Tourists fined for surfing Venice’s canals

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If you thought swimming in canals, vandalizing property and posing topless at a war memorial was the worst thing tourists could do in Venice, think again.

On Wednesday morning (17), two people decided to go surfing. But they didn’t choose the city’s beaches to do so, but the Grand Canal.

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Apparently mounted on eFoils (electric surfboards raised from the water on hydrofoils), the two subjects were captured by the camera moving up and down the channel.

The Grand Canal is not only the UNESCO World Heritage site filled with historic buildings, but also Venice’s main thoroughfare.

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In footage captured by several residents, they were seen dodging a vaporetto (water bus) and taxi under the Rialto Bridge, as well as speeding past the Basilica de la Salute, one of the city’s most iconic places.

Passing under the Accademia bridge, one of the surfers fell off his board but made a point of keeping what appeared to be his phone out of the water, recording his partner.

The city’s mayor, Luigi Brugnaro, tweeted a video of the surfers, calling them “two pushy idiots making fun of the city” as well as offering a free dinner to anyone who could identify the couple.

Whether because someone accepted his offer or because they deployed the cameras from his Control Room that watches over the city via closed-circuit television, the truth is that Brugnaro later tweeted that the couple had been identified.

“The two surfboards were confiscated and soon those responsible will be in our hands.”

Local newspaper Il Gazzettino later reported that the couple had been captured. The two boards – valued at around 25,000 euros (about R$130,000) – were confiscated for not being insured.

Each surfer was fined 1,500 euros (about R$ 7,800) for endangering the navigation of the channel. They were also placed on an anti-social behavior order and immediately expelled from the city.

Venice also instructed lawyers to file a lawsuit against the couple for damaging their image. Consulates will also be contacted.

The location isn’t the only Italian destination where travelers have behaved badly this summer. Over the past two months, tourists have walked down the steps of the Spanish Steps in Rome, tossed a motorcycle down the same steps and cycled through Pompeii.

Source: CNN Brasil

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