Photo Credit: Henrique Ferreira
"Arrogant Imbeciles" Fined, Kicked Out Of Venice For Surfing Down Grand Canal
Last week, two tourists were booted from Venice for riding down the Grand Canal on motorized surfboards. According to NBC News, the foreigners were fined 1,500 euros each. They also had their surfboards, valued at around 25,000 euros, confiscated. Now the city is planning to take additional action against them for damaging the image of the UNESCO World Heritage site.
Venice Mayor’s Anger:
Luigi Brugnaro, the mayor of Venice, posted a video on Twitter in which the two men can be seen speeding down the Grand Canal, care-free. In another video, one of the men can be seen falling off of his surfboard and into the water of the canal.
In his caption, the mayor refers to them as “two arrogant imbeciles who made a mockery of the city.” He even offered to buy dinner for anyone who was able to help identify the men in the video. Police ended up catching the two “thanks to the analysis of CCTV footage” and information gathered from locals.
The History of the Grand Canal:
In addition to being a treasured historical site, the Grand Canal is one of the city’s main traffic corridors. Through their actions, the men endangered themselves and others, and broke several of the laws that are part of a long list of rules to be followed by visitors and locals alike. All water sports, including surfing, snorkeling, and canoeing, are strictly prohibited in the canals of Venice. Swimming is banned, as well.
A Tourist Hot Spot:
With around 25 million tourists flocking to Venice a year, residents, officials, and environmentalists have been in talks to find ways to combat the effects of over-tourism in their city. Last year, a ban was instated to prevent cruise ships weighing over 25,000 tons, measuring longer than 590 feet, or emitting too much pollution, from sailing into the city.