When it comes to tourist destinations in Italy, Venice is amongst the favorites. It is one of the top destinations in Italy – on almost every tourist’s list. However, a quick tourist trip to Venice will not give you an accurate feel of what it is like to live there on an everyday basis. Let us see some pros and cons of moving to Venice.
Pros of moving to Venice
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic hit Italy hard in the past couple of months. Venice was no exception. Its residents and economy both felt the full force of the pandemic. Amidst all the fear and hardship that took place, Venetians got the chance to experience Venice without tourists once again, and soak in the beauty of the city.
In addition to the fact that it is home to some of the world’s most exquisite architecture, numerous bridges and is a labyrinth of canals, it is Venice’s overall romantic feel that captures the imaginations and hearts of people all around the world. It’s no wonder that people often want to organize weddings in Venice. If this is something that you want to do, contact a company that will help you prepare everything for your big night.
The unique feel and the city setup
It is fair to say there is no place on Earth quite like Venice. It truly is a unique place where the hustle and bustle of busy streets filled with cars and the sound of their engines have been replaced by a network of canals and gondola’s slowly, patiently gliding across the water’s surface. Floating under one of the many bridges across the canals gives you that picture-perfect postcard feeling.
Venice represents a complex network of curving alleys, some of which go in a complete circle and others which lead to a central town square. There are many ways one could get to the central town square and trying out these different routes feels like exploring the unknown. The numerous pasta, pizza, and gelato shops tucked away in these alleys along the way are an added bonus.
It must be noted that the area between St.Marc’s Square and the Rialto Bridge offers more of a tourist destination vibe than it does a feeling of the authentic Italian lifestyle. The neighborhoods in the eastern parts of Castello and northern parts of Canareggio offer a real sense of community and neighbors can often be seen sharing stories in the streets.
If Venice becomes too much for you and you need a change of scenery there are a lot of destinations that you could take day trips to nearby. Venice has an international airport and a good rail system meaning that it has a good connection to the rest of Europe and the world.
The large variety of art and cultural heritage that Venice has to offer makes it a very attractive location for history, art, and culture lovers. Venice is home to the Venice International Film Festivals which is the oldest European film festival and one of the three major film festivals in Europe. The Venice Film Festival was founded in 1932 and forms an integral part of the Venice Bi-annual festival which began in 1893. Since then, this celebration of the arts and culture has grown and now encompasses a range of Italian and international art, theatre, music, architecture, and film.
When we think of Italian cuisine, we immediately think of pizza and pasta, but Italian cuisine has so much more to offer. Local Venetians eat differently from what the Italian stereotype would lead you to believe. Many Venetians eat out at local “Osterie” which are like pubs/restaurants, or at “Bacari” which have more of a bar-like feel to them. At these bars, food is traditionally ordered and then eaten while standing at the bar. One example of a traditional meal would be Chicchetti which is like a Venetian take on tapas. Whilst the exact ingredients in Chicchetti can vary, spicy meatballs and olives are often amongst them.
Cons of moving to Venice
While Venice has much to offer, the coronavirus pandemic showed us that the Italian economy, like so many, is very fragile. Many people lost their jobs as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and there are limited job opportunities in the city itself nowadays. Before moving to Venice be sure to look for employment opportunities online so you would have something to rely on when you decide to move to the beautiful city of Venice.
The same things that make Venice so beautiful and attractive to many, cause one of the main problems associated with living in Venice. Due to the large number of tourists who visit the city, crowds are commonplace. The narrow streets and canals can become very difficult to navigate.
Flooding and odors
During the fall and winter, the water level in the canals often rises causing flooding in the city. This causes several problems for the city’s population, especially those living on the ground floor. The city is sinking and some even estimate it to be sinking at a rate of up to 8 inches every century. Venice even got a tourist tax in order to fund a restoration project to protect the city from sinking.
When Venice experiences long periods without rain, with low water levels a bad odor can be noticed around the city sometimes. One of the reasons for this is the presence of sewage in the canals although the locals most commonly attribute this smell to naturally occurring algae and sediments.
A major downside to life in Italy is its tax system. Taxes in Italy are higher than in many other western countries and apply to every cent you earn. This is something you should take into account before deciding on a move to Venice. On top of the national tax, you will be charged a regional or municipal tax as well. These are factors you should take into consideration when negotiating any potential salary.
Whilst the canals in Venice give it it’s unique feel, they can be a real danger, especially for young kids. The canals have no railing other than on the bridges, so falling into them is easier than you’d think. If you are looking for some tips on traveling to Venice with kids start here.
Expensive public transport
Although the waterbuses which commute around Venice are the cheapest option for getting around the city, they are still fairly expensive, especially if you need to use them on an everyday basis unless you get the resident/long-stay option.
There will certainly be changes in the next few months in a way the Venice and people here live due to coronavirus, but life is slowly returning to normal. Stay informed about the situation, act according to health guidance, and stay safe. If the spread of coronavirus taught us anything, it is that you need to be prepared for any situation. When you live in a foreign country you need to have something to rely on as a support system and in terms of a financial cushion.
Venice represents a real mix of cultures due to a large number of tourists and new residents, the local community and their traditions are still strongly felt throughout the city. Whatever your reason for wanting to move, we hope this list of pros and cons of moving to Venice gave you some insight into what you can expect.
(Written by guest writer: Sophia Perry)