After several weeks in Venice, we wish we could be defined as being "locals" rather than "tourists". What point do you cease being a tourist and become a visitor, a local, a resident? I'm sure there are legal definitions but in our hearts, we don't wish to be tourists. (That said, I'm a photography nut so I've always got the digital SLR close-by - a dead-giveaway we're not as local as we'd like to be!!!).
I once read the average time someone visits Venice is one day. ONE DAY! How on earth can you get a feel for La Serenissma in 24 hours? A large number of people come here on cruises and basically hop off for some general site-seeing, shopping and eating, before heading off to the next destination. Tourists come in droves - from the airport, from the train station, from the buses. And it gets worse on the weekends, particularly when the weather is nice. You can't cross a bridge without running into massive tour groups, even in our quiet and suburban canal.
At a vaporetto stop today we overhead a conversation between several British people and they were all basically staying for three days. Now three days I understand. Three days is the number I spent here when I was a 21 year old backpacker and then again some 15 years later. Since then it's been seven days and now this one at 30 days. Even now, we're trying to work out how often we can get back and how long should we stay for each time. Apparently we're moving here but after checking the property prices - and not speaking much Italian - I seriously doubt it! But we dream....
Venice is a tourist mecca regardless of the time of year you travel. We like to come in the "off-season" as I previously mentioned on this blog. The downside is that some restaurants are closed over the colder months and general tourist sites often have shorter hours. But you can get around much easier. Except in St Mark's, you aren't generally bustled about it. You've got room to move. You can soak it up much easier. You can be at one with the place.
Except on the weekends when even more tourists pour into this place!!! Note to the large French group we passed this morning. It was obviously day one, first hour, of your trip. Yes, you are looking forward to all the wonders of this glorious city. But learn the "road rules". Keep to the right. And don't friggin "hog" the bridges, especially the smaller ones used for local routes. The locals like us get really p***ed off when you don't move across and let us pass.
Yep, when then are dozens and dozens of tourists around and you've been here for a couple of weeks (and it's not the first time visiting the place) THAT's when you call yourself a local! :)