How à became @.

As far back as in the early Venetian history, back when Venice was a small Byzantine province, the symbol à was used as at = at the rate of. The Venetian merchants would use it if they had to sell let’s say 500 units defined by weight or volume at 2 coins. The at in Venetian was written: à, with an accent on top. 

Much of their merchandise, both liquids and solids were sold in amphoras, a sort of big, ceramic, vase-like container. With time the Venetian traders found a way to simplify the use of the symbol. They took the accent over the a and made it round, to look a bit like the very amphora it was a symbol for. That way they could save ink and write just 500 @ 2. 

What it meant back in the day.

An old Amphora from southern Greece

The @ with the new, rounded form was useful as it meant a common, widespread unit with a common volume or weight. The Venetians traded very much with the eastern Mediterranean and in Arabic, the الربع (ar-rub) meant a quarter and it was abbreviated… Yes, with the @ symbol. Everyone could agree on quantities and weight without quarreling and disputing. It was a very practical symbol, and it meant smoother trading.

And although it was a Venetian invention, it wasn’t limited to Venice and the Arabic world. It was used from east to west, from Syria to Portugal. In fact today in Portuguese the word Arroba means roughly 15 kg of weight and is still used in Portugal and Spain as well as in many countries in South America in trading vocabulary.  

How @ was saved from oblivion.

It continued to be used in a commercial context all the way until modern times. But the first typewriters didn’t include it. Maybe it was too complicated to carve out the @-type element in the 1800s machines. Or it was just a symbol that normal people never hit. Later versions of typewriters included it, but it was still a rare sight on paper. The usage was marginal. 

In much the same way, the first tabulating machines wouldn’t include it. It was a technical commercial symbol with little application, and if the greatest invention of the 20th century after the washing machine hadn’t been born, maybe the @ would have been something we would see in historical documents only. 

Because in the mid-1900 the first electronic computers entered the stage. And in 1971, the American computer technician Ray Tomlinson was sitting at his desk facing a delicate problem. He was working with a brand-new concept… Electronic post-service.

Computer technology had reached a point where single machines needed to be connected to others. The first attempt was called ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network). It was very modest compared to the modern Internet, but when e-mail was invented, it caught some traction. And it is with the creation of e-mail that @ went from being a never used symbol in a forgotten corner of the keyboard to a superhero in the virtual-media world.

The first ever e-mail.

Raymond Samuel Tomlinson

The reason Ray Tomlinson chose @ for the e-mail address was very simple. He had to be able to address a message created by someone and sent through ARPANET to someone else on a different computer. He needed to separate the person’s name from the receiving computer’s name, and he needed a symbol that was rarely or never used in other circumstances to not confuse the program. 

His eyes fell on the little strange curly thingy above the P. So, he wrote a simple e-mail to himself, from one side of the room to another computer on the other side of the same room. When it came through he knew the symbol was good, and he had made history. 

The obscurity of the early history.

Studying history is a difficult task. if you want to prove what happened last week, it could be easy if you have some sort of documentation. Still, we all know that we often make mistakes about what people said, what happened, and what it all meant. If you go back thousands of years these mistakes often become huge. 

The lives of Kings, Emperors, as well as wars and conquests are often well documented. But, simple farmers, shop owners, fishermen, Venetian traders, and such almost always do not leave anything close to written or documented for the future in any way. That’s why it can be easy to know if Nero, the Emperor lived in Rome, and we can be reasonably sure about his life in broad strokes. But it is extremely difficult to prove that Antonio the baker existed in the Roman Empire at the same time.

Having said that, someone could easily claim that I am wrong about the Venetian origin of @ because my proofs are somewhat fuzzy… And I am biased. But it’s still interesting, isn’t it?  

Venice Scams.

Coffee at bar

€ 24 for two cups of coffee at the bar.

