When we asked Paolo, the owner of Nati House where we usually stay when we are in Venice, if he had any suggestion for a "new" thing to do during our stay, he mentioned Pellestrina, the long, pencil thin island south west of La Serenissima. I had read about Pellestrina in one of Donna Leon´s books and fell for the idea.
From Venice we took vaporetta #1 out to Lido. There we caught bus #11, driving first all the way south on Lido, then on a small ferry over to the island of Pellestrina, continuing further south to the city of Pellestrina.
It was like coming to the heaven of peace. Everythning was so quiet, so silent and so beautiful. No other tourist, and few locals to see. In a tiny little shop I found a few old postcards, but there were no place to buy cheep Chinese souvenirs, no neon light coffee bars, no tourist traps at all.
Walking the narrow calles of the village, and we felt like intruders, we came so close to the peple living there.
Lunch time came, and we walked over to one of the restaurants we had seen, Da Celeste.
The waiter met us with a broad smile: "Please sit down. Can I get you something to drink? I am sorry the kitchen is opening a little late today as there is some television filming going on."
We sat down, almost out oin the lagoon, and soon things started to happen.
I wrote about this in one of my Postcards from Venice, but since then there are some thoughts which will not leave me. Thoughts on tourism.
Remote, serene places like Pellestrina, are becoming rare in our world. And I wonder, how long will they continue to excist? BBC2 clearly see its beauty and they want to share it with their audience. This way people might want to go to the island to experience this beauty by their own. If too many tourists come, the island and the village will lose its charm. I, a blogger, could clearly see its beauty and I want to share it with my readers. I already know that people have gone there because of my blog. Others night go in the future.
To survive, Pellestrina and places like this, might need tourists and their money. To survive, Pellestrina and other places like this, might easily be destroyed by too many tourists.
Is it possible to balance this?