It turns out Venice, Italy is not the same thing as Venice Beach. We’ve seen some idiots be reckless around large animals this summer, but these surfers in Venice may take the cake as the worst tourists of the year. BBC News reports that two Australian tourists were filmed using electronic surfboards on the Grand Canal, leading to a lot of perturbed local residents. They were riding on hydrofoil-attached surfboards, which lift surfers above the water, rather than the traditional skimming surfboard. Surfing, paddleboarding, and canoeing are banned on Venice’s main waterways.
This led to the mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, calling the two men “overbearing imbeciles,” and calling on the people of Venice to report them to win a free dinner. They were caught and were fined around $1,509 each. Additionally, their boards were confiscated (which were worth $25,446) and were expelled from the city. They are also facing further criminal charges from Italian authorities.
The key issues with surfing are that the Italian city is a UNESCO World Heritage site, has suffered from overcrowding for many years, and is facing severe risks from climate change. In the past couple of years, Venice has been trying to reduce activities that damage the historic canals. This has included banning personal boats for non-residents in 2018 and blocking cruise ships from entering the city center in 2021.
The official statement from a very pissed-off Venice Mayor, Luigi Brugnaro, along with a video of the scene, are below:
Ecco due imbecilli prepotenti che si fanno beffa della Città… chiedo a tutti di aiutarci a individuarli per punirli anche se le nostre armi sono davvero spuntate… servono urgentemente più poteri ai Sindaci in tema di sicurezza pubblica!
A chi li individua offro una cena! pic.twitter.com/DV2ONO3hUs
— Luigi Brugnaro (@LuigiBrugnaro) August 17, 2022
“Here are two overbearing idiots who make a mockery of the City … I ask everyone to help us identify them to punish them even if our weapons are really blunt … we urgently need more powers to the Mayors in terms of public safety! To those who spot them, I offer a dinner!”