destroying this city’, but the couple believe not only that tourists could help save Venice, but that a large number of them want to do so, and would if they were given the tools.

“Tourism is the problem, but it’s also the only solution,” Fagarazzi tells The Local. “Everyone protests [against excessive tourism], but no one has done much to try to have an immediate positive effect.”


Crowds mass at the Rialto Bridge. Photo: Venezia Autentica

Duflot met her partner on a visit to Venice before later making the city her home and remembers the difficulty she had in finding out about the real side to Venice, beyond the tourist hotspots and gondoliers.

“When I spoke to locals and met Sebastian, I learnt a lot about the city and enjoyed my time there much more. But at the start,it’s very hard to get that information and to know how to have a positive impact,” she says.

The 30-year-old came up with the idea for Venezia Autentica when walking down the city’s main street one day. To one side, she saw a crowd of cruise ship tourists; to the other, a group of young Venetians, carrying flags and singing local songs.

“In a flash, I thought, wouldn’t it be great if we could get these two groups to understand each other? I know other people care about the impact they have on Venice, and if just a small proportion of the visitors thinks like that, then we can have a huge impact, particularly as the Venetians now are so few,” Duflot explains.


Valeria Duflot first came to Venice in 2014 and now calls the city her home. Photo: Venezia Autentica

The pair are sceptical about recent measures introduced by city authorities aimed at protecting the city’s heritage, including bans on new hotels and takeaway food joints in the historic centre.

“They’ve basically closed the stable door after the horse has bolted,” says Fagarazzi. “It should be the city authorities who regulate tourism – you can’t expect visitors to do in depth research; after a 40-hour working week, you come on holiday to relax! But it’s meaningless political manouevring. The bans only apply to new establishments when there are hundreds already, and there will be exceptions when it suits the authorities.”

One thing missing from the new measures is any concrete proposal of support for Venetian-run businesses or local residents, such as tax exemptions for entrepreneurs or housing support for young people.

The two Venetians hope their business will offer some support to local entrepreneurs and artisans by highlighting their shops to visitors and educating tourists on the expertise and long hours that go into making a typical mask, for example.


A Venetian artisan works on a mask while a young girl watches. Photo: Venezia Autentica

Fagarazzi is acutely aware of the pressures local businesses face: in 2015, his family was forced to close its popular clothing shop in the city centre, after facing increasing pressure linked to the effects of mass tourism.

At the age of 32, he says the majority of his friends have been forced to leave because they can no longer make a life in Venice – “and it’s my generation that makes babies!”

“People worry that Venice could disappear because of flooding, but it actually could disappear much sooner,” Fagarazzi comments. “Without the Venetians, it’s not Venice. Time is running out.”

The local population has dropped below 55,000, less than half the figure of 40 years ago, as Venetians find themselves priced out of their hometown. What’s more, it has one of Italy’s oldest populations; despite the fact Veneto is the country’s second wealthiest region, youth unemployment is extremely high.

The couple hope that by supporting local artisans, they can help them stay in business and create opportunities for young Venetians to continue living in the city and carve out rewarding careers.


A lace-maker sits at work outside her shop. Photo: Venezia Autentica

On their website, they offer information about the city, guidelines for responsible tourism, and a selection of local restaurants and artisan shops that have the ‘Authentic Venice’ seal of approval. All have been personally tried and tested by the couple, their family and friends; as Fagarazzi says, “we need to be sure that it’s a consistently good experience -a business which makes Venice proud”.

Aside from following the online guide, there are a few clues tourists can look out for when hunting down a true Venetian experience. Duflot explains that there is no particular neighbourhood to go to for artisan shops, but there are some red flags to look out for.

“If you see someone standing outside a restaurant beckoning you in, or menus with pictures and flags of different countries, walk in the other direction!” she warns. “And in ‘artisan shops’, if you see any kind of massive sale or very cheap products, it won’t be good quality – which can be dangerous too.”

On the other hand, a true artisan shop will likely have a clear specialization in one kind of product; a craftsman at work – or signs that they’ve been working; and prices that reflect the fact that the simplest mask, for example, takes around seven hours to create.

“But the best litmus test is always to ask the salesperson about the craft. A seller of mass-produced souvenirs might badger you to buy things or repeat the same catchwords like ‘Murano glass’; an artisan will be able to tell you everything about what they do. Their eyes will light up,” says Duflot.


A mask-maker shows off her creations. Photo: Venezia Autentica

The pair say they hope that would-be visitors aren’t scared off Venice by the stories of anti-tourist sentiment, but also that they will take more time to learn about the city.

“It’s not a theme park to tick off your bucket list; it’s a real, living city with people and struggles which visitors should appreciate,” says Fagarazzi.

To get a glimpse of Venetian life and better understand the city, he advises visitors to venture off the well-trodden tourist trail and explore side streets and quieter piazzas. Not only does this ease the pressure on the city’s main thoroughfares, it’s also more likely to lead to a unique shop or experience.

“As a Venetian I’m envious, because I don’t get to experience the magic of getting lost and finding that incredible shop you’ll never find again. It’s like the Room of Requirement in Harry Potter – sometimes you stumble across the very thing you’re looking for, totally at random,” he says.

“Venice has always been very welcoming to all kinds of people,” adds Duflot. “Here, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from – just treat Venetians and their city well.”