Venice couldn’t resist Napoleons attack, but managed to resist Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Kahn and Le Corbusier’s attempts to build here. Many of the interventions are landlubbers misconceptions; attempts to keep slippers dry and permanently moor or even dry dock Venice.…/

Napoleon filled in many canals to create streets (those ones with the prefix “Rio Terra” i.e. “Rivers of Earth”). The Austro-Hungarian Empire insisted on a land-bridge across the lagoon to the profane mainland.

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Thomas Mann and Evelyn Waugh used it as a raffish backdrop for their dissolute characters. Ruskin and Italo Calvino exalted it. Muratoris maps are mesmerising.

Its natural and built environment has been under threat for centuries. Employment has been waning for centuries. The environment deteriorates and yet seafood from the lagoon is still eaten.


It is not uncommon for urban designers to be ambivalent about as a city and as a model.

Some months back Dan Hill tweeted this far bleaker, and inspiring piece ;

There are many cases of the self-loathing tourist in Venice. The visitor who complains of “Veniceland”; a theme park masquerading as a city, and is  of course the problem himself


it is a chaotic tourist destination, but it also a haven free of cars, and of all the anxieties, odours, dangers and horrors that cars bring.

Quietness and calmness. Connectedness. Walking. Layers of culture. The Stones of Venice. Nature. Identity . Beauty. Serenity.

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