New Restrictions Are Coming to Venice’s Famed Gondola Rides Due to 'Overweight' Tourists
"Over the last 10 years or so, tourists weigh more," Andrea Balbi, the president of Venice’s Gondola Association, told CNN.
If a gondola ride in Venice is on your post-pandemic bucket list, you and your travel crew may want to know that new restrictions are coming to the famed Italian activity.
Venice’s Gondola Association recently announced the maximum number of passengers on a classic tour of the city’s narrow canals will now be five instead of six people due to the “ballooning average weight of tourists,” CNN reported. Taxi rides on the larger da parada gondolas through the Grand Canal have also been reduced from 14 to 12 passengers.
Andrea Balbi, the president of Venice’s Gondola Association, told CNN, "Over the last 10 years or so, tourists weigh more," adding they would rather reduce riders than have to weigh each passenger before they board. Raoul Roveratto, president of the association of substitute gondoliers, told newspapers when boats are fully loaded they begin to take on water and sink. "From some countries, it's like bombs loading on," Roveratto said.
Bans like this aren’t new. Two years ago, Greece banned people deemed "overweight" from riding donkeys in Santorini, claiming tourists from the U.S. and UK were giving the donkeys spinal injuries, according to CNN. Meanwhile, some travelers are taking the initiative to change the stigma about weight and what a traveler should look like.
The coronavirus pandemic put a huge burden on Venice's tourism industry, and the overall number of gondolas in service has been temporarily cut while the city welcomes fewer visitors, according to CNN.