We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

It's official- No more Venezia Official Store

On April 25 Venice celebrated both Festa di San Marco and Italian Liberation Day. Venetians had one more thing to celebrate- the completion of the renovations of the Bell Tower. Finally, after a few years of construction we would all be able to enjoy the square sans barriers around the Campanile.  Or so we thought.  Mysteriously  the "Venezia Offical Store", an unsightly structure of glass and metal, appeared at the foot of the Campanile.  The purpose of this structure was to sell tickets to the new Manet exhibit and tourist souvenirs.

Between that time and now the Venetians mobilized, organized a new Facebook page, via il Gabbiotto dal Campanile, and got a petition circulated online asking the city government to remove this gabbiotto (booth). The square is a UNESCO world heritage site, and as such, a modern (and quite tacky )booth isn't quite appropriate to be at the foot of the Campanile. Furthermore, it's not like we needed one more location to be selling tourist trinkets. There's plenty of that. I joined the Facebook page instantly, signed the petition and passed it along. And in doing so, I felt like I belonged. Finalemente!

It didn't seem as though the local government was paying much attention to the uproar  created on the Facebook page. Local newspapers were printing daily articles noting the increasing numbers of Facebook fans to the page, and the rising number of signatures to the online petition.

And then there was the article yesterday. What a surprise. A  pleasant one. I wanted to get up and start singing "Ding Dong, the wicked witch is dead!"  The gabbiotto beneath the Campanile is to be dismantled. Soon.  A much smaller one will make an appearance under the portico of the Doges Palace where tickets will be sold, and will be removed mid August when the Manet exhibit has ended. Only tickets, no trinkets.

I'm impressed that a movement of the people was the catalyst behind something good happening for a change. It makes me hopeful.


Anonymous said...

It was such good news, and the people behind the push to get this unsightly blot on the landscape removed, are to be congratulated for their polite persistence! Thank goodness for civic pride.

I wonder what they'll tackle next?

Andrew said...

When it's gone I dare you to put a pair of red shoes and stripy stockings sticking out from under the tower.

Anonymous said...

It is so gratifying to hear of the success of this group of people who brought about a good result through intelligent processes.


Tim The Nomad said...

That's wonderful news Karen. It was a bit of an eyesore, but better than the construction work going on around, but only just!

I'm on my way in September to study Italian as threatened. So you and I can mangle the language between us with Stefano, Francesco and the girls as our victims.

karen said...

As yet- still no demolition,but hopefully this week.
Perfetto!!! Can't wait!!

Anonymous said...

(I'm having some problem getting my comments through to your blog, for some reason. let's see if this gets to you.)

I'm so pleased with this outcome, the group is to commended for the manner in which they conducted their very successful campaign.