The Venice Scams reach new and never before seen heights. It’s kind of hard to believe but two women visiting Venice for the day were charged 24 euro for two perfectly normal coffees. And they weren’t even sitting down but enjoying their treat standing up at the bar. 24 euro, well, that has to be some sort of a record. Not even the most expensive establishments on Saint Mark’s Square can compete with that.

– I paid because I was shocked. I was so upset that I couldn’t react, was what one of the women, who actually is from Padova and not really a scammable tourist anyway, told the journalists.

Venice Scams

I could have been too. Coming up to the cashier with a few measle coins in your hand just to be presented with a bill of astronomic proportions.  

Venice Scams as bars and restaurants.

Venice is expensive, and the Venice scams are many. You have to be street-wise and know where to go and where not to go. The bar in question is called Rivo Alto. It’s situated right on the San Marco side at the Rialto bridge. Just the fact that it’s right there, should make you doubt, and maybe walk a few steps away from the busiest tourist zones.

What I know about this particular place is that it’s not more scammy than anyone else in that neighborhood. I don’t drink my morning coffee there, but I’m sure they make an excellent java.

– They didn’t even put the coffees on the receipt, but it was written “banco” (bar) 24 euro, the poor day-travelers claimed. 

Scams in other parts of the world.

I have traveled a lot. In Italy, in Europe, and sometimes in the world. About Italy, I can easily say that for a foreigner, it’s sometimes tricky to not get deceived. But that goes for most parts of the world. There are two details that put the tourist at a disadvantage:

  1. The traveler more often than not finds himself in the same spot as other travelers. There is a very good chance that he encounters scammers, pickpockets, and bad hotel deals just because the people who have made scamming a commercial activity work where the tourists are. You are at greater risk in London than you are in Barton-upon-Humber.
  2. Different countries have different rules. It is difficult to understand how to go about things in a strange environment. That is true about both how to avoid scammers and pickpockets, and how the laws and general rules work. My mom was robbed of her wallet five minutes after getting off the Airport shuttle in Croatia. She didn’t even notice it. 

To defend yourself against thieves, and life-changing bar tickets, you have to study your opponent. And, of course, the more you travel, the better you get at keeping him a bay.

venice scams

Venice actually has done quite a lot to make the city safe for tourists (Well, they live from them so that’s what you should expect.). And so has the rest of Italy. There are ways to not get ripped off. And here are a few tips:

  • Prices are exposed on the wall of the bar. That’s the law. If you sit down at a table you have the menu, but even if you just want a standing coffee or a beer, the price must be on the wall. That is your price guarantee.
  • Again… If you can, don’t go to the restaurants near Saint Mark’s, Rialto, or the general area between those two sites. I know lots of awesome places right there, but you can’t just walk around and choose randomly. If you have no idea where to go, stay away from the central part. Away from the most touristic parts of the city, you can still find yourself at a bad trattoria, or a lousy bacaro. But at least the risk of steep markups is much less.
  • Remember that Italians are a talking people. Ask, and ask again. If you don’t like the ticket, ask why it’s so expensive. Maybe they did a mistake, and if so they will correct it.
  • Follow the locals, and if you can’t, ask at the hotel, the B&B, or even at the grocery store. Venetians are always very glad to help a lost visitor to a good eating place.

So, if you’re from Padova, shouldn’t you know better?

Coffee at bar

So, back to the two ladies who got the astronomic bill…

The fact that it was written “banco” is more or less standard. Other Italians wouldn’t react in any way to that. It can be a way of not being liable for any misunderstandings (scams) later. You just have to say no, and that you want if specified (For your business accountant).

And the 24 euro was exactly ten times the exposed price on the wall. A caffè macchiato is 1,20 at the bar, which actually is a low price tag in that specific area. If they had protested before paying, I’m sure the cashier would have corrected the error… And maybe even thrown in a glass of limoncello to compensate, though knowing about how most of the bars treat tourists in that particular area… maybe not. And Rivo Alto has a few really interesting bills if you trust the reviews on TripAdvisor… A cold-cut platter with two spritz – 58 euro… Two glasses of wine and a coke – 25 euro…

… Or maybe, the two tourists from Padova just wanted the attention? But what do I know…

Venice Events 2022.

