Last week, I visited St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice at night. Needless to say, the magnificence of this church and the surrounding buildings is further amplified by the artificial lighting that pierces the darkness.

The photos speak for themselves, and one could make a post out of them alone. I must confess, however, that as soon as I arrived at St. Mark’s Square, the first thought that went through my head was whether we can afford all this. At a time in history when businesses are closing and people cannot afford to turn on the heat — not to mention what the Ukrainian people are suffering — is it morally right to light up these places like this? Is the celebration of places that are so dense in history, culture, religiosity, and that in some ways are among and the highest expressions of human capabilities, a luxury we can afford these days? After all, we could still live even if we did not turn on those lights at night.

A few days ago, my friend Matteo forwarded me this link listing the measures planned by the Swiss government to deal with the energy crisis: While all this is going on in the world, I must admit that to some extent the visit to the always fascinating Venice made me a little uncomfortable.


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