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food / travel

Massive Crowds And Crumbling Monuments, Has Venice Reached A Breaking Point?

Venice is falling apart at the seams – quite literally in some of its best-known places. Critics say unregulated tourism is destroying Italy’s beautiful and fragile lagoon city.

Venice locals complain that tourists have taken over the city
Venice locals complain that tourists have taken over the city


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VENICE -- The most recent warning sign came Monday, July 25, when the Venice police department announced that the city was officially closed to cars. The reason? There's simply no more room. The bridge leading in to Venice was jam packed. All of the city's parking lots were sold out.

People were instead encouraged to use the train, which is ironic. Just the day before, a train accident in Rome snarled up Italy's entire rail network. In Venice, the delays meant long waits for hundreds of tourists. Adding to the city's woes is that fact that for some strange reason, construction has begun in Piazzale Roma – in the middle of summer of all times.

A troubling and very real feeling is starting to sink in. Venice, by all accounts, is at a breaking point. There's no room to fit any more people. And on an island without escape routes, the overcrowding is dangerous.

Who is to blame? With no planning or foresight, the city has greedily tried to squeeze in as many tourists as possible. That, in turn, has caused tensions with locals, who can no longer stand the waves of visitors who invade the tiny streets and squares, making it almost impossible to walk.

The island seems to be falling apart physically as well. Last weekend, a chunk of the venerable old Rialto Bridge came loose, crashing on to the busy pathway below, where it left a large crater. Fortunately no one was hurt. The city might not be so lucky next time, especially now that the car ban is putting even more pedestrians onto Venice's already overcrowded sidewalks.

Read the full article in Italian by Anna Sandri

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Economy

In Uganda, Having A "Rolex" Is About Not Going Hungry

Experts fear the higher food prices resulting from the conflict in Ukraine could jeopardize the health of many Ugandans. Take a look at this ritzy-named simple dish.

Zziwa Fred, a street vendor who runs two fast-food businesses in central Uganda, rolls a freshly prepared chapati known as a Rolex.

Nakisanze Segawa

WAKISO — Godfrey Kizito takes a break from his busy shoe repair shop every day so he can enjoy his favorite snack, a vegetable and egg omelet rolled in a freshly prepared chapati known as a Rolex. But for the past few weeks, this daily ritual has given him neither the satisfaction nor the sustenance he is used to consuming. Kizito says this much-needed staple has shrunk in size.

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Most streets and markets in Uganda have at least one vendor firing up a hot plate ready to cook the Rolex, short for rolled eggs — which usually comes with tomatoes, cabbage and onion and is priced anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 Ugandan shillings (28 to 57 cents). Street vendor Farouk Kiyaga says many of his customers share Kizito’s disappointment over the dwindling size of Uganda’s most popular street food, but Kiyaga is struggling with the rising cost of wheat and cooking oil.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has halted exports out of the two countries, which account for about 26% of wheat exports globally and about 80% of the world’s exports of sunflower oil, pushing prices to an all-time high, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization, a United Nations agency. Not only oil and wheat are affected. Prices of the most consumed foods worldwide, such as meat, grains and dairy products, hit their highest levels ever in March, making a nutritious meal even harder to buy for those who already struggle to feed themselves and their families. The U.N. organization warns the conflict could lead to as many as 13.1 million more people going hungry between 2022 and 2026.

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