Events 2022 Zattere
Venice events 2022

The isolation days are over.

Venice Events in the summer of 2022. So, the hoards of tourists are upon us again. Now, don’t take me wrong. You’re all very welcome and some of us (…read hotel-, restaurant-, and bar owners) have longed for you for more than two years. Finally, the hotel registers are more than just a home for dust and some occasional moth passing by. 

It was a strange and exceptional time though, the lockdown… Maybe I should say lockdowns because, in hindsight, it seems there were many periods of complete isolation with times of hope and expectations in between.  Looking back, there were so many theories, ideas, and more or less incorrect facts about the Covid outbreak. The whole first year was a full pallet of different strategies, a back and forth between new scientific studies and economic and pragmatic considerations. 

Now, at least here in Italy, the hospitals are still running overtime trying to catch up with all postponed and suspended interventions that were not connected to the pandemic but were still very serious and important. Many suffered during the last years, and not only those who were affected by the disease. 

The biggest threat to humanity during the eons of our existence was never wars, natural catastrophes, draught, or floodings… It was always bacteria and viruses.

A short updated list of things to do.

Another cool thing that has come with the revival of the city, is all the local feasts, and events that pop up everywhere. For two years we haven’t been able to meet, eat, drink, and have a good time together with friends and family. We have looked at each other from a distance, and we have spoken in a loud voice through the face-mask filters, worried about infection risks and safety restrictions while backing away all the way to our domestic hideout.  

Now, when Covid is defeated (?) we have a pent-up desire to dance and sing, and get drunk…

So all over small, local events are blooming and I figured I should list all Venice Events for the summer here. Just as confirmation of the will to go ahead that I see all around nowadays. We want it so bad to be over and we have such a huge will to be able to hug and kiss our loved ones. We all need love and tenderness, and we need the vicinity. Just waving from a distance or talking on the phone won’t do it anymore. 

Events 2022 Zattere
Zattere – After the pandemic, people are back.

Venice Events – In chronological order.

