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Old January 29th, 2015, 05:15 AM   #201
The_Fox
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What a wonderful thread!
Thank you for sharing your insight and knowledge and pictures on this wonderful city that is Venice!
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Old January 29th, 2015, 01:54 PM   #202
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Venetian islands - Forte di Sant'Andrea

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Originally Posted by The_Fox View Post
What a wonderful thread!
Thank you for sharing your insight and knowledge and pictures on this wonderful city that is Venice!
Hi and thank you!!!
I'm happy that my thread can be useful. Even if I sometimes neglect it... I'll eventually answer the questions, so... Keep asking!

I'll begin with Tommolo's question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tommolo View Post
Thank you for your answers!

ahaha! I know, I know! School prevents children from falling in love with art, which would rather be quite a spontaneous love otherwise!

But it has not to be art with the capital letter, I mean...Venice has lots of hidden gems, like we've seen in the Contarini dal Bovolo staircase, what's your favourite spot? It can be a corner, a sight, a courtyard, an antique caffŔ or an artesanal atelier, a campo...it's just so beautiful to speak about Venice, please, keep posting!
The more a place in Venice is hidden, the hardest it is to find pictures. They're always "flooded" in a river of beautiful other pictures without description. You look for a certain place, and 3/4 of the pictures show people with Carnival masks, or other famous places like St Mark's Square.

But the hardest situation is when you're looking for a specific place, next to a monument. For example, if you look for St Mark's Square, you'll find thousands of pictures of the Basilica and the belltower, and only a few of the opposite side of the square.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

After saying that, I'd like to show an extremely beautiful and abandoned island, called Forte di Sant'Andrea. It's a fortified island, very close to the water entrance of the Lagoon. It was built by the Veronese architect Michele Sanmicheli in 1543-45

The purpose of this island is very simple: defence. Everything was designed in order to destroy approaching ships, even before they entered the Lagoon!
There are 40 holes (now closed with bricks) on the fortified wall, in order to fit the most cannons possible. But they still managed to make the wall look pleasant, Renaissance-style
On the side of the island facing Venice, however, there are no cannons and walls: if the enemy had conquered Sant'Andrea, they wouldn't have been able to use it to attack Venice!

The buildings have been restored, but the island is abandoned at the moment. It's only accessible by private boat, and there's spontaneous vegetation all over.
There's hope for the island to be transformed into a public park: they've already done a similar job with nearby island of La Certosa, and the two islands could be connected with two bridges and a walking path, through a third island called Le Vignole.

Here's a few pictures
You can see the cannon holes on the perimetral wall of the island


http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Forte_S_Andrea.jpg

Forte di Sant' Andrea by Intiaz Rahim, on Flickr

Here's the main room inside the building. As you can see, renovated but abandoned.

Forte sant'Andrea by ChinellatoPhoto, on Flickr

Walking around the island

Gita a Venezia '09 by Roberto Grassilli, on Flickr

passaggio esterno by miike2007, on Flickr

porta by miike2007, on Flickr

Here's the canal going around the island, and separating it from Le Vignole island

abbandono by miike2007, on Flickr

And here are a few pictures that I shot. As I said before, everyone takes pictures of the main building, but I'm the only one who showed the secondary building (in the second picture).





In these pictures... Some wild goats on the islands! I couldn't believe it when I saw them I have no idea how they got there!



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Old January 29th, 2015, 04:14 PM   #203
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What an injustifiable dilapidation.

Nice thread - keep on
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Old January 29th, 2015, 10:52 PM   #204
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Quote:
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I have a question: how widespread is boat ownership among residents? It is something common like owning a car in the mainland? Is there a license process to drive small boats? Are there complicated restrictions about navigating on the main canal with a private boat?
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Old January 30th, 2015, 04:31 AM   #205
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Wow! Amazing defensive architecture! Somehow in Venice military architecture never ceases to be classical and pleasant to see...I think I see somewhat of Palladio in these classical order and in the column and arches...that definitely answer my question, there are a lot of gems around Venice that should be rediscovered...
Thank you Jas!
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Old February 2nd, 2015, 08:15 PM   #206
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Venice and Verona have one of the most interesting defensive systems in Europe. Sanmicheli was a genius.
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Old February 12th, 2015, 02:11 AM   #207
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Private boats in Venice

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Originally Posted by Roaming Girl View Post
I have a question: how widespread is boat ownership among residents? It is something common like owning a car in the mainland? Is there a license process to drive small boats? Are there complicated restrictions about navigating on the main canal with a private boat?
Hi! And thank you for your question

Short answer: no, boats ownership isn't like car or motorcycle ownership. It's more rare and expensive, and less easy.
Long answer: let's go into detail

The main problem with owning a boat in Venice is boat parking. Of course you can't dig underground parkings like for cars, and you can't build multi-storey "parkings" (called cantieri, dockyards) for boats in the center of Venice, since you can't demolish and replace historical buildings.

