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Old 01-18-2011, 07:16 AM
 
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Default Venice, Italy - Losing population in historic area of city

Hello all - My wife and I are going to Lugano, Switzerland for a job interview, and we wanted to swing by Venice for a couple of days since it's so close. I've always wanted to go, but found the following blurb on Wikipedia that was a surprise:

In the five years between 2002 and 2007, the population of Venice declined by 0.2 percent, while Italy as a whole grew by 3.85 percent.[36] But the population in the historic old city declines at a significantly faster rate: from about 120,000 in 1980 to about 60,000 in 2009.[37]

Not that I'm worried about visiting (in regard to safety or quality time spent), but does anyone know anything about why this decline is occuring in the historic areas? What's the impact to Venice? Any information would be greatly appreciated (even general tips about visiting).
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:36 AM
 
Location: Yorkshire, England
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Venice is really beautiful and worth seeing but completely overrun with tourists, who when I was there outnumbered locals by an insane proportion (though this was summer). My guess is people can no longer afford property there since their city has become a playground for rich foreigners and so have to commute in. If you're going off-season you may be OK though winters there can be chilly but if you're a morning person I'd recommend doing your sightseeing as early as possible to avoid the masses.
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Old 01-18-2011, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Macao
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ben86 View Post
Venice is really beautiful and worth seeing but completely overrun with tourists, who when I was there outnumbered locals by an insane proportion (though this was summer). My guess is people can no longer afford property there since their city has become a playground for rich foreigners and so have to commute in. If you're going off-season you may be OK though winters there can be chilly but if you're a morning person I'd recommend doing your sightseeing as early as possible to avoid the masses.
This is my perception as well.

Plus I would imagine most people who can afford the high rents/properties, probably are not families, but most often absent and wealthy people looking for second (of fifth homes). So they're slowly buying out the more working class populations.

Just my guess anyways.
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Old 01-18-2011, 08:50 AM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJNEOA View Post

In the five years between 2002 and 2007, the population of Venice declined by 0.2 percent, while Italy as a whole grew by 3.85 percent.[36] But the population in the historic old city declines at a significantly faster rate: from about 120,000 in 1980 to about 60,000 in 2009.[37]

Not that I'm worried about visiting (in regard to safety or quality time spent), but does anyone know anything about why this decline is occuring in the historic areas? What's the impact to Venice? Any information would be greatly appreciated (even general tips about visiting).
On a general note, I find it hard to believe that Italy's population grew 3.85% in five years, unless through illegal immigration.

As to Venice, realize that it is not a city designed for contemporary industrial society, its contemporary counterpart is Mestre.

In short, then, the answer is lack of jobs, except, as mentioned, those catering to tourists, the wealthy, and some students. The price per square meter to buy an apartment is on par with Rome and Milan.

Indeed the city is overrun by tourists in the summertime and often by floods in the winter. Perhaps the best time to go is March/April before Easter or late September/October.

Venice is slowly sinking into the Adriatic Sea, but don't worry, you'll have plenty of time. Before you go, please read up as much as you can on the 1,000-year Venetian Empire, mainly sea-faring based on trade with the eastern Mediterranean, notably Constantinople.

A visiting tip: obtain a traveler-savvy guidebook especially for dining, otherwise you might pay sky-high prices for mediocre meals.

Enjoy!
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Old 01-18-2011, 09:21 AM
 
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. We'll be going in the last week of February, so hopefully, we'll catch the spring weather/experience that sounds like is better than summer.

bale002 - Thanks for the suggestion on the reading. I started reading a little bit the other night, and it was fascinating. I'm now convinced that I need to read more before I go. Thanks for the tip.

Can anyone suggest restaurants that you can personally attest to? Also, would you say that there are less touristy parts of Venice that we could stay and eat in?
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