Venice post-pandemic. A visit to Venice stereotypes after COVID-19

To visit Venice post-pandemic is a trip to nowhere. Well, nowhere different. Nothing has changed since the Venice we knew from before. Venice is still overcrowded, almost worn out, pricey and decadent, but stunning, dreamy, great and a lesson of history itself at every corner. 

Venice post-pandemic by Besides the obvious
Boats at a deck on Grand Canal on Venice post-pandemic

How is to visit Venice post-pandemic?

We have read that this August 2021, the Italian government banned the big cruisers to get into the historic town and navigate in the lagoon. With this movement, Venice avoided being on UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites in danger. At least, so far. 

In addition, a month after cruise ships were banned from the lagoon, city authorities are preparing to ask tourists to pre-book their visit on an app and charge day-trippers between 3 and 10 euros to enter, depending on the time of the year. An entry toll, one more tourist tax.

Will be that really necessary? We are very skeptical about measures that pretend to solve a self-defined unovercomable problem making the visitors pay for it. Even so, it is clear that Venice is still overcrowded after Covid-19 pandemic.

Nevertheless, those were warnings we did’t want to care about of. We expected a less crowded tourist spot like some other ones that have been emptied during the pandemic. Definitely wrong.

We visited the city this october 2021 and we got for you some surprising updated information about the Venice post-pandemic. Let’s check if what you think about Venice is still there. Let’s figure out if some of the stereotypes have resisted the pandemic.

Are still valid the most common stereotypes in a Venice post-pandemic? 

Venice is the most romantic place in the world

Obviously, it depends on your taste and if you can take or not the crowd. Venice is one of the most picturesque places on earth. Even though, if your concept of romanticism includes privacy, silence, calm, exclusivity or originality better choose any other place.

You may find a table for dinner in a very cute street but probably you will wait long for the main dish, the neigbour’s kid will step on your clean new shoes or someone will have a loud conversation in Russian 20 centimeters far from you ear. In a visit to Venice post-pandemic, all this can be all together at the same time. You will pay anyhow the same more than one hundred euros for an avarege pasta dinner.

Venice post-pandemic by Besides the obvious
A pair of spritzers on a terrace in Venice post-pandemic

You cannot park nowhere

I remember having parked my car in Venice several times. That means, I could cross the bridge from Mestre and leave the park, paying a fortune in one of the private parking lots you can find just arriving at the isola. 

Venice post-pandemic by Besides the obvious
Boats at a deck on Grand Canal on Venice post-pandemic

This time, uin our visit to Venice post-pandemic, we arrived and just on the bridge we saw a sign where it was written in Italian “In Venice, only available parking in Tronchetto”. When we arrived at Tronchetto there was not even a place there so we needed to come back to Mestre to park. Thanks god we brought our electric scooters!

An alternative way of arriving directly is to book a transfer. Here you can check the prices and book it if you need to.

It is overcrowded

Nothing changed. No news at all. If you expected that Covid-19 would have pushed away the crowd you were wrong. For us it was surprising the amount of tourists on the streets. People seem not to be afraid of visiting Venezia. Nevertheless, you faced some strange situations with Covid-19 regulations and measures. Some of them are same contradictory and surreal as in many other countries in the world. 

Venice is crazy expensive

As it was before the pandemic, Venice can be very expensive. And actually the authorities would like to make it more expensive and exclusive. But since there are so many low cost and daily-trippers, many low cost options for tourists have been developed too. We mean panini shops, pizza slice bars, and many others. 

  • Gondola service sign by Besides the Obvious
  • Carnaval masks in Venice post-pandemic by Besides the Obvious
  • A gondola in Venice post-pandemic by Besides the Obvious

Nevertheless, to try to reach some quality is there overated. You can eat in a trattoria a dish of very regular pasta, a starter to share and a glass of wine for not less than 40 euros per person.

You cannot afford to sleep on Venice Island

That is not true. Surely it is more expensive to sleep inside than in Mestre on the main coast. Otherwise you can find some nice offers too. Many of the visitors are currently now Italian day-trippers. There are many visitors but proporcionally fewer than before who spend the night in Venice.

