Venice, Italy, is known for its beautiful canals, through which one often sees gondolas floating by, small boats gently motoring through, and … surfers hanging loose and catching a big one?
Well, it turns out that the city’s mayor doesn’t love that so much. See, videos of a pair of surfers riding motorized boards through the city’s Grand Canal got a lot of traction. So on Wednesday, the city’s mayor, Luigi Brugnaro, said he thought the two should be punished and even offered dinner to anyone who could spot them.
“To those who spot them, I offer dinner,” he tweeted out, calling the two “overbearing imbeciles.”
This isn’t Venice’s first run-in with rowdy tourists disturbing the peace. Last year, the Italian government banned ships weighing more than 25,000 tons from going through the canal after environmentalists raised the flag about the damage it was causing to the city’s lagoon. But some also said that banning the boats from coming through would hurt the city’s economy. Now, though, cruise companies are shuttling visitors in with smaller boats.
As for the surfers, though, they were found after a video surfaced of one of them riding around on an electric foil board while carrying his surfboard before promptly falling into the water. The city confiscated their boards (worth about US$25,000), fined them for endangering people in the canal and expelled them from the city. It’s also said there could be further fines against the pair for damaging the city’s reputation. So far, though, there haven’t been any reports of Venetians getting dinner on the mayor’s dime.
So take note, surfers – the waters of Venice are not for you.