Protect us

Many of you will have read about the accident on the Grand Canal which took the life of a German father, and has put one of the children of the family into hospital in Padua, in critical condition.

None of us know when our time here on earth will be over. We do need to remind ourselves that life is indeed brief, and that we should try to make the very best we can of it.

Who was it that said “Life is not a dress rehearsal”?

These two sculptures on either side of a door looked to me like the very sort of guardians we need, from time to time.

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19 Comments

Filed under Venice

19 responses to “Protect us

  1. Hi, Liz.

    Among the many thoughtful posts from people who live in Venice, was this one from Erla. http://iamnotmakingthisup.net/18795/latest-on-the-gondola-disaster/ She makes the point that the regulations do indeed exist, they’re just not followed.

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  2. Reading the comments, I see that there are likely no easy answers.

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    • That’s for sure, Darlene. And there are many other problems facing this city that need to be be worked through.

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      • Dear All,
        I hadn’t heard about this sad accident. I had the feeling during the last weekend back in April, that the difference in the number of tourists in just a few days was unbelievable. I thought then, that the city was close to bursting point but it wasn’t even the real “high season,” but only the prelude. It’s a difficult question: the city definitely needs the income but how does one enforce some kind of influx control? Any kind of proper regulations on the Grand Canal would probably be a good thing. Just my two cents’ worth.

        Would love to have those two guardians outside the new office building I enter every day 🙂

        Kind regards, Liz

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  3. Caroline

    The good news is that the little girl was less badly injured than first thought and flew home with her mother and brothers yesterday.

    The volume of traffic is really getting bad, but I think there are no easy answers. Deliveries in the early hours would not be great for those who live next to canals! And the residents-only vaporetti they tried a few years ago didn’t get enough use, although I’d certainly have used them for where we live now.

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    • That is very good news about the little girl, Caroline.

      I was wondering why the resident-only vaporetti quietly faded away.

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      • Caroline

        According to one of Phil’s choir friends, the residents-only vaporetti were a sop designed to fail for 2 reasons – 1. the shortness of the route (was it as far as S. Zaccaria?) and 2. the fact it was only every 20 minutes. In our case at present, the route would have been fine for most purposes and I’d happily wait longer for an uncrowded boat!

        Did you see pictures of the “gondole in lutto”? The black bands on the ferri looked custom-made, not improvised, so we’re guessing they are normally used when a gondolier dies.

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      • I saw a video of the homage paid by the gondoliers, it was so touching. Has the ACTV management been very quiet since the accident? Do you know who oversees the investigation? Is the Magistrate of waterways? (I no doubt have the title wrong.)

        You probably recall not so long ago when a relatively young gondolier died suddenly from a brain tumour. He was a star singer with the Joy Singers gospel group. (This is apropos your comment re the black bands on the ferri.)

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        • Caroline

          Nobody is saying much so far, but the gondolier and the ACTV captain are equally under investigation. Actually I’ve mainly been feeling desperately sorry for the ACTV captain, but both of them must be distraught (as well as obviously the family).The investigation has been handed over to the questura and, for questions of an administrative nature, the Capitaniera di Port. They have CCTV footage. One question I haven’t seen raised is why they were apparently embarking from the Magistrate of the Waterways dock.

          Possibly the gondoliers were less than considerate with their tribute on Sunday as they didn’t actually inform the authorities they were going to do it, so that caused more problems.

          All the ACTV crews who seemed very sombre yesterday, as did the whole city (apart from tourists who presumably didn’t know about the accident), and there was a lot more horn-blowing going on in the Grand Canal.

          Now you mention it I do remember a fairly young gondolier dying recently, but I didn’t notice the black bands then – did you? Maybe it’s just normally on those attending the funeral (if in Venice)?

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  4. JoanneH

    I have to agree with Andrew its is amazing nothing like this has happened before. Marie is also correct bettween the tourists and everyday life something has to be done so that each can enjoy and live in Venice Safely

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    • It’s a logistic nightmare. The canals are crowded, but then so too are the calle. Someone has suggested limiting the number of tourists who can enter the city, I wonder if and how that would work?

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  5. Yes, Yvonne, we can use a little protection but mostly from Venice’s city administrators. The day to day traffic problems on the Grand Canal, especially near the Rialto bridge where the accident occured, have been yelled and screamed about for a very long time by those whose jobs put them on the canal everyday. Yet, until this tradegy, their pleas to have the city enforce the rules that already exist have fallen on deaf ears. Let’s hope this time things really change.

    Venice is breaking at the seams, everyone wants a piece of her, merchants, public officials and even tourists. Our exquisite city was built for oar boats and walking. There are too many vaporetti because, every day, too many people want easy access to the heart of Venice. The city needs to consider providing fewer water buses to Rialto for non-residents, and require those millions of tourists that come every year to walk or be transported to and from the city center via external canals. They need to put a time limit on boat deliveries; not too many years ago supplies were brought to the city in the very early hours of the day, now the ‘topi’ boats filled with cargo occupy their share of the canals at all hours. I could go on and on with examples, but now we need to see what the city and the interested work categories have to say, and what they’re willing to do.

    Let’s hope your lovely statues cast ‘pearls of wisdom’ on those who are responsible for returning Venice to the safe place it was and was built to be.

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    • It is such a shame that it takes a tragedy such as this to bring about necessary decision making and action, and not just in Venice. Many of us will be watching with interest to see what eventuates, Marie.

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  6. Bert

    The two carvings represent the Annunciation, so they say.
    Sad news indeed.

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  7. Andrew

    As I said to Karen, It’s amazing that there aren’t more accidents on the Grand Canal. So much traffic and all sizes. Very talented boatmen.

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  8. Jan Graham

    On that cheerful note, Good Morning Yvonne,

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