One is a city in the north of Italy, and one is a city in the north of England.

And there the similarities end.

Middlesbrough is famous for its huge Transporter Bridge, Roy Chubby Brown, its chemical works, oil refinery, rubbish football team and the humble Arriva bus service.

Venice is famous for the Bridge of Sighs, Marco Polo, the Piazza San Marco, St Mark's Campanile and its gondolas.

Yet, unbelievably, Middlesbrough is telling Venice that it needs to spruce itself up!


Transported ... how Boro's Transporter Bridge would look in Venice

Royal Correspondent
in Venice
Published: Today

MAGNIFICENT city Venice is getting a makeover — so it can look more like MIDDLESBROUGH.

Local bigwigs have been warned parts of the Italian resort — visited by millions of tourists a year — are in dire need of improvement.

And they have been urged to follow Middlesbrough’s example in sprucing it up.

Head to head ... Venice and Middlesbrough

Canal city Venice boasts stunning landmarks such as St Mark’s Square and the Bridge of Sighs.

Middlesbrough’s best known piece of architecture is the hulking Transporter Bridge.

But a £500million regeneration scheme is transforming the town’s Middlehaven docklands to create new jobs and homes.

A delegation from Teesside Council were guests of honour at a conference in Venice yesterday along with Prince Charles, in Italy with wife Camilla.



Charles told the delegates: “This city — rightly regarded as one of the most beautiful in the world — cannot subsist on its beauty alone.”

Laurence Bristow-Smith, of the British consulate in Milan, said: “Together we have experience from which many other great cities can benefit.”

But a source at the conference said: “It seems odd. Not many of the delegates have ever heard of Middlesbrough.”