Venice attracts 30 million tourists each year and this number is even expected to rise as massive tourism is predicted in the next years from China and India. Everybody wants to see this city of dreams, a fairytale space built on water. As Venice becomes the first city to become a theme park, its inhabitants are fleeing the town. Venice is too expensive to live in, stores predominantly cater to tourists, property is sold to rich foreigners and rents continue to skyrocket. Demographers predict that by 2030 there will not be a single full-time Venetian resident left.
“At what time is Venice closing?” or “Are people still living in Venice?” are the two questions often asked by innocent tourists to the last remaining inhabitants of the city. The most beautiful city in the world attracts 30 million tourists each year and this number is even expected to rise as massive tourism is predicted in the next years from China and India. Everybody wants to see Venice, the city of dreams, a fairytale place built on water. In some neighborhoods the city is so congested with tourists that living has become impossible. Is Venice the first city turning into a theme park?
Venice used to be the most utopian city in the world, a place without cars, a quiet and dreamy place with a very high quality of living where everybody was one big family. Today the city is too expensive to live in, stores predominantly cater to tourists, property is sold to rich foreigners and rents continue to skyrocket. It all changed twenty years ago when real estate was left to the free market. Everybody wanted to make the most money out of the Queen of the Adriatic. Private houses became B&B’s or hotels and grocery stores and bakeries transformed into pizza restaurants and shops selling masks made in China. Every year, hundreds of residents are fleeing Venice. After World War II Venice had 175,000 residents. An electronic counter in front of the window of Farmacia Morelli records the number of people still living in Venice. It is today below a dramatic 60,000. Demographers predict that by 2030 there will not be a single full-time Venetian resident left.
I LOVE VENICE is a compelling and visually stunning documentary about the people still living in the most beautiful city in the world and tells the story of its citizens taking protest to the streets. Recently several protest groups have been set up to save the city as a real community. They demonstrate against the commercially motivated city government, the closing of the last remaining hospital and against the many large cruise ships entering the lagoon. These residents fight with passion for their beloved Venice, but always with humor, irony and a keen sense of theater. What is it like to live in a city that is not yours anymore?