Venice 24/7

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

Wed­nes­day, 8.30pm, SBS One Ah, just when you’re ex­pect­ing a won­der­ful doc­u­men­tary about an all-night su­per­mar­ket in Venice, this turns out to be one of those am­bu­lance-chas­ing se­ries, with ac­cess to the real op­er­a­tions of emer­gency ser­vices. Ap­par­ently up to 50,000 tourists pile into Venice each day for the car­ni­vals, cul­ture and canals. But, ac­cord­ing to the nar­ra­tor, what the tourists don’t see is how the city works. ‘‘ This is Venice from the in­side, as round-the­clock emer­gency teams fight to keep the city built on water safe and work­ing,’’ he says. Nat­u­rally there is a lot of the usual med­i­cal and fire dra­mas you find in such pro­grams. Yes, even houses built on water can catch fire. But what makes this really worth­while is the beauty of the city seen from all an­gles and at all hours of the day and night. Did you know that as tourist num­bers in­crease res­i­dent num­bers plum­met? There are now fewer than 60,000 peo­ple who live in Venice year-round. In win­ter the city is handed back to them and this brief win­dow of op­por­tu­nity is used to re­pair and re­ha­bil­i­tate the sag­ging city.

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