- This is a question of enforcement of European Union Laws with which I am not familiar. Is there, in fact, a pricing parity law that the European Union can enforce against Venice? Or is this a question of asking the courts to interpret laws of equal treatment and freedom of movement to include a peripheral requirement of pricing parity for pubic services? I'd like to learn more about it. And, I suspect that I will.
- I don't know that I've ever visited a city where, for example, one pays the same per ride on pubic transit on a single-ride basis vs. a commuter basis. It's certainly not that way where I come from. So, I find the premiss of this suit somewhat surprising.
- It's very difficult not to have a purely emotional reaction to this subject. Visiting Venice is expensive and the prices for these public services are very high. They are prohibitively so for many travelers. I have seen young people cry at the thought of having to take a Vaporetto; Fourteen euros round-trip would cost them as much as they plan to spend on food for a day. But, are high prices automatically unreasonable when one considers the cost of providing these services in Venice?
- Venetians live in a unique environment, under unique circumstances. The “public” services in question are much more designed for and used by tourists than they are by locals. And, the unique structure of the city makes access to the public boats absolutely essential and in-season access to museums nearly impossible for Venetians. These facts seem to lend themselves to an argument that it is proper for tourists to subsidize the costs of these services. It is my understanding that the availability and quality of public services used primarily by Venetians, e.g. education and healthcare, are significantly less than those used primarily by tourists.
- No one is talking about universal pricing parity for public services in Venice. Many non-EU citizens visit Venice, myself included. None of us stands to benefit from this suit.
What OG Venice can recommend to fellow travelers who hope, as I always do, to enjoy Venice within tight budget constraints, is to educate themselves in advance about pricing and package deals that are available for all of the costs mentioned in the complaint. The most important resource for this is the Venezia Unica website. Of course, you might have to dig a little bit to discover that "City User" passes are in fact available to non-residents. Anyone can purchase a City Users pass. And, while it may seem like a lot to shell out 50 euros at once for the pass, that is roughly equivalent to the cost of six round-trip vaporetto tickets and would thus likely pay for itself within three days in Venice!