The huge cruise ships that dock in Venice threaten the city's delicate cultural heritage. Meanwhile locals are protesting against the hordes of tourists that flood the city. Venice's status as a UNESCO World Heritage site is also endangered.
The World Heritage-listed city is using a busy long weekend as an experiment before the summer season kicks off. Mass tourism has taken its toll on the lagoon city, but it relies on the income.
"Tourists destroy what they are looking for by finding it," wrote German writer Hans-Magnus Enzensberger — and that applies to Venice today. Still, DW reporter Juan Martinez has found ways to avoid the crowds.
The lagoon city is the new highlight of the world's largest model railway complex in Hamburg's Speicherstadt. From 21 February, the miniature gondolas will run through the canals of little Venice in Bella Italia.
At the ITB travel trade show in Berlin "overtourism" is hotly debated. Majorca, Venice and Berlin — they all suffer from the excesses of tourism, even though tourists are an important economic factor.
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