It breaks my heart to know that Venice is a huge victim of overtourism. I love that city so much. Every time I visit, I’m reminded of how unique and beautiful it is. I can never get enough.
But with millions flooding the small city and behaving inappropriately, you get issues instantly. The locals hate it. I don’t blame them.
Recently, some measures have been enacted, and the government launched #EnjoyRespectVenezia to encourage responsible tourism. A lot of this stuff isn’t exactly rocket science but… here we are. If we’re going to preserve the magic of Venice, we’ve gotta travel smarter. So here are some dos and don’ts that you definitely should take to heart. Please don’t ruin this beloved city.
Feed the pigeons. Bird dung is very difficult to clean and can damage the old buildings.
Litter. This is obvious, as it damages a beautiful space. Bring a reusable water bottle and cutlery.
Eat on benches, bridges or church steps. It’s considered rude to do so, and church steps are holy and need to be respected. Just eat inside at a restaurant.
Go swimming in a canal. If you really wanna take a dip, take the water taxi to Lido’s beaches.
Crowd a space. Blocking bridges and ports of entry is not cool. Always walk to the right and keep moving.
Drag your suitcase through the city center. It damages the space, crowds the area and is incredibly rude.
Bring a bike. Just walk.
Stay the night, or more, whenever possible. Cruise ships dock frequently, meaning hotels are losing revenue.
Stay in a hotel. Airbnb’s and other similar services have caused properties to skyrocket and drive out locals.
Spend money in St. Mark’s Square. The area can’t handle a heavy flood of tourists who don’t purchase anything there at all.
Visit in the off season if possible. It’s less imposing on the city.
Shop and eat at local establishments. Avoid chains.
Travel off the beaten path. St. Mark’s Square is beautiful, but give love to other parts of the city so other tourists and locals don’t feel so crowded.
Like I said, I love this city with all my heart and don’t want it damaged beyond repair. I’m not saying you should never go, I’m saying when you do go, be aware. Model good behavior, and hopefully others will follow.
Any tips I missed? Let’s chat in the comments!