Associazione Piazza San Marco
November 5, 2012


‘A volte ritornano…i piccioni in Piazza San Marco’ (‘At times the pigeons ... return to St Mark’s Square’) is the provocative title of the document drawn up by the Associazione Piazza San Marco and sent to the mayor of Venice, Giorgio Orsoni, the Minister of Culture, Lorenzo Ornaghi, and the Soprintendente ai Beni Architettonici di Venezia, Renata Codello, about the ‘pigeon’ problem afflicting the Square and the entire St Mark’s area. The Venice city council has for years tried to solve the problem of reducing the number of pigeons in Venice and the St Mark’s area in various ways: capturing, administering sterilising corn and, recently, prohibiting feeding them by imposing a high fine. As known, the massive presence of the ‘city pigeon’ can cause problems of a sanitary nature and damage the monuments and historic buildings with its deposit of guano. Despite the city council ordinance in force prohibiting feeding the pigeons, about seven or eight people, mostly from Bangladesh, continue to sell grain illegally in St Mark’s Square undisturbed. They attract the pigeons by sprinkling grain over the paving of the Square and then sell small bags of it to the tourists who rush up, eager to have their photo taken surrounded by these birds. The phenomenon has increased visibly since 7 October, when the San Marco Guardians suspended their service of checking the St Mark’s area. Before that, their constant presence, along with the important task of informing the tourists about this problem, discouraged the illegal grain sellers from working in the Square. So the association is asking, through this document, also circulated to the press, for a greater presence of local police making more rigorous checks and the illegal sellers being fined in every case and their personal details recorded Furthermore, the document asks for greater information to be given to the tourists and more signage in order to try and effectively control this problem, which has once again become relevant. Download the document ‘A volte ritornano…i piccioni in Piazza San Marco’. venezia.pdf