  • Cinemoving. It’s practically a truck equipped with a big screen, film projector, and 99 chairs. It drives around and offers free cinema to anyone who is interested, obviously not in Venice. But it’s active on Lido, Pellestrina as well as the mainland. It runs from June 23 until September 4 and it’s bookable on the city’s cultural event site. There you should also be able to get more information. 
  • Festa della famiglia della parrocchia Burano-Mazzorbo. From June 10 to 26 there is a local feast dedicated to the family and family values organized by the two parishes on Burano. If you’d like to go all the way out there, it could be a nice way to spend a day away from the hustle and bustle of Venice.
  • Festa di Sant’Antonio a San Francesco della Vigna. One week of music, eating and drinking from June 11 to 18 righ there between Arsenale and the Hospital Ss. Giovanno e Paolo 
  • Art Night Venezia, organized by the Ca’ Foscari university. On June 18, not only the University is open to the public, but so are many other cultural institutions… Museums, palaces, exhibitions, etc. It is an evening and a night full of exciting discoveries all over Venice, and Mestre. 
  • Festa San Giovanni in Bragora. A fun and happy week culminating in the celebration of the night of the summer solstice, tuesday the 21st.  Here’s where. 
  • If you’d like to take a day trip all the out to San Pietro in Volta, do it the last week of June. Because one of the most genuine and colorful feasts in and around Venice is the Festa di San Pietro right there. June 26 until July 4.
  • Festa di San Piero de Casteo, is another very local and wonderful eating and drinking event. It’s a wonderful occasion not only to party but also to experience this hidden corner of Venice… One of the original sandbanks where the first inhabitants once started out the endeavor to build this extraordinary city. June 29 till July 3. 
  • If you missed Venice Film Festival 2021 and you can’t come in August, you still have a chance to grab some awesome movie- and film experiences in the mindblowing surroundings of Lido di Venezia. A stone’s throw to the south from the festival area, the Sorridendo Film Festival opens its gates. The location is Alberoni and the dates are July 7 till 10.
  • Festa di San Giacomo dell’Orio is a way to help people in need while having a good time. The association San Giacomo Benefica organizes and the time is July 14 till 23. Every evening from 8 pm to 24 pm at San Giacomo dell’Orio local food and drinks are served.;
  • Festa di Santa Marta, an old feast by and for sailors and fishermen of every sort and size. The day is July the 29th and the spot is Canale della Giudecca, especially the northern and western parts.
  • Sagra di Portosecco, from 6 till 15 of August is a well-frequented feast by locals and Venetians alike. Good stuff to eat and drink accompanied by dance and theater exhibitions. The spot is the center of Pellestrina. It’s sometimes called Sagra di Santo Stefano.
  • Festa di San Rocco is yet another event commemorating the terrible pestilence of 1576 (when the cathedral of the Redentore was built and the feast of Redentore began.). On August 16 around Campo San Rocco, in the church of San Rocco, and the Scuola Grande di San Rocco there are lots of mostly religious activities. Not much drinking and dancing but it’s solemn and quite interesting.
  • Aggiungi un vicino a tavola (Add a neighbor to the table).  in Salisada San Samuele On September 11, there’s the opportunity to get to know someone you didn’t know before. Just show up and join the fun.
  • And lastly, on September 16 and 17 there is an international Volleyball tournament in Campo San Giacomo.
venice spring 2022

Venezia FC. promoted to Serie A

1-1 scorer Venezia Cittadella

On that incredible day, the 27th of May last year, 2021, on overtime in the 93rd minute, Riccardo Bocalon finally put the ball behind the Cittadella goalkeeper Elhan Kastrati. After that, the game was over. The Venice team danced and hugged each other and they could only dream of what it would have been like if the supporters had been allowed into the stadium. As it was, due to anti-covid measures, only about 200 were celebrating, but doing so outside “Penzo”. 

But as soon as the news spread, more and more people gathered at Giardini, then at Arsenale, and later in the evening the whole Saint Mark’s Square was full of dancing and singing Venetians dressed in orange, black and green. Finally, after 19 years, Venezia FC. was back in the highest division, Serie A.

Venezia FC

What football means in Italy.

Just to clarify, what we are talking about here is football, played with your feet. In some parts of the world, it is wrongly called soccer, but it still consists of a ball and… right, feet. 

Someone once said that for the Italians, three things are important: Football, football, and football. To me, personally, football is further down on the list of what’s important in life, but I’m not Italian. It should also be said that all this applies to men. Italian women usually have a completely different relationship with games involving chasing and kicking a ball.

If you hear Italians (men) arguing loudly about something, it could be that they’re fighting about a woman, it could be a political discussion, but most probably they’re discussing the latest football match, and how good or bad the players were, how corrupt the referee was, and how lousy the trainer or the latest, ridiculously overpaid purchased player is. 

Football is important. And your team is sometimes more important than your wife or your girlfriend. Feelings like fidelity, loyalty, love, and sacrifice are normal, and so is jealousy. A smart Italian woman should never force her man to choose between her and the team of his heart.  

Another interesting fact, at least for me, is that the team that an Italian supports isn’t necessarily his home team. A person from Rome can be a supporter of a team from Milan, and vice versa. In Venice, that is not the case though. 

Stadio Penzo
Venice Football Stadium “Penzo”

What Venezia FC signify for Venice.

In an interview on Antennatre, a private North Italian regional television channel, the hero 1-1 scorer, Riccardo Bocalon, was introduced as a pureblood Venetian. He, himself, then continued by declaring how very Venetian he was, born just a stone’s throw from the Penzo-stadium. 

