Two tourists visiting Venice’s Grand Canal received $1,530 (1,500 Euros) fines this week for tooling through the water on motorized surfboards. The Mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, called the tourists “imbeciles” and ridiculed them for making a mockery of the city.
The mayor also offered to pay for a dinner in the restaurant of the person’s choice for anyone who spots the two clandestine surfers and points them out to Venetian police. According to officials, the tourists endangered the safety of routine navigation in the canal.
Police confiscated the surfboards. Venice prohibits surfing, canoeing, swimming and paddle boarding in the canals.
The crowds of tourists have plagued Venice with misbehavior for years. Since Italy lifted most of its COVID-19 restrictions, throngs of guests have arrived in Venice.
In hopes of reducing the overcrowding, Venice instituted a day tripper tax. The city will use the funds for additional security on the canals.
In 2020, a tourist received a $1,200 fine when they tried to steal sand from Sardinia. Two German tourists received fines for making coffee on the Rialto Bridge in 2019.
Choosing which places to visit in Venice presents a considerable challenge. Visitors flock to St. Mark’s Basilica to check out the Byzantine artwork.
After a busy day in the canals and on foot, many people stop at Piazza San Marco for people watching or to sit back and relax with a cup of espresso.
Doge’s Palace offers limited tours. The Ponte della Paglia provides an idyllic view of the palace and the Venetian canals.