Taking a gondola ride through the canals of Venice is something most people can only dream of, and it doesn't come cheap.
But marvelling at the city's enchanting beauty and history along the way wasn't foremost on the minds of a group of four tourists, who were filmed by a despondent gondolier glued to their smartphones during their ride.
They might have been letting their social media followers know all about their wonderful experience, but it didn't go down well with the gondolier, who shared the clip on Facebook, sarcastically commenting:
“A fantastic ride. The customers are very happy, they're enjoying the beauty of the city, they appreciate it a lot. They've taken lots of photos, made comments and said they will soon return to this wonderful city.”
The video prompted a piece in Corriere
by columnist Aldo Cazzullo, who wrote:
“What's the point of crossing this vast world, investing lots of money in a trip, only to be gripped by your phone?”
He added that the gondolier did well to highlight the dangers we are running of “living a virtual life instead of a real one” but also criticized him for not trying to distract his passengers.
“Our sympathy is with the gondolier. But he did not try to bring them back to life, by pointing out some detail, singing a song or telling a story. He filmed them. With a telephone.”