Gruppo 25 aprile

Piattaforma civica (e apartitica) per Venezia e la sua laguna

For our (many) foreign friends

What is “25 April”? We are a group of venetians, “native” and not (venetians by choice, in all cases) and the group has been steadily increasingly its numbers from the 75 founders to more than 1,800 today. Whoever truly loves Venice is welcome here, irrespective of nationality and religion: this has always been the strenght of Venice, since the middle age: its capacity to attract the best energies from all over the Mediterranean Sea.

Why are we creating this blog, and why now? Venice already has the status of “world heritage” but until now this was interpreted as a mere duty to protect its stones. Our view is that without people living in the lagoon and preserving their houses, their special skills and that very fragile environment, such stones will collapse as an empty shell.

Like native indians in America (in the 19th century) we now risk being forced out of our environment, and this is what happened already to almost 100.000 native venetians in the past 60 years: “forced” out of the lagoon, to live “on the other side of the bridge” (the mainland) because of the cost of living and the lack of appropriate job opportunities: Venice is so successfully attractive as a tourist destination that prices have rocketed to sky and the only jobs available risk being those related to the one industry of mass tourism, which are not remunerated enough to afford living in the houses where our parents and grandparents used to live: those houses which were built on water hundreds of years ago and survived to everything, until now. This is not what we dream for our children: being a waiter in a restaurant, or having to move somewhere else.

How to define a “venetian”? It is not an issue of identity card but of lifestyle. For instance, Irish people around the world still celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. In the very same way, venetians are proud of celebrating St. Mark’s Day. The tradition wants that every venetian gentleman (native or not native, living abroad or not) on this day offers a single red rose – one and only one, to mean that the woman who is offered the rose is unique – to their wife or girlfriend. The young boys do the same, to their  mother or sister. In venetian language, such rose is called “il bocolo”.

This new blog is the red rose we are offering to the city we love. Because this city can be loved or hated, but when you love it you love it like a woman.

Happy St. Mark’s Day, to you all, wherever you live and wherever you were born.

Marco Gasparinetti,




11 pensieri su “For our (many) foreign friends

  1. Kathleen Mays in ha detto:

    Venice must be saved from officials who are more interested in tourism and commerce than in preserving the history and uniqueness of this great city. I greatly support the petition to stop the digging of the canal.

  2. Pingback: To our foreign friends: would you please sign this petition? | Gruppo 25 aprile

  3. Louis Bonnefous in ha detto:

    Dear Marco, Dear All,

    I have been living in Venice for 20 years now. I would be interested to hear serious proposals on the way to salvage Venice. My friends, my family, has been obliged to move out of Venice, to live on the mainland. But this has nothing to do with tourism. For instance, in the case of my brother-in-law who has a large apartment in Cannaregio, it is simply because he was fed up to wake up at 6h00 in the morning and to waste more than an hour to go to work. In the case of a friend working in Monselice,, he left Castello because it was taking him 2 hours to go to work. And, if you are honest, you will recognize that having more or less tourism in Venice would not change their fate, their being forced to move out of Venice. They keep their apartment there, but rent them to the tourists, which is nice for them.
    Could you explain why it would be better to rent them for 600 euros a month to a tenant who would stop paying after the first month – thanks to inadequate Italian laws, instead of getting 2000 euros from tourists, who could not stay in Venice otherwise. What is your logic ? Are you working for hotel owners ? Please tell us the truth !
    Of course, you can cancel my post, although it would be dishonest. You can give me a blabla answer, but, there is no serious alternative.
    All the crap against the Venetians renting their apartments to the tourists is just a protest from the hotel owners.

    • Thanks Louis. No we don’t and we have made our proposals to reconcile those who live with tourism and those who would like to live in Venice without getting addicted to or depending on this only source of revenues.

  4. Thanks for the work you are doing to save Venice!

  5. Esperanza in ha detto:

    Potete cambiare “you love it like a woman” per “like a partner”? É ancora sesista dirlo così. Noi, le donne, anche amiamo così forte come i uomini a noi. Non sarebbe stranno dire “when you love it, you love it like a man”? Noi siamo soggetti, non oggetti (neanche muse)

  6. Pingback: Visiting Venice? Learn to know how. - Positive Magazine

  7. Pingback: Los venecianos quieren recuperar su ciudad - Travindy Español


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