Tourists who behave badly in Venice will be fined up to €500 and could be banned from the World Heritage site.
The Telegraph newspaper reports that tourists who swim in Venice’s canals, walk around shirtless or loiter on the steps of stone bridges will be fined up to €500.
The city council approved the new sanctions by an overwhelming majority on May 16, with 22 councillors voting in favour and just six against.
The authorities have identified a range of unacceptable behaviours, from lying down on public benches, eating and drinking while sitting on the ground, leaning against shop fronts and sitting on the steps of Venice’s cylindrical stone wells.
Minor infractions will incur fines starting at €25, while more serious offences will lead to the maximum €500 penalty.
“It is forbidden to walk in public areas in swimming costumes or bare-chested,” the council said, adding that the rules also apply to tourists travelling on Venice’s water buses.
The city is prohibiting “sitting down or lying down on the steps of bridges and in the doorways of historic monuments, as well as in front of shop windows.”
“Swimming and diving into canals and basins” is also banned, as is attaching padlocks to metal railings, a custom that has become somewhat popular in many cities in Europe.
Tourists who behave very badly or offend repeatedly could be banned altogether, with decrees similar to those that are used to keep violent football fans out of Italy’s stadiums.
Venice is working on the introduction of a tourist tax, which is expected to be implemented from September.
Tourists arriving in La Serenissima will pay €3 each during the low season, €8 during high season and €10 during especially high-density periods, such as summer weekends.
Nevertheless, Luigi Brugnaro, mayor of Venice, stated earlier this year no one will be denied access to the city no matter how many tourists swamp Venice.