Venice to kick out visitors caught behaving badly

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Venice to kick out visitors caught behaving badly
Reflections over the Grand Canal in Venice, one of Italy's most-visited cities. Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP

Visitors caught snacking, sunbathing or taking a dip in Venice's canals risk being kicked out of the city and banned from returning, under the latest rules aimed at reining in disruptive tourists.


The lagoon city reserves the right to punish ill-mannered visitors the same way that police tackle football hooligans: with an order that bans them from returning to the scene of their offence.

There will also be fines of up to €500 for anyone who "dirties public places in any way". 


The new regulations, approved by the city council last week, apply to all Unesco-protected areas of Venice, which includes the historic centre, the lagoon and all its islands. They are also in effect at Venice airport, train station and passenger port, at piers and on public transport.

Bathing, diving or swimming in any of the city's canals is strictly forbidden, as is going shirtless or wearing only a swim suit – including in private boats or vehicles. Drinking alcohol on the street is not allowed between 8pm and 8am, while hen and stag dos, graduation parties or other group celebrations outdoors are only authorized during the day or at weekends.

Venice has an overcrowding problem. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP

Other punishable behaviours include picnicking in public places, fastening padlocks on bridges, lying down on benches, or sitting on steps of bridges, in front of shop windows and anywhere else where stretching out causes damage or gets in others' way. Authorities will be particularly vigilant for violations around churches, archaeological sites and other historic landmarks.

The regulations also call on restaurant owners and shopkeepers to provide bins for customers' rubbish and replace plastic containers with biodegradable alternatives, on penalty of being forced to close for up to 15 days or, for repeat offenders, losing their licence.

READ ALSO: Venice wants tourists to book entry to the city in advance

Mayor Luigi Brugnaro, who has brought in a string of ordinances designed to regulate mass tourism in Venice, called the latest rules "a starting point for everyone". Among the other measures introduced by his council are turnstiles in the historic centre and an entry fee for day-trippers, which came into effect at the beginning of this month.

But some complain that the moves unfairly punish tourists without regulating the local businesses that continue to profit from them: visitors routinely report being overcharged in cafes and restaurants, while Venetian residents' group Gruppo 25 Aprile has called on the mayor to better defend tourists from unscrupulous business owners.

TELL US: How can you avoid being ripped off when visiting Italy?

Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

Useful vocabulary

il Daspo (Divieto di accedere alle manifestazioni sportive) – 'Sports event access ban', an order originally designed to bar football hooligans from stadiums, but that has since been applied more widely to troublemakers in cities.

la multa – fine

sporcare – to dirty

il regolamento – (set of) regulations

il consiglio comunale – city council 



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