‘Idiot’ tourist surfers on Venice’s Grand Canal slapped with €1,500 fines

 (Mayor Luigi Brugnaro)
(Mayor Luigi Brugnaro)

Two tourists who cruised down Venice‘s Grand Canal on motorised surfboards have been slapped with heavy fines and had their boards confiscated.

The mayor‘s office said the two were fined €1,500 (£1,270) each over the incident, and the city’s attorney is preparing further action against them for damaging the city’s image.

Earlier, Mayor Luigi Brugnaro posted a video on Twitter showing a pair of surfers heading down the famed waterway on the hydrofoil boards

The mayor had asked for help in apprehending what he called “two overbearing imbeciles who are making a mockery of the city,” and promised dinner for anyone who identified them.

On footage captured by various locals, the two men were caught dodging a water bus and a taxi under the Rialto Bridge and zipping past the Salute basilica, one of the city’s most famous sites.

In a video of the pair as they passed under the Accademia Bridge, one of the surfers fell off his board but made sure to hold what appeared to be his phone out of the water, filming his companion.

The two boards, worth around €25,000 (£21,000), were confiscated for not being insured, according to local paper Il Gazzettino , with each surfer also fined €1,500 for endangering the navigation of the canal.

They were also slapped with an anti-social behaviour orders and expelled from the city immediately.

The city has instructed lawyers to start proceedings against the pair for damaging the image of the city.

Venice has long suffered over-tourism, and has a long list of rules governing the behaviour of visitors.

In 2019 the city fined two German travelers $1,00 for making coffee on the 430-year-old Rialto Bridge. Visitors also are prohibited from swimming in the canals and from eating on the steps of monuments. or face fines.

From next year, day-trippers will have to pay a visitor’s tax to help offset the elevated costs of providing services in the canal city.

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