I had so much fun with this when I first posted it back in 2007 that I had to run it again. The idea (tongue-in-cheek, people, tongue firmly in cheek) was that in order to save La Serenissima from its various enemies foreign and domestic, Venice in Peril ought to dedicate some of their efforts not only to restoring the buildings but to instituting some kind of tourist diversionary barrier– siphon off some of the flow and redirect them somewhere else, and tell them they’ll like it just as much as Venice– and they will. Because they don’t actually care about Venice or anything it contains. They’ve just heard they should go there, so they go.
So ok, how do you decide who gets to go and who doesn’t? We could institute a tax, but that’s not fair because not everyone can pay it, and I don’t think Venice ought to become some kind of exclusive resort for rich people. So I thought of something much more egalitarian: there should a pop quiz to get into Venice. If you don’t get at least 60% of the answers right, you have to get back on the boat and go visit some other Italian city– try Padua!– instead.
Here is my suggestion for the Venice in Peril Pop Quiz.
1. Venice was once ruled by the Doge. A doge is a______
b. duke in a funny hat
c. group of men in funny hats
2. Bellini, Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese, Canaletto. These names refer to:
b. cities in Italy
3. The Accademia is:
a. a school
b. a museum
c. a sports stadium
4. True or false: a canal is an acceptable substitute for a garbage can.
5. Do you and/or your family own and wear fanny packs [UK visitors: bum bags]? (Y/N)
6. Do you think it is acceptable to eat potato chips whilst riding in a gondola? (Y/N)
7. Do you believe that if you don’t videorecord every moment of said gondola ride it’s like it didn’t happen? (Y/N)
8. Are you likely to buy a sparkly mask as a souvenir? How many?
9. Please define the following terms in your own words and to the best of your ability: mosaic, vaulted ceiling, gothic arch, Byzantine.
10. If told you that you were to be staying in a hotel in Venice that was built in 1890, which of the following most closely would match your response?
a. 1890? So it’s a new building. That’s disappointing.
b. 1890? Holy shit, that’s like a hundred years ago! Dude, this place is old!
c. Whatever, as long as it’s clean.