«Venice is the most romantic place in the world but its even better when there is no one around»
The Venetian lagoon and its city are an environment of water and land that has no equal in the world. A unique place because of the interdependence between human being and its environment, where for centuries, the survival of one has depended on the preservation of the other. Over the last half century, this ancient and delicate balance has been broken by human being. Many events followed one another, of which the flood of 12 November 2019 was perhaps only the latest but not the worst. An event that showed this city's exposure to the effects of climate change. On the other hand, the lagoon, the largest in the Mediterranean Sea, has not remained untouched by all this. The pollution of Porto Marghera, the continuous flow of commercial and cruise ships and the mobile dam (Mose), have heavily modified this incredible ecosystem. Last but not least, mass tourism is threatening the existence of the community of inhabitants of Venice.
But something has been changing in recent times.
This is the story of the regeneration of the Lagoon and Venice through the collaboration of a group of researchers with local communities. In recent years, many projects have emerged to rethink tourism in a sustainable way and to repopulate Venice, or to find innovative solutions to the problem of environmental degradation of lagoon waters. The sharing of governance between scientific researchers and local communities has made these practices both successful and sustainable. There are many initiatives that are addressing the degradation of Venice and its lagoon in an innovative and courageous way, such as Life Lagoon Refresh, Vimine, Venus Swarm and many other. Plans that will only give their concrete results in the coming years, because great changes happen slowly but inexorably. But, looking at the great number of energies and projects, one result seems to have already been achieved: the consciousness of the players in the field that there will be no future for Venice and its water territory without a sustainable and innovative approach.
This project was born in collaboration with GEO Magazine, and National Geographic.
“Serenissimo” (the most serene) was an appellation given to the Doges, later transferred to the Venetian republic. Literally, this term refers to a sense of inviolability, attributes that this place has lost today. This project is dedicated to those people who with courage and awareness are building the Venice of the future.