Europe

Venetians protest it's ever harder to live in Venice

  • A protester on a gondola impersonates the "Doge of Venice" during a demonstration against the increasing number of tourists in Venice, Italy, Saturday, Nov.12. 2016. For decades, the number of Venetians have dwindled steadily and numerous factors are blamed _ high prices driven by a boom in tourism and the logistics of supplying a carless city and erosion by lapping waters among them. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

    A protester on a gondola impersonates the "Doge of Venice" during a demonstration against the increasing number of tourists in Venice, Italy, Saturday, Nov.12. 2016. For decades, the number of Venetians have dwindled steadily and numerous factors are blamed _ high prices driven by a boom in tourism and the logistics of supplying a carless city and erosion by lapping waters among them. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)  (The Associated Press)

  • A banner reading "Venice Exodus" is displayed on the Rialto Bridge as a protester on a gondola impersonates the "Doge of Venice" during a demonstration against the increasing number of tourists in Venice, Italy, Saturday, Nov.12. 2016. For decades, the number of Venetians have dwindled steadily and numerous factors are blamed _ high prices driven by a boom in tourism and the logistics of supplying a carless city and erosion by lapping waters among them. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

    A banner reading "Venice Exodus" is displayed on the Rialto Bridge as a protester on a gondola impersonates the "Doge of Venice" during a demonstration against the increasing number of tourists in Venice, Italy, Saturday, Nov.12. 2016. For decades, the number of Venetians have dwindled steadily and numerous factors are blamed _ high prices driven by a boom in tourism and the logistics of supplying a carless city and erosion by lapping waters among them. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)  (The Associated Press)

  • Demonstrators holding suitcases protest against the increasing number of tourists in Venice, Italy, Saturday, Nov.12. 2016. For decades, the number of Venetians have dwindled steadily and numerous factors are blamed _ high prices driven by a boom in tourism and the logistics of supplying a carless city and erosion by lapping waters among them. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

    Demonstrators holding suitcases protest against the increasing number of tourists in Venice, Italy, Saturday, Nov.12. 2016. For decades, the number of Venetians have dwindled steadily and numerous factors are blamed _ high prices driven by a boom in tourism and the logistics of supplying a carless city and erosion by lapping waters among them. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)  (The Associated Press)

Venetians, an ever-diminishing breed, have protested in their lagoon city to draw attention to their problems of daily life.

Hundreds of Venetians, carrying suitcases to symbolize their steady exodus from their beloved city, walked through Venice Saturday, traipsing over the bridges that crisscross canals.

In less than a century, Venice's population has shrunk from 200,000 to some 55,000.

Several factors are blamed, including high prices driven by a boom in tourism, the logistics of supplying a carless city, and the erosion of canal-side apartment buildings by lapping waters.

Basements and ground floors in much of Venice are frequently flooded when the "acqua alta" (high water) phenomenon floods the city, forcing residents and visitors alike to don thigh-high boots and use raised walkways.