August is normally a time for those long-awaited holidays when one enjoys time to think, to rest, as well as to dream. I would therefore like to share my dream about the city I’ve been living for many years: Venice. I dream of a Venice that is revived, attracting more permanent residents, and not just millions and millions of tourists. A Venice where young people that aren’t necessarily from privileged backgrounds can afford to live, aspire to owning their own home for their family, and have a job that isn’t necessarily tied to tourism. I dream of a Venice where the mayor and councillors are chosen by Venetians to resolve their problems and consider their priorities, unlike today with the citizens of the mainland portion of the municipality constituting the voting majority. I dream of a Venice that isn’t a “brand” to promote (the current mayor’s fixation), but is characterised instead by its mix of cultures, artisans and craftsmen, technological innovation, living traditions and intelligent efforts to preserve her unequalled beauty and delicate ecosystem. A Venice that is projected towards a future that the city itself can offer, and not a narrow range of possibilities decided by the vested interests of those that consider the city as if it was just a tourism business. A Venice that can aspire to tailored fiscal and administrative instruments that reflect its extraordinary uniqueness, recognised nationally and internationally. I dream of a Venice where the city administrators do not obstruct the free expression of citizens, as is happening now, by finding judicial obstacles to a democratic referendum for the separation of Venice from Mestre. This is at the expense of those whose wishes the city administrators should listen to more (not less) and would the favour development of new forms of democracy at the city level.
This may indeed be a dream but as John Lennon said “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one”. Thank you for your attention