Associazione Piazza San Marco
3 May 2018

The ‘battle’ of the turnstiles...

Never as in these weeks has Venice, and especially its Square, been at the centre of the debate in newspaper pages and on the main television channels. Once again it is the question of ‘tourism’ and the ‘turnstiles’ used by the city council for the 1 May holiday that attracts the media attention. The art critic Philippe Daverio thinks that the mayor, Luigi Brugnaro, is giving the deathblow to the ‘tourist trap’ city. Marco Scurati, spokesman for the Comitato turismo sostenibile, says that, with the turnstiles, ‘the image of the city has been ruined without gaining any effective result’. Mayor Brugnaro however confirms that the city council intends carrying on with the barriers and, in St Mark’s Square, he intends acting differently, restricting the queues that form to go into St Mark’s Basilica, for example, and sorting out the various entrance flows. The tourist guide Michele Bonini supports the mayor’s positions, agreeing with the barriers as emergency measures, but also asking for the planning of arrivals. Another interesting contribution is that made by Alfredo Bianchini, chairman of the ‘Emilio Vedova’ foundation, who approves the use of the barriers but thinks it is also important to start with technology to create a new idea of the city. Bianchini thinks that tourism should not be demonised but remain a resource to which different functions should be added. And as in a city destroyed by an earthquake or war, special reconstruction action is required for a socially and demographically demolished Venice. A long, but feasible operation. Bianchini’s position is appreciated by the Associazione Piazza San Marco, which for some time has been closely following the problem and effectively intervening with the city council.   Photo, Il Post