Venice Mayor Massimo Cacciari wants to step up his war on pigeons, going so far as to outlaw wedding parties from throwing the traditional handful of rice at newlyweds, Italian media reported Monday. The daily La Repubblica said the draft ordinance would prohibit the throwing of rice outside the Palazzo Cavalli wedding hall where more than 1,000 couples tie the knot each year. A new ordinance would also ban sales of feed in Saint Mark's square, the hub of tourism in the lagoon city, a press spokesman told AFP.
Let's just take a deep breath, Mr. Cacciari. I visited Venice in 2005 and found that the thousands of pigeons that frequent San Marco Square were a major part of the distinctive quality of the city. I can understand that they may bother people (though I personally love pigeons). But let's take it down a notch. Think about all the janitorial jobs that pigeons create for the local economy. Now do you feel better?