Venetians, or those who remain, have been upset for years over a feeling of being swamped by tourists, especially day-trippers and cruise passengers, whose daytime numbers can make La Serenissima seem un-serene in the extreme.
Now, after a summer marked by protests including attempts to block the huge cruise ships that dwarf the city from entering the Venetian Lagoon, the city is being pushed to take action. One of the pushes is a UN warning that Venice would be placed on UNESCO's list of endangered World Heritage sites if it doesn't ban the cruise ships within a year.
The city tourism office has told reporters that "We're thinking about it; it’s not definite but we are considering it,” while the national Ministry of Culture says that “The government is studying a strategic plan for tourism with the aim of reducing the overcrowding of the most popular places and offering alternative destinations.”
That may seem like small hope for locals who have swum and boated into the shipping channels to block ships, have festooned bridges with anti-tourism signs and asked to see some real action. But, in a city whose economy absolutely depends on tourism, they clearly don't want it to end entirely.