'Idiot' surfers on Venice's Grand Canal hit with €1,500 fine

Two tourists pictured surfing down Venice's Grand Canal.
Videos of the two tourists surfing down Venice's Grand Canal have been shared across social media. Credit: Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro

The mayoral office for the Italian city of Venice has issued fines for two tourists who coasted down the city's historic Grand Canal on motorised surfboards.

Both individuals have had their boards - estimated to cost £21,000 each - confiscated, while the city's attorney is preparing further action against them for damaging Venice's image.

Two fines of €1,500 (£1,270) were issued due to the incident, according to Mayor Luigi Brugnaro's office.

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On Wednesday, Mr Brugnaro had posted a video on Twitter showing a pair of surfers heading down the waterway.

He appealed to the public for help to track down who he called "two overbearing idiots who are making a mockery of the city", so they could be brought to justice.

Anyone who helped to identify them was offered the reward of a dinner.

The mayor later confirmed the tourists had been identified and that both boards were confiscated by authorities for not being insured.

Each surfer was issued a fine for putting at risk the navigation of the canal, according to the local paper, Il Gazzettino.

The paper also reported that the tourists had been issued with anti-social behavior orders and expelled from Venice with immediate effect.

For a number of years Venice has endured over-tourism and visitors to the city must follow a long list of rules with regard to their behaviour.

Two German travellers were fined £830, in 2019, for making coffee on the 430-year-old Rialto Bridge.

Visitors already face penalties for swimming in the canals or eating on the steps of monuments.

From 2023, day-trippers will also have to pay a visitor's tax to help offset the elevated costs of providing services in Venice.