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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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Contested Ground

Contested Ground

(p.105) 5 Contested Ground
Venice, the Tourist Maze

Robert C. Davis

Garry R. Marvin

University of California Press

Recent campaigns to entice tourists into Venice's back streets have been motivated largely by the premise that it is desirable to relieve pressure on the city's overcrowded core around Piazza San Marco and the Rialto Bridge, and that this is an obvious way to do it. As it happens, such moves have not been especially successful. As tourists to Venice have blossomed in number and have pushed themselves ever more insistently into the city's more intimate spaces, this seemingly tranquil world of campi, calli, and canals has become increasingly contested territory. According to the local police and to those who have studied the patterns of Venetian tourism, it takes around 100,000 visitors coming in a single day to really bring the city to a (literal) standstill. As if the thoroughfares of Venice were not already crowded enough by the tourists themselves, they are further obstructed by scores of street hawkers seeking to fish their own share of profit from the continuous stream of visitors.

Keywords:   Venice, tourism, back streets, tourists, thoroughfares, Piazza San Marco, Rialto Bridge, campi, canals, street hawkers

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