Grand Canal – Venice
Venice is a remarkable place. Astonishing even. Some 30 million tourists visit there annually. As only some 50.000 residents live in Venice’s historic center. The situation with the tourists has gotten a little bit out of hand. It’s so bad that even Donna Leon decided to abandon Venice. She lived over 30 years in Venice and wrote several best-selling criminal novels that were all set in Venice. I mean Donna was an absolute Venice enthusiast, but not anymore. There’s been discussion on restricting the number of tourists in the historic center. For that I have only one thing to say: probably not that bad idea!
But tourism is not the worst of Venetian’s worries. The city is sinking. It was probably the most absurd scene I have seen in weeks, when I spotted three carpenters fixing a roof by the Grand Canal. They must have been immigrants, as the locals are too aware of the Venetian saying: if it ain’t floating, don’t fix it! By the way, being a real estate investor in Venice must be a real challenge. Only a few have tried and none have succeeded.
If you are planning to visit there, I truly recommend that you ride a water bus along the Grand Canal to get from the Santa Lucia railway station into the basin at San Marco. If you are navigating your own boat, you should learn the ins and outs of the Grand Canal, including the latest short cuts, from James Bond’s Casino Royale (2006).