There are many who believe the best way of ensuring that city survives is to revive the independent Serenissima. In March 2014, an online referendum organized by the nationalist group was held, asking residents of the Veneto (including most of Venice's historic terra firma possessions) whether or not they wanted to be independent. 89.1% said yes.
To raise awareness, the locals have created Venezia Autentica to encourage visitors to support local, sustainable businesses. In May 2018 Venice joined Lisbon and Malta and ten Spanish cities in the Network of Southern European Cities against Touristification, calling for solutions to the pollution, high rents and loss of local shops and high paying-wage jobs brought by mass tourism.
For all that, Venice may be doomed by one of the very few things that can’t be blamed on tourists, cruise ships or the Italian disdain for long term planning: rising sea levels, a worry confirmed in May 2016 in UNESCO's warning about the threat posed to numerous World Heritage Sites by climate change.
Images by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra, Marco Ober