While packing up the apartment for our move to San Francisco, I keep coming across articles I’ve clipped from newspapers and magazines, even whole chapters of books, that I obviously once meant to write about for BLDGBLOG…
[Image: J.M.W. Turner, The Dogana and Madonna della Salute, Venice, 1843; for more, see Tate Britain].
One such article, published nearly a year ago today, proclaims that Venice, Italy, may soon become “a tourist ghost town.”
Venice is on course to become a city virtually without residents within the next 30 years, turning it into a sort of Disneyland – teeming with holidaymakers but devoid of inhabitants… The city may then become a museum, to which, as La Repubblica remarked, it would be “normal to charge entry”.
Other cities for whom this fate could be very, very interesting, if culturally ill-advised? Detroit and the New York borough of Manhattan.
In any case, as the BBC describes this phenomenon:
At night Venice sometimes resembles an empty museum, a ghost town.
After [11pm], when the day trippers have all left and the restaurants and bars are closed, the waterways and calles – narrow streets that intersect the islands upon which Venice is built – are almost deserted.
Tomorrow another 60,000 people will arrive – and depart.
This vision – of Venice, populated only by the odd night security guard and a few absent-minded curators – surely sets up a far more interesting future storyline than Night in the Museum ever hoped to be.
(Earlier on BLDGBLOG: Venice Resonator).