Bringing the Text to Life
If you ever get to Venice, one of the places to see is Saint Mark’s Square, the spot Napoleon called “the drawing room of Europe.” But if you go there, make sure your belly is covered up.
It’s not that there’s exactly a dress code, but there is an expectation of decorum.
Venice had 20 million visitors last year, so at any given time, there can be thousands of people in this famous square, which is surrounded by great architecture and sites of historic importance. But some people just don’t get it, and they aren’t above wandering onto the square bare-chested or with their midriff exposed. Some carelessly drop litter and others try to set out picnic lunches on the square. Still others treat the nearby Grand Canal as if it were a beach.
The city leaders view these behaviors as disrespectful of the place. City council member Augusto Salvadori, who is in charge of tourism and the city’s image, explains, “Venice is a city of art and a city that belongs to the world. Guests are welcome — but...