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Venice, the Tourist MazeA Cultural Critique of the World's Most Touristed City$
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Robert Davis

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520238039

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520238039.001.0001

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Ships and Fools

Ships and Fools

Chapter:
(p.237) Chapter 10 Ships and Fools
Source:
Venice, the Tourist Maze
Author(s):

Robert C. Davis

Garry R. Marvin

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520238039.003.0011

For centuries, Venice has been called the most beautiful city in the world, a title that can make one forget that not all the attractions it offers are strictly physical. After the fall of the Serenissima, visitors may have come primarily to admire the paintings and architecture, or to visit the Lido baths in the summer, but they also continued to have a look at the festivals and were spectators at the various regattas. With the thinning and aging of the local population, Venetian culture has become like Venetian space, available for appropriation by tourists. This chapter explores three recent examples of this process: the Vogalonga (initiated in 1975 by local aficionados of Venetian rowing), the Festa del Redentore, and the Carnival of Venice. All three celebrations represent concrete realizations of a spirit of idealistic communitarianism that was especially diffuse in Italy in those years. Of the six bridge festivals celebrated under the Serenissima, the Redentore was probably the most important; it is also one of the two that has survived.

Keywords:   Venice, tourists, festivals, regattas, culture, rowing, Vogalonga, Festa del Redentore, Carnival of Venice, Italy

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