I have already expressed my view about the vermin in Venice! Those pigeons are everywhere and I dont get the desire to let them crawl on you, but to each his own. I am by no means a germ phobe. Afterall, I used the bathroom on the train! And I have been known to eat things off the floor that have surpassed the 5 second rule. Also, my mother raised me to think/believe that you need 7 pounds of dirt a year to stay healthy! This, of course, is some old wives tale, but since her grandmother made her eat a spoonful of dirt each week and she is as healthy as a horse, there might be some truth to it. However, the pigeon thing is a bit much.
I belong to a online newspaper about Venice written in English and this article was just in the last edition. Very interesting.....for those of you who have yet to visit, this will probably change your mind about the pigeon tradition. For those of you who have come and gone and participated, go take another shower.
NEWS. Recently, following a research report from the veterinary sector of USL, the local health authority, the most pressing problem in Venice has become the pigeons. Eight birds out of ten are carriers of toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection that can occasionally be fatal, while others transmit salmonella, fungal diseases, or ticks. According to the monthly tests, their health is getting worse. The primary reason is related to their excessive number -- more than 70,000 -- which is greater than the human population of Venice. In the opinion of experts, the maximum should be less than 30,000 but, to obtain this result, as has been said many times before, it would be necessary to eliminate the St. Mark's street vendors who sell grain to tourists who, in turn, feed it to the birds.