Backpackers ordered to leave Venice after breaking new tourist rules

Posted on 26 July 2019

Two backpackers from Berlin were asked to pay a fine and leave Venice this week after they started making coffee on their portable stove while sitting on the steps of the Rialto bridge.

Their coffee session contravened the new laws Venice has implemented to force tourists to respect the city’s historic buildings and its residents. The bridge was built in the 16th century across Venice’s main waterway, the Grand Canal.

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The two tourists, both in their 30s, were reported to the local police by a passerby. They were fined €950 (nearly R15,000 at the time of writing) and asked to leave the city.

This is the 40th time in three months that tourists have had to leave the city for breaching the new rules.

These new rules state that tourists will be fined and perhaps even ordered to leave the city if they sit or lie down in front of historic monuments and bridges, at shop fronts, walk around shirtless or in swimming costumes, or swim in the historic canals.

The mayor, Luigi Brugnaro, has said that in the future the identity of those asked to leave the city will be communicated to their nations’ embassies and consulates.

Last year, tourists were banned from having picnics in public spaces, riding bikes in the city, pausing too long on bridges, and littering.

From September, day-trippers will have to pay an entrance fee of €10 (about R160) to get into the city. Those overnighting will be exempt because they have already been paying this tax as it is included in hotel rates.

This money will go towards waste and security management.

The city is required to take even more measures to protect its monuments and preserve its environment by 2021 if it doesn’t want to be placed on UNESCO’s endangered World Heritage list.

In fact, Brugnaro urged UNESCO to put the city on the World Heritage site blacklist. This status would restrict entry to the city even more and highlight the significant danger it is in.

This request was made after a cruise ship crashed into the docks of a canal in Venice last month, which sparked protests from thousands of residents asking for cruise ships to be banned from the city’s waters.


Featured image: Peter Tóth 

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