Normal parking spots are just a pole (paýna) on the side of the canal. The covered ones are inside the dockyards: they also have a crane to remove your boat from the water and upkeep it.

Due to the scarcity of normal (side of the canal) parking spots, the administrative procedure to ask for one is very weird: you FIRST have to buy a boat, THEN you can apply to receive a parking. In the meantime, you have to keep your boat in a dockyard for about 100-150 euro/month. It can take years before it's your turn in the waiting line to receive a boat parking, and up to a few years ago there was also a lot of corruption: "friends" used to jump the line, making it a lot longer for the rest of the people

But where are these parkings located? Some boatyards are on the north coast of the city, but most of them are in the surrounding islands: Giudecca, Sacca Fisola, Murano, Certosa.
Normal parking spots are on the sides of most canals in Venice. But only a part of them are next to a walking street! Lots of them are simply a pole next to the wall of a house. You either need to walk on other boats to get to your own boat, or use an inflatable rubber raft to cross those 50-100 meters of water from the street to the boat!!

All these problems make boats hard to be used "like a car": your boat is very likely to be parked 20-30 minutes' walk from your home, probably further than your destination itself. So you won't move your boat to go to the city centre, buy some food or go to work. Boats are used mostly in the summer, for leisure and fun. Venetians usually use the boats to go to peaceful areas of the lagoon, to smaller islands, sunbathing or even fishing or looking for clams and similar.

All this only applies to private boats. Transport and utility boats are a totally different matter: they include ambulances, police, fire brigade, hearse, waste management, taxis, goods transportation, postal boats and so on. I'll dedicate another post to them, in the future, if you're interested

Let's see some pictures!
These are "easy" parkings in the island of Burano: accessing the boat is very simple.


burano |2 by ]babi], on Flickr

On the other hand, this boat is very difficult to reach! The owner has to inflate a rubber boat, row on top of it until he crosses the canal and reaches his/her boat.


Venezia by Andrea Calcagno, on Flickr

This is a very tricky situation too: if you're lucky, you can walk on other boats to reach your own. If you're unlucky, the other boats aren't in their parking space and so you'll need your inflatable rubber boat once again.


Parking by pbaitor, on Flickr
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Old February 12th, 2015, 03:40 AM   #208
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Quote:
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Hi! And thank you for your question

[...] Venetians usually use the boats to go to peaceful areas of the lagoon, to smaller islands, sunbathing or even fishing or looking for clams and similar.
This actually made me think of a question to ask: How polluted is the lagoon?

I have a friend from Mestre who speaks of it like it's a toxic pool that if you fall in you'll get severely sick.

When I went to Venice many years ago, I remember a somewhat fishy smell, but the lagoon didn't seem to be filthy.
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Old February 12th, 2015, 04:08 PM   #209
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Fox View Post
This actually made me think of a question to ask: How polluted is the lagoon?

I have a friend from Mestre who speaks of it like it's a toxic pool that if you fall in you'll get severely sick.

When I went to Venice many years ago, I remember a somewhat fishy smell, but the lagoon didn't seem to be filthy.
As far as I know, Lagoon itself is not so much polluted, and in many areas bathing and fishing are allowed without problems. It is a kind of dark legend which, from my side (I am from nearby Padua), is more a mock against Venice, rather than truth. Just pay attention that historical Venice is an ancient city with tens of thousands of inhabitants and many more commuters and above all tourists, so I would be surprised if channels were not filthy, at least a bit; the same for Porto Marghera area, where you can find huge petrolchemical and other industrial plants, which is indeed polluted. But the Lagoon is much bigger, not just Venice centre or harbour.
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Old February 15th, 2015, 07:11 AM   #210
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Venetian language

Hello guys

I'll answer the question on pollution in the next days. But first, I'd like to say a few words about Venetian language, because I think it's an interesting topic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goy View Post
I think Italian gouvernment should give Venetian language the cofficial status.
I've thought about it a lot. I'm mostly in favour of it. But there are lots of questions and problems that should be solved, before making Venetian co-official!

First of all: Venetian is one of the closest regional languages to Italian, and this makes Venetian extremely flexible. It's very common to hear people alternate Italian and Venetian, or start a sentence in Venetian to conclude it in Italian, or viceversa, or alternate Italian and Venetian sentences.

In this sense, the two languages kinda complete each other. When you hear people speaking in Venice, they usually range between "pure" Venetian and "pure" Italian, according to the context: Italian is the precise language, Venetian is the emotional one. People use Venetian to emphasize concepts, to argue, to make jokes. Italian is usually used for more complex topics, because it's more formal.

