Venice's gondoliers criticised for singing "culturally deficient" songs

London, Oct 5 (ANI): Gondoliers in Venice have been criticised for ignoring local ballads and for instead singing songs to tourists that are "culturally deficient" and have no relation to the lagoon city.

Tourists, who pay up to 200 euros to be serenaded as they are taken around the city's canals, hear songs such as 'O Sole Mio' the tune associated with the Just One Cornetto television adverts.f the 10 songs that visitors most frequently request from their gondoliers, only three have the most vague connection to Venice. The rest come from other parts of Italy such as Naples and the island of Capri.

They include 'Nel blu', 'dipinto di blu', the 1958 song known as 'Volare', and 'That's Amore', the 1953 song from the film 'The Caddy', which was sung by Dean Martin and is not even Italian.

Venetian councillor, Alberto Mazzonetto said gondoliers who belted out such songs were "culturally deficient".

"They are ignoring the Venetian identity in a way that is detrimental to tourism," the Telegraph quoted him as saying.

"They're offering a distorted image of Venice as a sort of cultural Disneyland which has little to do with local traditions," he stated.

He added that the city's Gondola Authority received 600,000 euros a year in funding, had "a great deal of power" and should encourage the revival of Venetian songs.

Aldo Reato, the president of the Association of Venice Gondola Rowers, said they tried to offer tourists traditional Venetian songs, but most foreigners only knew O Sole Mio. (ANI)

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