A pair of tourists left the mayor of Venice fuming by whizzing down the city’s iconic Grand Canal on motorized hydrofoil surfboards. The two young men were captured on video by several puzzled onlookers in which they can be seen dodging gondolas and waterbuses while zipping across Venice’s main thoroughfare. One of those videos went viral on the internet and was later shared on Twitter by Luigi Brugnaro, the mayor of Venice. “Here are the two overbearing idiots who make a mockery of this city,” Brugnaro wrote. “I ask everyone to help us identify and punish them, even if our weapons are really blunt – mayors urgently need more powers in terms of public safety.”
Another video showed one of the surfers clicking pictures on his phone before he fell off his board under the Accademia Bridge. Venice with its historic waterways is a UNESCO World Heritage site and there are strict rules to protect it from getting damaged. Conducts like swimming in the canals or eating on the steps of monuments are strictly against the law and can attract heavy fines.
The city’s mayor even said he would “offer dinner” to anyone who could help locate the duo. The surfboarders were later apprehended and turned out to be tourists from Australia. According to reports, the duo was fined $1,530 each and thrown out of the city. Additionally, their electric-propeller-driven hydrofoil surfboards priced at around $25,000 apiece were also confiscated. What do you think about the incident? Is it right to break local laws in the name of getting attention on social media?
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