Venice celebrates its 1600th anniversary

By | Category: Travel destinations

Throughout the year, until 25th March 2022, the city will organise a series of events and exhibitions to highlight the history, culture and many qualities that make Venice the place we all know, if not from having made a previous visit or dozen but from having seen it in some many films, travel programmes and on posters.

To celebrate 1,600 years in such a cultural and heritage site will produce plenty of events from which to choose.

back to the Rialto I will go this Autumn

But it is also a city that has – and continues to – have disagreements as to its future. Are tourists welcome in pre-pandemic numbers or should there be limits? And what about cruise ships? Should they be allowed so close to a city that is only feet above water at the best of times and partly submerged in the worst?

Earlier this year it was announced cruise ships were to be banned from sailing up the Guidecca to the cruise terminal. But, at the weekend, the MSC Orchestra, a ship of 92,000 tons and being just under a thousand feet in length begins a seven-day cruise from the city.  It will tower above surrounding buildings as it sails down the canal and past St Marks and the Doges palace before heading out the Adriatic Sea.


Why are the Venetian and Italian authorities letting the ship sail when they wanted to stop just a little while ago? Because, we are told, the docks at Maghera are not yet ready to be used as a stopgap until a new shipping terminal is built over the next few years.

That didn’t stop demonstrators being out objecting to the ship sailing down the Guidecca

and St Marks and the Doge’s Palace

Later in the month MSC Magnifica will also sail from the city as will others over the next few months.

a cruise ship leaving the Guidecca at dusk in 2015, the last time I was in Venice

Cruise ships – sadly missed by the tourism dependent city for the economic impact they have on the city – are too important to do away with yet, so there has been muted criticism of the decisions to allow cruise ships to sail.

As Venice welcomes back tourists, other intended introductions such as limits on numbers at peak times will in the busiest tourist attractions may also be vacillate in the winds of economic re-growth.

And I for one want to go and see a Venice for the first time in five years after a period when I was there almost every year for almost twenty. So I will probably be contributing to the tourism strain that usually has locals annoyed and officials vexed about control.

How hypocritical am I who writes of tourism pollution in Venice but then plans to visit it this Autumn?   

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