Wednesday, July 29, 2009

When You’re in Venice

The following news story has virtually no relevance to Gates of Vienna’s mission, although it does involve Portuguese cultural enrichment in Italy. But I couldn’t resist it, especially the headline.

This post is dedicated to Afonso Henriques (who, as we all know, would never do such a thing himself).

According to ANSA:

Venice Mayor Nabs Canal Peeing Man

Cacciari responds to criticism of city upkeep

(ANSA) — Venice, July 28 — Venice Mayor Massimo Cacciari caught a man peeing in a canal Monday night and told him off before calling the police, the mayor said Tuesday.

“I saw a gentleman peeing in a canal and took the liberty of telling him that he probably wouldn’t do so in his living room,” Cacciari told reporters after a series of polemics Monday over the upkeep of the city.

“I then called the city police to clear things up”.

The Portuguese tourist was fined 50 euros.
- - - - - - - - -
On Monday the regional governor of Veneto, Giancarlo Galan, and Civil Service Minister Renato Brunetta, a Venice native, accused Cacciari of not doing enough to preserve the city.

Brunetta said the mayor had “sold out” to corporations, casinos and tycoons by leasing art sites and allowing huge advertising hoardings while Galan claimed there were too many rats, seagulls, discarded bottles.

The centre-left mayor hit back by accusing the conservative politicians of electioneering ahead of an upcoming vote for city hall.

He noted, for instance, that seagulls were now common in all seaside cities, including New York, but acknowledged that Venice needed more funds to keep up its recent ‘urban decorum’ drives.

Cacciari has launched campaigns to clean monuments, stop tourists snacking in the historic centre, and rid St Mark’s of its pigeons.

But the mayor has long bemoaned a lack of state funds for the upkeep of city monuments and has turned to private sponsors.

Earlier this year there was an outcry when the media reported a deal with Coca Cola to put vending machines around the city.

The contract has since been put out to tender, while authorities have stressed the machines will not be near historic landmarks. Cacciari warned in February that Venice’s monuments and churches risked falling into ruin because too much state aid is allegedly being directed into a controversial project to protect the lagoon city from sinking.

Hat tip: Insubria.


Dymphna said...

I will provide some cultural ballast to this "Urine Venice" story by reminding the Baron of that movie we saw in the '80s about the illegal Italian migrant worker in Switzerland who almost immediately runs afoul of Swiss decorum and law by whipping it out and micturating against the nearest wall.

IIRC, the film was called "Bread and Chocolate". The contrast between the Italian and the buttoned-up Calvinist culture of Switzerland was wonderfully portrayed.

I'll bet the Swiss wish now that all they had to contend with was poor Italians who were willing to work like dogs in their service industry...

...ah, the good old days.

Afonso Henriques said...


Baron, never understimate a man in such an helpness situation...

Thanks for the dedicatory :)

Specially at Dymphna:
I remember in the 90s when people had claims against the English in Algarve.
Of course, there is the ocasional bad British down there and stuff but that was before the (relatively mass) immigration of North Africans, Sub Saharan Africans, Brazilians and Spanish and Romanian Gypsies to the place.

I've never heard of people complaining about English who drank too much and who fought at bars just because.
Not that they don't do it anymore...
Now that I think of it, now everybody here hates Kate and Jerry McCain (although I'm not sure about the people in the Algarve because they were very shocked and supportive to the cupple).

Rocha said...

Oh those dammed Portuguese do it again!