Tourists face €500 fine for sitting down in Venice

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Visitors in Venice could be fined up to €500 (£445) for sitting in undesignated spots, as the city continues to struggle with overwhelming tourism levels.

The idea, proposed by Mayor Luigi Brugnaro, will be voted on by the city council in October.

It is the latest in a long list of measures designed to deal with the city’s popularity as a tourist destination.

Venice’s #EnjoyRespectVenezia campaign, which launched in the summer of 2017, dictates that tourists are welcome but they must follow the city’s rules.

Tourists sit in gondolas on the Grand Canal in Venice  Tourists face €500 fine for sitting down in Venice skynews venice gondola 4295349
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There is a ban on swimming in the canals

The mayor said: “The aim is to create more of a deterrent to people who think they can come to the city of Venice and do what they want, not respecting the city, urban decorum, and public safety.”

In April, the city installed temporary gates at the ends of two bridges to keep tourists out if their numbers become too sizeable.

Local protesters tore them down in frustration.

“Venice is dying,” said protester Marco Baravalle at the time.

“The mayor putting in the turnstiles is demonstrating that he is giving up. He wants Venice to become a city with no inhabitants.”

Tourists walk near St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy, August 3, 2017  Tourists face €500 fine for sitting down in Venice skynews venice tourists 4295288
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Breaking the rules can set the tourist back by up to €500 (£445)

Other initiatives to curb tourism and control its impact include:

:: No pausing on bridges

:: A ban on swimming in the canals

:: No riding or wheeling along of bikes

:: No feeding of the birds

:: A ban on wearing swimwear in the city or being shirtless

:: A ban on dropping litter

:: A ban on attaching “love locks” to monuments and bridges

:: No standing or laying down on benches

:: No climbing trees, buildings or monuments

:: No excessive noise at night or between 1pm and 3pm (Venice’s siesta time)

:: Picnics are only allowed in public parks

:: No busking without a permit

:: No drawing, painting or other creation of art without a permit

:: All large cruise ships (over 55,000 tonnes) will be banned from docking by 2021

:: No new takeaway outlets are permitted to open in the city for the next three years

Breaking the rules could see tourists fined anywhere between €25 (£22) and €500 (£445), according to the city’s official website.

The MSC Divina cruise ship is seen in Venice lagoon, Italy June 16, 2012  Tourists face €500 fine for sitting down in Venice skynews venice divina cruise ship 4150752
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Large cruise ships will be banned from docking by 2021

In August, The Telegraph reported British artist Ken Howard OBE was moved on by police when painting in the famous St Mark’s Square because he did not have a permit.

Paola Mar, the councillor responsible for tourism, said people need to take the rules seriously.

“The message we have to get through is that we’re not joking,” said Ms Mar.

“If it gets about that people who do this kind of thing are fined, as well as it being flagged to their respective embassies, perhaps we’ll be able to stop others copying.”



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