Gondoliers ordered to change their tune
Published 05/10/2010 | 05:00
Venice's gondoliers have been criticised for serenading tourists with "culturally deficient" songs that have no relation to the lagoon city.
The boatmen are under attack for ignoring local ballads and instead crooning songs from other parts of Italy such as 'O Sole Mio' -- the tune associated with the 'Just One Cornetto' television advertisements.
Tourists pay up to €200 to be serenaded as they are taken around the city's canals. Of the 10 songs that visitors most frequently request from their gondoliers, only three have the vaguest connection to Venice. The rest come from other parts of Italy such as Naples and the holiday island of Capri.
Gondoliers who belt out such songs are "culturally deficient", said a Venetian councillor, Alberto Mazzonetto. "They are ignoring the Venetian identity in a way that is detrimental to tourism. They're offering a distorted image of Venice." (© Daily Telegraph, London)