Venice is a place of rich, storied history. Home to the Hotel Cipriani, Gritti Palace, Hotel Danieli, it’s always been a mecca of luxury travel, but that hasn’t stopped a fair share of backpackers and cruise tourists from seeing what it’s all about lately, and in the eyes of the Venetian Government, perhaps not always for the better.
While Italy is a free country, it’s also one with laws. After a wave of vandalism and human conduct unbecoming of such a lovely place took its toll, new laws were introduced in 2018 to curb the wrong kind of tourist behaviour. What kind of behaviour? Think: bathing in fountains, damaging St. Marks Basilica, walking around in your swim suit, and turning public squares into campsites.
The Rialto Bridge is not a place to shave your armpits, nor is it a private place to make coffee. In fact, the latter just cost a pair of German tourists €950.
With 30,000,000 visitors annually, Venice is hoping to use a new €10 short stay tourist tax, passed onto those who are not overnight visitors in the city to help offset the footprint mass tourism has pressed onto its resources. Creating the world’s most expensive cup of coffee will certainly help too.
Two backpackers from Berlin used a travel stove to make coffee, whilst splaying their backpacking gear all over the Rialto Bridge. Passers by reported the pair to the police, who then issued a €950 fine and demanded that the pair leave the city centre. Just a year ago, no such legal grounds would’ve existed, but now – the city means business. Surely a cup of coffee in the Aman Venice wouldn’t have even broached the €25 mark.
Before you go there – this isn’t class warfare – it’s about basic decorum. Venice clearly doesn’t care what you do behind a closed door, in your hotel room, or what you wear to your hotel pool – those are private matters. But walking around shirtless, splashing yourself with water from iconic landmarks and littering the precious streets of this city are simply unacceptable by any travel standards, and it’s nice to see a city maintaining a standard worth going to see.