Has the Grand Canal become a boulevard of broken dreams?
Millions of tourists flood Venice’s venerable St. Mark’s Square every year, but the city has become a veritable ghost town—with only 48,000 permanent residents. As more and more properties are converted to service the tourist industry, local Italians find themselves shuffled off to live on the mainland suburb of Mestre, forced to commute into Venice daily.
Director Andreas Pichler argues that the classical facades lining the canals of one of Italy’s grandest cities masks a crumbling and decaying social infrastructure. The Venice Syndrome explores the impact of tourism and foreign property ownership on a city that has seen the decline of all other major industries, from it’s own proud history of global trade and publishing, to the more modern shipping yards. It all pales in comparison to the riches tourism offers the city dubbed by some as “a living museum.”