There is a very strong pride in calling yourself Venetian. The incredible history of the republic maybe together with a feeling of marginalization, being a small town far away from Rome, make the Venetians want to assert themselves. This is reflected in strong political independence, separatistic movements, and sometimes in frightening manifestations like some of the ones on the holiday of April 25.

So, for Venice, I would say that the promotion to Serie A is more significant than it would have been for any other team. Let’s just hope they’ll manage to stay up there. Because looking at the team’s history, the adventure in the highest division could easily be short-lived. 

The incredible comeback of the orange-black-and-green.

The match was the second in a playoff, best of two. The first was played four days before, the 23rd, in Cittadella. Venice won 0 -1. This second match didn’t start out favorably for Venezia FC. In the 26th minute, Cittadella scored, and in the 36th Pasquale Mazzocchi, orange-black-green defender was sent off the field, and Venice had to continue with 10 players. 

They dug in though and tried to resist while Cittadella pushed on to score the 2-0 that would send them straight into Serie A. But somehow they never managed. Instead, Bocalon saved his beloved home team, and the rest is history.

19 years, that’s how long Venice hasn’t been playing in the top division. In that time they played seven seasons in Serie B, eight seasons in C, and four seasons in D. They also went bankrupt no less than three times. But let’s start at the beginning: 

A short background.

Venezia Foot Ball Club was founded in 1907. In those days football was more or less just a group of enthusiastic youngsters kicking ball. The matches were played in the park at S:t Elena close to where the Stadium is today. 

In 1913 the new stadium was ready and the following year they were promoted to the highest division. In those days, without airplanes and fast trains, the highest division was divided into two parts, north, and south. It wasn’t until 1928 that Italy got a national league. 

In the interwar period, Venice changed its name and merged with smaller clubs several times. In 1940 and 1941 they were called Associazione Fascista Calcio Venezia Venice Fascist Football Association. No big deal. Almost everything in Italy at the time had some connection to fascism. 

1940, -41, and -42 were the most successful years in the history of the club. In 1941 they won the Italian Cup, and in 1942 they came third in the top national league after missing a penalty and loosing to the league-winner, Roma, at Stadio Penzo in Venice by 0 – 1. 

venezia fc
Associazione Fascista Calcio Venezia winner of the national Cup 1941.

After the war, they dropped the “fascist” label, just like everyone else, played a few seasons in Serie A, then in B, and by the 60s and 70s, it had become a rather depressing story. They were in Serie D, playing with boy scouts and seniors. 

Financing the whole circus.

Then in 1987 new ideas of managing and financing were blooming. The football-loving businessman Maurizio Zamparini bought the club, merged it with AC. Mestre. With fresh money and new uniforms in orange, black, and green, the lagoon club started out the journey for the highest division again. They reach it in 1998. In 1999 they were relegated, in 2000 back in A, and in 2001 kicked out again. 

furto di Pergine
Maurizio Zamparini

In 2002 Zamparini had lost interest. He sold the club and bought Palermo instead. Unfortunately, he not only left the club, but he took 12 of the top players and the manager with him. Two days later the sporting director Rino Foschi also left the club.  After that, Venice had its wings clipped. By 2005 the club was relegated from Serie B and declared bankrupt. 

Later that year the club changed name to Società Sportiva Calcio Venezia. Or rather, the club re-emerged under a different label with no legal connection to the old club. A few years of struggle in Serie C before the second bankruptcy in 2009. 

In 2009, the Venice Major at the time, the philosopher Massimo Cacciari founded yet a new club. This time named Foot Ball Club Unione Venezia. The club lasted two seasons before being declared bankrupt a third time.