The biggest problem with Venetian is that it has never been standardized. There are many different subdialects of Venetian, and none of them is more "important" than the other. So it's hard to choose one of these varieties and make it into the standard "official" language!

This is an approximate map of Venetian language varieties, even though there are differences even within the gropus themselves. Venice (me included) speaks Lagoon Venetian (Veneziano Lagunare), the purple one on the map.



Standardization would be vital to be able to create a writing system. Nearly no one is really able to write Venetian at the moment, because in the rare times when Venetian is written, the writer usually "invents" his own way of writing it!

However, the regional administration refused to create an intelligent writing system. They didn't want to make any choices, so they created a very counterintuitive system: they've introduced the letters Ł and ˇ, which are absent in the Italian keyboard, so this system is boring and hard to use.

Venetian language is still very strong in our region: I'd say that virtually everybody understands it, and most people would be able to have at least a basic conversation in it. Lots of immigrants learn it too, together with Italian.
However, without any kind of intervention by the state, this language is destined to disappear in a few generations. Young people know Venetian but lots of them tend to only speak Italian with each other. If asked to speak Venetian, they'd have no problems! But it's like a "sleeping" ability that they rarely train.

Regional bilinguism would help give more prestige to this language which used to be even used in literature. At the moment, virtually no books or magazines are written and published in Venetian. No TV programs, no TV news. Music in Venetian language is the only flourishing sector, with rap, metal and folk groups singing in Venetian A group of friends of mine started the first web series in Venetian language.
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Old February 15th, 2015, 08:26 AM   #211
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Venetian language song

Could a song in Venetian language be missing in this thread?

This is a very classical, traditional love song. Underneath you can find lyrics in Venetian, Italian and English language, so you can see the differences.

As for the "weird" letters in Venetian:
X is pronounced like English Z
Ł is pronounced line a normal L in some varieties of Venetian, but in others (including Venice) it's either silent or pronounced like a short E.



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Old February 15th, 2015, 02:18 PM   #212
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The socend largest community of Venetian speakers is in Brazil!
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Old February 18th, 2015, 05:31 AM   #213
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It is very important support Veneto independence! Venetians don't feel themselves as Italians, they are an own people who has its own history and its own language.

Last edited by Goy; February 19th, 2015 at 12:25 AM.
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Old February 18th, 2015, 06:33 PM   #214
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It is very important support Veneto independence! Venetians don't feel themselves as Italians, they are an own people whit its own history and its own language.
Beg your pardon?
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Old February 18th, 2015, 09:13 PM   #215
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This is one of the best threads on SSC.
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Old February 19th, 2015, 01:02 AM   #216
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To be honest there is no an "Italy"... Italy is just an artificial state result of the merge of several cultures, peoples and languages. I defend the regionalism as authentical manifestation of ethnicity. If you want to preservate European civilization you should give stimulus to regionalism and struggle against centralism. Centralism is only good for multiculturalism and immigration.
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Old February 19th, 2015, 02:41 PM   #217
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Quote:
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To be honest there is no an "Italy"... Italy is just an artificial state result of the merge of several cultures, peoples and languages. I defend the regionalism as authentical manifestation of ethnicity.
To be honest you're talking utter BS, you don't even speak a word of Italian, please refine your historical sources.

Go spam somewhere else, please.
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Old February 20th, 2015, 02:20 PM   #218
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goy View Post
To be honest there is no an "Italy"... Italy is just an artificial state result of the merge of several cultures, peoples and languages. I defend the regionalism as authentical manifestation of ethnicity. If you want to preservate European civilization you should give stimulus to regionalism and struggle against centralism. Centralism is only good for multiculturalism and immigration.
This sounds like EDL b.s.
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Old February 21st, 2015, 02:15 AM   #219
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Water pollution

Quote:
Originally Posted by photolitherland View Post
This is one of the best threads on SSC.
Thank you!!!! This means a lot to me!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Fox View Post
This actually made me think of a question to ask: How polluted is the lagoon?

I have a friend from Mestre who speaks of it like it's a toxic pool that if you fall in you'll get severely sick.

When I went to Venice many years ago, I remember a somewhat fishy smell, but the lagoon didn't seem to be filthy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FilTur View Post
As far as I know, Lagoon itself is not so much polluted, and in many areas bathing and fishing are allowed without problems. It is a kind of dark legend which, from my side (I am from nearby Padua), is more a mock against Venice, rather than truth. Just pay attention that historical Venice is an ancient city with tens of thousands of inhabitants and many more commuters and above all tourists, so I would be surprised if channels were not filthy, at least a bit; the same for Porto Marghera area, where you can find huge petrolchemical and other industrial plants, which is indeed polluted. But the Lagoon is much bigger, not just Venice centre or harbour.
True, the lagoon isn't that polluted, and it's slowly becoming cleaner.
Let me give you a complete answer

There are basically 3 big causes of pollution:

A) Industries and old unlicensed/unregulated garbage dumps

Up until 1980 the regulations for dumping stuff were almost non-existant. So the entire industrial area was built on reclaimed lagoon, but they used industrial waste to fill the land!!
So the soil underneath the industrial area is contaminated with phosphate industry waste, heavy metals from steelworks, glass shards and waste from glass processing. Steps are being taken, in order to cover this polluted soil with a waterproof layer of clean soil.

