• Italy's news in English
 
app_header_v3

How bad mannered tourists are riling Venice

Josephine McKenna · 18 Aug 2015, 16:38

Published: 18 Aug 2015 16:38 GMT+02:00

More than 25 million tourists visit Venice every year and the most intense period for tourist traffic is between June and September.

“The city doesn’t have to become a museum,” Mar told The Local. “We have to find a way for the residents to live with the tourists.”

But that is becoming increasingly difficult as leading Venetians have been outraged by a spate of recent controversial incidents.

A drunken Italian couple were found asleep in a stolen gondola by police on the Grand Canal early on Friday, while three young tourists rolled out their sleeping bags and spent the night on a public bridge in the Sant’Alvise quarter at the weekend.

Arrigo Cipriani, owner of the city’s landmark Harry’s Bar told the daily, La Nuova di Venezia, that tourists should pay to pass over the Freedom Bridge, which connects Venice to the mainland, to help resolve some of the problems in the lagoon city.

"The Venetians pass for free, the others should pay something," he said in an outspoken attack.

"Everyone feels they have a right to make a mess: tourists see that the city is disgusting and so they have no problem about doing their part."

Among some of the recent incidents, a Chinese visitor was filmed taking a leisurely bath in the Grand Canal at the weekend and another tourist had a skinny dip to escape the heat last week.

Mar said the city had 700 local police and people can be fined up to €250 for throwing rubbish in the canals or €50 for taking a dip.

“There are 4.5 million tourists who come here and stay in a hotel for two or three days and are virtuous,” Mar said.

“The problem is the tourists who come here only for the day. They take the same streets as all the others and go to St Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge.

Story continues below…

“They think the Grand Canal is a beach and walk around with a bare torso. You would never see that in Barcelona, Paris or London. It is about bad manners.”

She said the city’s challenge is to find new strategies to encourage people to come at other times of year.

“We also have to promote the Jewish ghetto and other areas of the city like Canareggio where tourists do not go,” Mar said,

“Everyone can express their opinion. We have to consider the options, analyze and come up with some strategies. I don’t have a magic wand.” 

For more news from Italy, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Josephine McKenna (news@thelocal.it)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Two arrested over WhatsApp terrorism probe
The two men had been living in Italy for years. Photo: Raffaele Esposito/Flickr

A WhatsApp message mistakenly sent to a woman in Liguria sparked a full-blown terror probe.

Italian team finds vaccine against western diet's ills
An Italian team have discovered a vaccine that could protect against illnesses caused by the typical western diet. Photo: Alpha/Joe Flintham/Flickr

The vaccine could reduce incidences of type 2 diabetes and heart problems commonly associated with obesity.

The Local List
12 mistakes foreigners make when moving to Italy
Photo: Alberto Fava/Flickr

When you move to Italy, you're bound to make a few mistakes before you settle into la dolce vita. Here are a few to look out for...

Higuain goes from hero to zero after big-money Juve deal
The striker moved to Juventus on Monday for €90 million.Photo: Carlo Hermann/AFP

Napoli fans are furious with their former Argentinian talisman after his big-money move to rivals Juventus.

Fiat Chrysler revises 'doctored' sales figures amid probe
Fiat Chrysler is being investigated over allegations it doctored US sales figures. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP

The company now says it did not really celebrate a streak of monthly year-over-year sales gains going back to April 2010.

Napoli's Gonzalo Higuain joins Juventus: official
Gonzalo Higuain is now a Juventus player. Photo: Nelson Almedia/AFP

Gonzalo Higuain completed his move to Juventus after the Italian champions reportedly agreed to pay a €94.7 million buyout clause to wrest the Argentine striker from Napoli on Tuesday.

Italy's government nets €759 million in air traffic sale
Italy has sold part of its air traffic service company Enav. Photo: Luigi Rosa/Flickr

The Italian government on Tuesday sold part of air traffic service company Enav on the stock exchange, netting €759 million.

After Brexit, keep a close eye on Italy's Five Star Movement
Italy's Five Star Movement (MS5) is now the country's most popular political party. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

The political pulse of Italy has changed its rhythm.

'Hoax' package causes bomb scare on Milan's underground
The suspect package created chaos for rush hour travellers on the city's underground. Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP

"It was probably left there deliberately to create panic."

Rome cracks down on splash-happy fountain dippers
Rome's fountains may seem tempting, but bathing is forbidden. Photo: TrastevereRM/Delilah Jay/Sean Mcentry

Cooling off with a midnight dip in Rome's famous Trevi Fountain may sound like a dream "Roman Holiday", but an Italian police crackdown has landed a series of splash-happy tourists with fat fines.

Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Travel
Five crowd-free alternatives to Italy's tourist hotspots
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Italian hotspots struggling with 'too many tourists'
Culture
Meet the Italian chef behind the world's best restaurant
Travel
Escape the heat at one of these beautiful Italian lakes
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Politics
Why the UK is now officially crazier than Italy
Culture
How you can stay cool like an ancient Roman
Lifestyle
Food for thought: fight on to save Med diet from extinction
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
From asylum seeker in Italy to organic yoghurt entrepreneur
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Fifteen maps that tell the story of Italy
National
Why Italy might be the next big threat to the EU's future
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Politics
Post Brexit, less than a third of Italians want to leave EU
Politics
The bright side of Brexit: the 'good news' for Brits in Italy
Culture
Eight wonderful things to do in Italy in July
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Travel
Six of the best places to visit within easy reach of Rome
British business owners in Italy feel Brexit jitters
National
How to get Italian citizenship (or at least stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Politics
Where does Britain's exit from the EU leave Italy?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Politics
Has the time come for Italy’s Five Star Movement to shine?
Society
Why Italy must change after young woman’s brutal murder
Politics
Is Italy's Five Star up to the challenge of running Rome?
Culture
Six of the most bizarre Italian foods everyone should try
2,576
jobs available