Venice tourists fined €1,500 for driving motorized surfboards through canals

Two tourists visiting the Grand Canal in Venice received $1,530 (1,500 euros) in fines this week for tooling in the water on motorized surfboards. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro called the tourists “fools” and ridiculed them for making fun of the city.

The mayor also offered to pay for dinner at the restaurant of his choice for anyone who spots the two surfers and reports them to the Venetian police. Officials say the tourists have endangered the safety of routine navigation in the canal.

The police confiscated the surfboards. Venice prohibits surfing, canoeing, swimming and paddle boarding in the canals.

Tourist crowds have plagued Venice with misbehavior for years. Since Italy lifted most of its COVID-19 restrictions, crowds of guests have arrived in Venice.

Hoping to reduce overcrowding, Venice instituted a tax on day trippers. The city will use the funds to strengthen safety on the canals.

In 2020, a tourist was fined $1,200 for attempting to steal sand in Sardinia. Two German tourists were fined 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 admire the Byzantine works of art.

After a busy day on the canals and on foot, many people stop in Piazza San Marco to people-watch or to sit back and relax with a cup of espresso.

The Doge’s Palace offers limited tours. The Ponte della Paglia offers an idyllic view of the palace and the Venetian canals.

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