Two tourists were fined for surfing along Venice’s Grand Canal.
1. Disrespecting World Heritage
Apparently riding eFoils — electric surfboards raised out of the water on hydrofoils — the two tourists were caught on camera riding up and down the waterway through the Grand Canal. The occurrence made headlines worldwide pointing out at the lack of respect from these tourists, disregarding the UNESCO World Heritage site, which has recently been added to the endangered heritage list. They were caught dodging a water bus and a taxi under the Rialto Bridge as well as zipping past the Salute Basilica, one of the city’s iconic sites.
2. Identified and fined
Venice’s Mayor Luigi Brugnaro tweeted a video of the surfers, calling them “two overbearing idiots making a mockery of the city.” Brugnaro offered a free lunch to anyone who could identify the offenders but the vast array of cameras that monitors the city through CCTV ended up identifying the pair.
“The two surfboards have been confiscated and soon… those responsible will be in our grasp,” the Mayor informed. The two boards, worth around €25,000 ($25,440 US) , were confiscated for not being insured, while each surfer was fined €1,500 for having endangered the navigation of the canal, authorities said. They were also hit with an antisocial behavior order and expelled from the city immediately.
Ecco due imbecilli prepotenti che si fanno beffa della Città… chiedo a tutti di aiutarci a individuarli per punirli anche se le nostre armi sono davvero spuntate… servono urgentemente più poteri ai Sindaci in tema di sicurezza pubblica!— Luigi Brugnaro (@LuigiBrugnaro) August 17, 2022
A chi li individua offro una cena! pic.twitter.com/DV2ONO3hUs
3. Preserving Venice
A range of measures have been announced to tackle overtourism in Venice and to preserve the city. Locals have often complained about the flock of tourists each year and how their city became affected by their presence. Authorities have come up with various proposals including the reduction of the number of tourists allowed to get in the city on a daily basis, the introduction of a daily fee to enter the city, and the ban of large-cruise ships from docking in the city centre.