Venice Tourists Fined Over $1500, Called Out by Mayor for Riding Motorized Surfboards Down the Grand Canal

They were also forced to leave the city.

A pair of tourists were fined this week for riding motorized surfboards down Venice's Grand Canal, speeding and hovering just above the water's surface.

Venice's mayor Luigi Brugnaro called the tourists "overbearing imbeciles who make a mockery of the City," tweeting a video of the incident on Wednesday and offering to pay for dinner to anyone who spots them.

Outed by the mayor himself, Luigi Brugnaro posted a video Wednesday of the tourists in action, calling them "overbearing imbeciles who make a mockery of the City," offered to pay for dinner to anyone who spots them.

Since then, the mayor's office told The Associated Press the two surfers were identified and fined 1,500 euros ($1,530) each, and that the city is preparing to take further action against them for damaging Venice's image.

The tourists were fined as they were found to have endangered the safety of navigation along the canal, the BBC reported. They were also forced to leave the city.

Brugnaro also tweeted that the surfboards had been confiscated.

Surfing, paddle boarding, and canoeing are all banned on Venice's Grand Canal, according to reports. Swimming is also banned in the city's canals.

Venice has been dealing with incidents from overtourism, such as this, for years with the city just barely avoiding being included on the UNESCO World Heritage's danger list last year after Italy declared the waterways around Venice a "national monument" and banned large cruise ships from passing through its canals.

The city has also taken steps to limit day traffic by introducing a new tax for day-trippers, which will go into effect next year. The tax will not apply to overnight visitors who book a hotel stay since they already pay a €5 ($5.06) per night tax.

This isn't the first time a visitor has been fined for doing something illegal in a major tourist area in Italy. In 2020, for example, a tourist was fined $1,200 after trying to steal more than four pounds of sand from the Italian island of Sardinia. And in 2019, the AP reported Venice fined two German travelers for making coffee on the 430-year-old Rialto Bridge.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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