Destinations

Is Venice about to become two separate cities?

Venetians will be taking to the polls in December to decide whether the city should be split in two.

President of the Veneto Region Luca Zaia announced last Wednesday that the plan to take the issue to referendum was legitimate and could go ahead in two months time, according to Il Globo.

Luigi Brugnaro, the mayor of Venice has said he does not support the vote and urged residents not to take part in “yet another referendum on separation”.

The split would see the lagoon area of Venice and the mainland area of Mestre become two autonomous municipalities. Only residents of the lagoon area (around 260,000 people) will be allowed to vote on the matter, excluding citizens of the larger metropolitan area (around 853,000 thousand) according to Lonely Planet.

While old Venice experiences an overwhelming 20 million tourists per year, the other six burroughs on the mainland are largely post-industrial, over populated and receive very little attention and investment compared to the popular floating section, the Local Italian reported.

If the split goes ahead, it is hoped that both areas would have better control over where their finances go.

This will be the fifth time Venice has voted in a referendum of this kind, with the previous four receiving a majority of “no” votes.

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