2441 – Otherside

As I said in the last post, today Venice is less oriented towards its canals, and that’s for a reason: Fewer and fewer people actually live there.

Venice has lost all its political power in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars. It fell to Austria, and although Austria soon lost it to the newly formed Italian state, this state was ruled by a Piedmontese dynasty. The center of Italy’s political power shifted to Turin, Florence and finally Rome.

Of course Venice was still rich, had a peculiar architectural style and was full of the finest pieces of art, yes was a piece of art itself, and thus it became one of Italy’s most important tourist attractions. Over time though the rich people began to move elsewhere, following the power, leaving their palaces as museums and hotels.

While tourists still use boats, it’s mostly the big bus boats, the Vaporetti. Those are much too big for the many small canals, and that frequently renders the former main entrances useless. Life has shifted from the canals to the small squares again, and at night, when most tourists have left, Venice is almost empty, only a ghost of its former self.

The Song of the Day is the Red Hot Chilli Peppers cover “Otherside” by Ben L’Oncle Soul. I have it as track four of the German edition of his self-titled 2010 album. It’s not on the US version that I link to, but at least you can hear it on YouTube.