Cities Under Siege

Venice is facing not one rising tide, but two: the first is the water eating away at the foundations of La Serenissima. The second is the tidal wave of ­tourists threatening to engulf the lagoon city.

At the annual Venice Carnival in February, barriers were placed at the entrances to St Mark’s Square to limit the numbers surging into the piazza. The 110,000 visitors who poured into Venice outnumbered the locals by two to one, but only 23,000 were allowed into the piazza, giving each person a roomy half square metre of space.

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