Two tourists were arrested for riding motorized surfboards down the Grand Canal in Venice on Wednesday morning after the Italian city’s mayor called the duo “idiots” on social media.
Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro Posted a video of the surfers whizzing past water buses and taxis, promising to buy dinner for anyone who identified them.
In another clip shared on social media, one of the surfers fell off his board under the Accademia Bridge but made sure to keep his phone out of the water to film his cohort’s exploits.
Brugnaro wrote that the suspects were “two presumptuous jerks making fun of the city”.
The suspects were arrested later in the day, fined $1,530 each, and expelled from the city. They also had their expensive electric propeller plates confiscated and faced further legal action over reputational damage, officials said in a statement.
Venice has strict rules about how to behave in its canals and buildings. Swimming in the canals or eating on the steps of monuments in the streetless city is against the law.
Two Germans were fined $1,000 by the city in 2019 for making coffee on the famous Rialto Bridge and were ordered never to return to the Venetian capital.
The city will introduce a tourist tax next year to combat excessive tourism and offset the cost of providing services to the community.
Tourists without a hotel room must make a reservation and pay $10.50 to access the City of Canals. The vast majority of Venice visitors do not stay overnight.
With postal wires
https://nypost.com/2022/08/18/italys-venice-mayor-blasts-tourists-arrested-for-surfing-grand-canal/ The Italian mayor of Venice is cracking down on tourists arrested for surfing the Grand Canal