Rising out of the blue water in Venice’s Grand Canal, a sculpture of large, white hands lending their support to the Ca’ Sagredo Hotel’s façade quickly became one of the most popular Instagram shots in the city in 2017. Put into place for the Venice Biennial, contemporary artist Lorenzo Quinn sought to draw attention to the problem of climate change and rising sea levels which threaten to sink the city.
However, so poignant was Quinn’s piece, it also sparked conversation to defend the integrity of Venice from the strain of its increasing popularity. As more people come to visit, the canals and monuments face greater wear and tear, and locals are finding it difficult to afford higher costs of living. However, the city of Venice is dedicated to fighting for its preservation while continuing to encourage visitors to experience its unique beauty and cultural wealth.
Sustainable travel in Venice is easy and enables visitors to experience a more authentic Venice while positively contributing to the city’s economy, environment, and community. To do your part:
Choose Green Transport
Cruise ships are one of the most popular ways visitors arrive in Venice each year, however they negatively impact the cleanliness and ecology of the waters around the city. Reduce your carbon footprint and environmental impact by arriving by bus or train. Fast trains such as the Frecciarossa and Italo in Italy are especially convenient- you can walk right out of Venice’s station onto the banks of the Grand Canal! Once inside the city, get around by walking or booking your private water taxi with Luxe Associates Travel.
Visit During the Off-Season
Not only will you be traveling sustainably to help the city, but chances are your experience in Venice will be more enjoyable! Instead of fighting through summer crowds in Piazza San Marco, you’ll be able to walk around with ample personal space in the winter or early-spring/late-fall. Monuments and museums will be less congested, and you will have your pick of the city’s best hotels and restaurants. To make the most of this, book your private tour of St Mark’s & the Doges Palace
Stay in Sustainable Accommodation
In Venice, accommodations for the sustainable traveler will benefit both the environment and the local community. Locals in Venice are being negatively impacted by illegal accommodation and unregulated B&B’s which contribute to limited housing and rising rents. Be sure to book your stay in Venice with a licensed hotel or guesthouse. Go the extra mile and do your part to help the environment by looking for hotels dedicated to minimizing their waste of energy and water.
Partake in De-Tourism
De-Tourism, as promoted by the city of Venice, encourages the sustainable traveler to venture off the beaten path, away from the typical hotspots to undiscovered areas of the city. Not only will this alleviate wear and tear in the busy areas of Venice, but you will be able to experience and visit the authentic Venice untainted by tourist traps. Talk with locals and discover unique experiences not found in guidebooks. Other islands in the lagoon, such as Murano and Burano, are a short vaporetto ride from Venice and are less visited. By taking a detour to these islands, gain a glimpse into wider Venetian life and culture through their colorful buildings and strong traditions of glass and lace production.
Contribute to the Local Economy
Travel sustainably in Venice by simply avoiding tourist trap restaurants and stores and illegal vendors. Instead, support local businesses by purchasing goods from local artisans to help keep their craft and contribution to Venetian culture in Venice itself. Eat and drink where the locals do to support local restaurateurs and experience authentic and delicious Venetian food. Wander off the beaten path to find the real Venice and celebrate it by favoring quality over quantity and convenience in your purchases.
Follow the Rules
Being respectful of the place, people, and culture you are visiting is the cornerstone of sustainable travel philosophy. Though Venice has survived the test of time, it is a fragile city where rules have been put into place to ensure its preservation. It is forbidden to jump into and swim in the canals. Though they look inviting for a respite, do not use the steps of bridges, churches, or monuments as places for a picnic. Respect the environment and the city itself by throwing trash away in the appropriate bins. These actions are simple, but they go a long way in terms of ensuring that Venice will continue to be enjoyed by visitors and locals for generations to come.