And then, finally, in 2015, the club got its present name Venezia FC. American dollars floated in in the form of Joe Tacopina, and later Duncan Niederauer. With more stable financing, Venezia FC. could reorganize and look further than just one season at a time. New players were purchased and Stadium “Penzo” was refurbished and enlarged to 11.150 seats. If Venezia FC. should remain in Serie A even next year, it has to be increased in size to 16.500 seats according to the UEFA regulations.

This brings us to the present situation in Serie A:

Venezia FC. and the 2021/2022 standings.

Venezia FC. has never been a stable Serie A team. It has always circulated in the qualification zone, one year in A, the next in B or lower. Teams like Juventus and Inter, both well funded and from big cities, are always in top. Nowadays, the success of a team depends on economic factors more than anything else. The whole football circus is different compared to just a few decades ago. 

Of the 35 players in Venezia FC’s ordinary team, 21 are non-Italians. Of the 14 Italian players, 2 are from San Donà di Piave, a few miles northeast of Venice, and maybe we should count Gianmarco Zigoni from Verona too. But that’s it. All the others come from other parts of Italy. Players are bought to the club as a part of the free transfer market and as a result of the Bosman ruling. There isn’t very much Venetian in Venezia FC. It is just a business in the hands of American billionaires. 

1-1 scorer Venezia Cittadella
Riccardo Bocalon


But hey, didn’t you forget Riccardo Bocalon, the guy who scored the winning goal in the play-off. Yes, Bocalon is in fact Venetian. And maybe in this context, it is understandable that he wants to point that out…

-I am actually from Venice… Venetian, born just a stone’s throw from the stadium.

Because he, ladies and gentlemen, is the only one.

There’s not much to say about that. This is just how the world is rotating. Football has become an industry like any other. 

What I find peculiar is the fact that the supporters, the hooligans that run around in the streets beating up fans of the other teams, and the separatistic and racist political movements that fuel off of small cities’ colorful football teams, don’t really have any foundation for their support. It’s business, no more, no less. The team you’re cheering for could very well be the opposing team next year.

But that’s my take on it… 

Today, January 21, 2022, Venezia FC. is in the 17th position of 20. The three last teams at the end of the season will be relegated.  

cheering for your team

Bill Gates buys the luxury hotel Danieli in Venice.

the co-founder of Microsoft
hotel danieli

After the pandemic, the historical monuments in Venice are sold off to scrupulous financiers.

Well, to start out, it’s not true. A few days into the new year 2022, the news swept over the world… Bill Gates is shopping in Venice. He has bought one of the most famous and renominated ancient luxury hotels in Venice… Hotel Danieli. A marvelous palace facing Riva degli Schiavoni, and the Saint Mark’s basin right in front of the Saint Mark’s palace. 

But, as said before, it’s not true.

hotel danieli

I sometimes feel it’s kind of a trend. The idea of shouting out when the local, or national treasures are sold to foreigners. To evidentiate a threat of sorts, when our cultural inheritance is exported and put in the hands of people outside our borders… The others, those who do not have the same passion, and respect for buildings and artifacts of the past as we do.

… To scare us?

So, what actually happened with hotel Danieli?

First, it is important to understand the difference between ownership and management. Big hotels are often owned by someone but managed by someone else. And hotel Danieli is no different. Today the hotel is run by the biggest hotel chain in the world, the American Marriott group. 

So, the idea was that Bill Gates was supposed to have bought it through Four Season Hotels and Resorts, a company controlled and owned by ¾ by the co-founder of Microsoft. The news started out in an article in the respectable newspaper Corriere della Sera.  Actually, the paper only speaks about “investing” and “taking control of”, but immediately, through the telephone-game psychology, the intent became “buying”. 

the co-founder of Microsoft

That alone should have alerted the conscientious reader. Four Seasons do not own their hotels themselves. They manage them. They have exclusive rights to operate the establishments with almost total control, but they don’t own them.

A complete refurbishment should take place financed by King Street Capital Management and designed by Pierre Yves Rochon. The bill was supposed to end at 30 million Euros. 

