Tourism's Negative Effects in Italian Art Cities

With about 353 tourists per resident in the historic city center of Venice, many residents are fleeing the crowds and moving onto the mainland, making the city a "monument-attraction," rather than a viable living space.

August 16, 2014, 5:00 AM PDT

By Maayan Dembo @DJ_Mayjahn


As Marilena Mela writes for Global Site Plans, Italy is known for its stunning landscapes, rich culture, and mild climate, drawing about 46 million visitors every year. In many of the art cities featuring prominent works by influential artists, the influx of tourists in recent years is leading to a reevaluation of the tourism industry's benefits.

These visitors, many who are day-trippers or cruise-goers, "take a quick look at the canals and narrow roads, and return to their ship without contributing to the city’s economy. The touristic invasion, in combination with the flooding problem that continues to worsen, has led to an abandonment of the city center." Indeed, compared to other Italian cities, Venice and Rome host the greatest number of tourists, and a recent study by Sapienza Univeristy of Rome found “that the authentic character of the city is in danger of alteration, due to low quality facilities that represent a 'fast' tourism." In addition, "the overcrowding of the city center of Florence by tourists also seems to be a constant cause of stress for its inhabitants, as indicated by a 2012 study published in the journal Tourism Geographies."

With these impacts from tourism in mind, how can urban planners and architects use policies to minimize the detrimental affects and protect, but still showcase, historic cities?

Thanks to Renée van Staveren for the heads up.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 in Global Site Plans

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