I have been living in Venice for about three years now, and working with foreigners in real estate I have come to know the city well from both the Venetian and the tourist's perspective.
Venice is unlike any other city in the world. It is HUGELY dependent upon tourism. There is no other industry. Venetians can not afford to live here as most people prefer to rent their houses to tourists or sell their palazzi to hotel chains. Nevertheless Venice has an extremely rich and important history, and all of this is delicately balanced on a very sensitive ecosystem that will not last much longer.
This all part of Italy, a country so beautiful but so so backwards. Don't want to pay your taxes? No problem, just pay a small fine next year. Independent by 30? No way, and why should you be if Mom still wants to cook for you every night. This is a land of good excuses. But still, these are the same tendencies that make Italy beautiful and have foreigners envying the dolce vita. Italians still live with the emotion that the rest of the world is losing to logic.
The tourist has a duty to protect this city from turning into the next Disneyworld. Respect it, explore it, and enjoy it for what it is--outside of Piazza San Marco and the Rialto Bridge the real Venice awaits. Avoid the Chinese glass stores and go to restaurants without tourist menus. See the northern and southern end of the island. And Enjoy.
Venice General Tips & Advice review
So how is it that a tourist can visit Venice while being both respectful and enjoying the city?
The first thing to do is realize that this is a cit… read entire review