Sarah Dunant’s Leaving Florence

Leaving Florence, Sarah Dunant‘s prophetic views on 21st century tourism, forewarns us: a cheap journey to disaster. Environmental criminals with an insatiable thirst for cut-throat travel, budget airlines and Airbnb devastating cultural value. And we learn nothing from COVID-19. Once we are free from social restrictions, we will continue to reoffend with gusto.

But is travel the only culprit? Is a hometown sociocultural void driving the need to escape?

To reverse a trend for abandoning familiar locations for somewhere new, regional endeavours and local enterprises should blossom and thrive. We must invest and contribute more to our communities — we have little choice.