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Venice cultivates the future of the world

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Venice cultivates the future of the world

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You know everything about Venice. San Marco and the Marangona. The Accademia Galleries and the Bellini in San Zaccaria. The Festival and the Redeemer. The shots and the shadows. But perhaps you don’t know that Venice is a teacher of the future. The birth rate decline, the flood of tourists, the environmental issues that the Serenissima has been dealing with for years already speak of tomorrow. They are the tomorrow of hundreds of cities around the world, even without the austere beauty of the Lagoon. The new issue of The passenger, specifically on Venice, offers stories, stories, slices of reality that are the future of the city and of much of the world. The editorial project dedicated by Iperborea to the places of the world and built with a captivating and surprising approach, is an entry and exit from the port inlets of the Lagoon, it is a surfing among “moecanti” (moeche fishermen), students and forest people. There are stories, infographics, author pieces (Chiara Valerio, Marco Baravalle and Andrea Molesini), playlists and reading suggestions, eccentric and beautiful photo shoots. More than a guide to the city – this is not the intent of The passenger series -, a guide of the heart, a guide made of details that become universal, in search of the tremors of the waters, of the desires of men and women. The passenger-Venice in the backpack, and off we go.

If tourists have any sense

The lagoon was formed by a combination of sediments brought by the rivers (Tagliamento, Piave, Sile and others that flowed into the Adriatic) and moved by the sea currents: in the middle the most beautiful jewel, San Marco, the churches and palaces that tourists they storm. Tiziano Scarpa underlines how daily tourists are more numerous than residents (50 thousand): it is a “meta-Venice”. Depopulation has been vertical, starting from the 1950s, when overcrowding caused house prices to skyrocket. Today the city is a factory of meals and nights that never stops, a hit-and-run amusement park. Produces garbage to sell. And its destiny could be «to raise tourists, like fish attracted to the lagoon: that is to say to raise waste producers. Dry and shred rubbish, which will become the new salt of the earth! This is what our company-city will have to do, this is its future.”

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From the Water Magistrate to the Mose

Certainly, it will have to guard against the waters, as it has done throughout its history. Now there is the MOSE to protect it but how much commitment, how much acumen, how much science – as explained by the reconstruction of Alexander March the Great – in water management and land protection. On 7 August 1501 the Water Magistrate was born, the best engineers were hired by the Serenissima for cyclopean and futuristic hydraulic works, diverted rivers, canals, breakwaters on the sides of the three port inlets: «Once the enemy of the Lagoon was the land and Venetians defended it from fresh water. Today the enemy is the sea and we defend ourselves from salt water. A total and absolute reversal that has irremediably distanced Venice from the environment that generated it: the Adriatic Sea.”

Even petrochemicals have changed the face of the Lagoon forever. Built a century ago, today it is abandoned and Gianfranco Bettin’s story is a poignant warning: «Every now and then we look out onto spaces that have become wild again, savannahs where the salty wind from the sea and lagoon blows and collects spoiled, vitrified moods from the earth carbonized and sour and where, however, a tenacious grass grows.”

Fishing with moecanti

It has resisted for more than 1600 Venice like the moecanti, the moeche fishermen (the moulting crabs). They live at the time of the tides, unspeakable hardships and little money. But tradition counts, once a popular food, today a rare and expensive dish and Diletta Sereni’s story is a live docufilm in which Emiliano and Paolo are explorers of a place in perpetual transition: «Around them the tide continues to pulsate , crabs shed their skin. Perhaps what we call the end of the Lagoon is just a delicate restlessness.”

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