But no, it wasn’t true…

Just a few days after the first notion of the deal, we were told that the deal was off… Or it was never on. The refurbishing for 30 million and all the rest was correct, but Bill Gates and Four Seasons were not involved. The ownership is staying in the hands of Gruppo Statuto, a (in this context…) small real estate company in Rome. They refinance hotel Danieli, one of the oldest and most extraordinary hotels issuing bonds worth 330 million Euros. 

The Marriott management is also secured.

To be precise, we can’t know if any negotiations took place and in what way. But Bill Gates didn’t buy, that’s confirmed.

Who owns the luxury hotels in Venice?

Disclaimer: We have put affiliate links to Booking.com here if you’d like to book any of these. There is no additional cost involved for you, but we’ll get a small commission… Or check out our recommended hotels here.

  • The St. Regis Venice. The owner is Marriott international Inc. who also handles the management. The St. Regis hotels and resorts is a separate label but it’s owned by Marriott.
  • Gritti palace. Yes, Marriott owns and manages that one too.
  • Baglioni Hotel Luna. Baglioni Hotels S.p.A is the only Italian luxury brand that operates on an international level. They own and handle hotel Luna. 
  • Aman Venice – The owner is formally Pontwelly Holding Co. Ltd. but they, in turn own Aman Resorts, the manager of Aman Venice
  • Hotel Bauer. It was bought by the Austrian real estate giant Signa Holding GmbH  in 2020. The Bauer Palladio at Giudecca was sold last year to the French Airelles.
  • Hotel Danieli. As stated, the owner is Gruppo Statuto and it’s managed by… Again, Marriott.
hotels in venice run by Marriott

Luxury hotels vs small family hotels.

The times when hotels and restaurants were owned by the family who lived there… The family who had founded it, made it a thriving business, and now, after many years, could enjoy the fruits of their efforts. Well, those times are gone. At least in Venice.

That kind of accommodation still exists, not in Venice but elsewhere. In the Alps, for example, you can find just that. The small local establishment, cozy and cheap, for good or for bad, but with that special attention, only a family-run hotel can offer. They’re still out there, but in Venice, they are darn hard to find.

Who owns whatever in the world today?

Owning is an international mechanism. Very often we think of labels and brands as national, or at least strongly tied to a particular country. Chrysler, it’s an American car, right? Just like Fiat is Italian?

Well, not quite.

Chrysler was sold to Fiat in 2014 and together they formed the Chrysler Fiat Automobiles (CFA). In 2021 they merged with the French PSA group and formed the brand new company Stellantis N.V. This latter is now Dutch with the headquarters in Amsterdam. They produce cars and trucks of 15 brands such as Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram,  Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Maserati, Citroën, Peugeot, Vauxhall, and Opel. 

the global economy

Similar structures can be found in almost every section of the business world. And with the internationally accessible stock markets all around the world, anybody can buy a small part of any company anywhere on the globe. Ownership can change from year to year, from day to day, and even from one hour to the other.

Is owning all that important anyway?

I don’t know… Is it? Is a Chrysler car different now when its headquarters are in the Netherlands? It’s still, at least some models, partly, made in the US. That hasn’t changed at all. Would hotel Danieli in any way be different if Bill Gates bought it? Does the signature on the business agreements and the tax residency have anything at all to do with how I appreciate my hotel room?

I think it does matter. But not always, and not very much. 

We live in a new world. The borders are open, for people as well as for resources. It’s bad and it’s good, but we have to live with it. These days with the resurging pandemic, I could focus on the bad. The open borders make it easier for the virus to spread. 

But I’m sure there will come a time when open borders can be looked upon with confidence and optimism. The way it should be.

I believe the world would be a better place if we stopped closing border crossings and raising walls, and started building bridges instead. 

But I’m from Venice…

arsenale looking at riva degli schiavoni