Ships and Fools

Robert C. Davis and Garry R. Marvin

in Venice, the Tourist Maze

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2004 | ISBN: 9780520238039
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520937802 | DOI:
Ships and Fools

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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For centuries, Venice has been called the most beautiful city in the world, a title that can make one forget that not all the attractions it offers are strictly physical. After the fall of the Serenissima, visitors may have come primarily to admire the paintings and architecture, or to visit the Lido baths in the summer, but they also continued to have a look at the festivals and were spectators at the various regattas. With the thinning and aging of the local population, Venetian culture has become like Venetian space, available for appropriation by tourists. This chapter explores three recent examples of this process: the Vogalonga (initiated in 1975 by local aficionados of Venetian rowing), the Festa del Redentore, and the Carnival of Venice. All three celebrations represent concrete realizations of a spirit of idealistic communitarianism that was especially diffuse in Italy in those years. Of the six bridge festivals celebrated under the Serenissima, the Redentore was probably the most important; it is also one of the two that has survived.

Keywords: Venice; tourists; festivals; regattas; culture; rowing; Vogalonga; Festa del Redentore; Carnival of Venice; Italy

Chapter.  11155 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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