It is better if you take a look on Booking before deciding.

The food is low quality

For sure you can get to excellent places where to reach excellent quality food. But honestly, many of us we would not pay happily for it. The avarege food is low quality compared with the rest of the country. Just a reminder: in Italy the food is simply awesome. In a visit to Venice post-pandemic though, paninis are still dry, pizzas very much on the average and the pasta will be industrial. Don’t believe me, just check it!

To move around Venice post-pandemic is not friendly

Walking is stressing indeed. There is a lot of people on the main streets and the distances are misleading since there are longer than they seem to be. There is not any vehicle allowed to go on Venice by land. That means no cars, no bikes, no electric scooters or any other.

Moving along the canals can be long, bacause you have to wait and deal with the vaporetti. It is romantic until you catch up with the yelling crowd. And water taxis and gondolas are very expensive.

  • Boats sailing on a canal in Venice by Besides the Obvious
  • A gondola sails on a canal in Venice post-pandemic by Besides the Obvious
  • Boats sailing on a canal in Venice by Besides the Obvious

If you want to walk out of the crowd, take the parallel narrow streets to the main ones and go as far as you can from Rialto and San Marco. There are still neighbourhoods to take a real calm stroll such as Canareggio or the Jews quarter. At Santa Elena you can find a proper working class quarter with normal shops and playgrounds for the kids. In Dorsoduro you can even find an industrial area and in Piazzale Roma a very normal shopping area.

This is one of the dirtiest places on earth

Sea water can punk anything but it is not true that Venice is full of rubbish. If you rent an appartment in Venice and you need to deal with the trash system, you will realize that they take care about the how much rubbish is delivered on the island.

Worn out ancient building on a canal in Venice by Besides the Obvious
Worn out ancient building on a canal in Venice

We speak about a city that recieve almost 30 million of tourist per year in a surface of 5,2 km². Let’s compare with Barcelona, one more very touristy city. Barcelona recived in 2018 less than 9 million touist in a surface of 102 km². With this numbers and assuming that a big portion of the rubbish is generated by tourists, Venice is doing a great job with the trash management. Even greater if we remember that they need to transport out everything along the water canals.

Nobody actually lives there. Neither in Venice post-pandemic

Venice is a bigger city than the old town. It is a very complex territory which includes some part of the coast and many islands.

  • Venice post-pandemic by Besides the Obvious
  • Venice post-pandemic by Besides the Obvious 13
  • Venice post-pandemic by Besides the Obvious
  • Venice post-pandemic by Besides the Obvious

In the old town they live 60.000 persons. It is true that this number is decreasing year by year. Many locals sell their properties to investors who make hotels, aparthotels or any other kind of tourist related business with the property.

There are a lot of rats!

Yes, there are. You can read easily that in the basements of the Venician buidings there is the biggest colony of rats in Europe. Could be, since the basements and the first floors of the buildings in Venice are flooded with water. And many tourists means a lot of food and rubbish in a small space.

Anyhow, I have to tell that I never saw a rat in Venice in any of my visits. Moreover, if you have your accommodation in a regular neighborhood, you will see during the night on the street huge cats as proper guards from rats. No worries, you will not see a rat as a tourist in Venice.

It is on the edge of collapsing

It is interesting how much the conspiration theories are always those ones coming from the others. Venice has been close to collapse since I have memory. The sea has been always there very eager to eat it and make it disappear.

  • Worn out ancient building on a canal in Venice post-pandemic by besides the obvious by Besides the Obvious
  • Worn out ancient building on a canal in Venice post-pandemic by besides the obvious by Besides the Obvious
  • Worn out ancient building on a canal in Venice post-pandemic by besides the obvious by Besides the Obvious

Since 30 years ago I have been hearing that Venice will disappear in the next 50 years. Even though, the same sources say that in the last millenium the level of the water has increased in 32 centimeters. That means that in the last 30 years has increased in one centimeter. Well, yes, I never measured if this centimeter has been increased or not. What I now is that I have seen the same level sea in Venice always and that I would bet that in the next 30 years I will see it at the same level. Let’s hope that in the next 1.000 years someone will find a solution for those next 32 extra centimeters.

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