Arrivaderci Roma - Buon Giorno Venezia!
Trip Start Apr 02, 2010
12Trip End Apr 12, 2010
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There are some very talented artists selling their watercolors and photos along the canals. Ellen and I bought some watercolor scenes of Venice to bring back home with us. I had a chance to speak with one of the photographer/artists who has lived here in Venice all of his life. He bemoaned what he described as the turning of this beautiful city into a Disneyland. He said that the high cost of real estate and taxes are forcing the people and businesses who have been here for years and years to leave and places that will appeal to tourists are moving in. He said that the several neighborhoods in the city had always had their own unique characteristics and life, but that the spirit is rapidly leaving them. He fears that all of Venice will one day be nothing more than an amusement park with no substance to it. He mentioned that there is no longer a hospital in Venice and I asked where they treat their mentally ill. (I have seen no one during this vacation who appears to have an active mental illness.) It seems that in years past they used to hospitalize all of the women on one of the islands and all of the men on another island! But those places have been closed as well now and you have to go to the mainland for any kind of medical care. It was nice to get a chance to speak with someone who actually lived in Venice who wasn't afraid to share his real thoughts. He definitely was not a socialist - I think more a neo-capitalist.
Ellen and I also shopped for Venetian masks. There are dozens of stores that sell them. The prices range from the reasonable to the fantastic. But then again, some of the masks are truly works of art. I'd like to come back some day for Carnival.