Some industries are being closed or reconverted. The main piece of the super-toxic PVC plant is on sale (you can buy it if you wish ) and the oil refinery is being converted to biofuel processing. A huge dump has been converted to the biggest Italian urban public park (San Giuliano), with help from EU money.

Here's Marghera industrial area, as seen from Venice. It has become part of the "skyline", I find it weirdly fascinating. But I'd be happy to see it all demolished

marghera by efilpera, on Flickr

Marghera by u.z., on Flickr

Aerial view

Canale Industriale Sud Porto Marghera - Venezia by GiuseppeB1961 500K thanksall, on Flickr

Here's San Giuliano park. Underneath lies a huge landfill, which was isolated and made waterproof in order not to be a problem anymore.

Parco San Giuliano by Andrea 'Gabbon' Boscolo, on Flickr

B) Natural and climate causes

Some Asian algae have been brought inside the Lagoon in recent years, and they have thrived due to the absence of animals eating them. These algae live with cool weather and die with summer-like hot weather.
They've caused a big chain of problems a few years ago:

1) The weather was unusually cold, up to June, so these algae lived longer than usual.
2) in July, it suddenly became very hot: all the algae died at the same time
3) While decomposing, the algae used up all the oxygen in the water: tons and tons of fish died of asphyxia
4) A layer of dead algae and fish further prevented the air from coming in contact with the water, worsening the lack of oxygen.
5) This attracted huge quantities of small mosquitoes (chironomidae) which invaded the city, creating "clouds" around any light during the evening.
6) There was an awful smell in all the city during low tide, twice a day for a few hours

All this problem lasted for 15-20 days. I still remember the horrible smell from those decomposing algae

Here's a few pictures:
The Japanese algae in Venice Lagoon. They were spotted for the first time in 1992. Source: http://www.silvenezia.it/?q=node/98



Dead fish in our canals, in 2013 summer.



3) Sewage, boat fuel leakage, waste falling in the water and other city activities

There are 3 types of sewage systems:

1) Historical: sewage runs in big underground cubicles before entering the canal. This gives time for bacteria to destroy and decompose a big part of waste, leaving the water relatively clean before entering the canals. Of course it's not "drinkable", but it's not terrible either
2) Sewage around 1950s: they're the worst. it's just a pipe throwing sewage directly into the canal, as it is.
3) Modern sewage: they have a system to separate oil and heavy pieces from the water (in engineering jargon: blond and brunette waters ). Every few months, you need to call a special boat to pump out all the mud and waste stored underground, to send them to treatment plants.

Number 3 is expensive, but it's obligatory for hotels and in new homes. The city is slowly improving its sewage, in order not to have any number 2 in the future.

---------------------------------------------------------------

So, to sum up: is the water clean or dirty?
It mostly depends on the area. The water in industrial canals is horrible, the water in the city is average, while in open lagoon it's clean and safe, especially in front of the water entrances from the sea.

I often take a bath in areas far from the city, but never in the city itself... Maybe I'll do it only when I graduate, sooner or later

Here's a map showing "average residence time" of water in all areas of the lagoon. In short: how much does it take for the water to be replaced?
As you see, the water in the industrial canals (left) takes up to 90 days to be replaced. The blue areas, on the other hand, are the places where Venetians go to sunbathe in the summer with their boat and take a bath

Here's the source and a better explanation (in Italian, though) http://www.silvenezia.it/?q=node/128
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Old February 21st, 2015, 02:41 PM   #220
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Thanks for your detailed answer!

I thought every household there had a boat and used it like a car in land-based cities! As you explained, that is clearly not the case.

You mentioned on earlier posts that many houses stopped using ground floor because it flood risk. Is it possible to convert part of a disused grand floor to a small boat garage of sorts?

Can any foreigner buy property in the Venetian islands, or are there some sort of restrictions like properties on the markets must be marketed to Italians first?

Suppose I have a lot of money (I don't ) and I want to move to Murano. Can I just go there and buy a nice canal-side terraced house, no questions asked?

Consider that visas wouldn't be a problem as I'd be from other EU country.

And if I may bother you a lil' more with questions:

Roughly, is it more common for families living there to rent or own their residences?

Are there many residences owned by Italian who live elsewhere and maintain a second home in Venice?

What is more common - people commuting daily from the islands to mainland for work, or the other way around?
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