VENICE — Come sit, and take a load off. Just not in Venice, says the city’s mayor.
In a bizarre attempt to curb overtourism, Mayor Luigi Brugnaro will pitch a new proposal to the city council next month that will ban people from sitting down in undesignated parts of the city.
If the vote passes, anyone caught parking their behinds in no-sitting spots could be slapped with a hefty fine that ranges from €50 and €500.
That’s one expensive rest stop!
Unbelievably, sitting down is already banned in several high-traffic areas of Venice, including St. Mark’s Square and on the steps of Rialto Bridge. But the new rule would extend the ban city-wide to anywhere there isn’t already a chair or a bench, reports the Mirror.
If passed, the sitting ban will follow several other initiatives Venice has taken to crack down on tourist behaviour. These include preventing new takeaway outlets from opening for the next three years and banning large cruise ships from docking by 2021. The council’s #EnjoyRespectVenezia campaign, launched last year, also prohibits public picnics, jumping into canals, littering, feeding pigeons and riding bicycles.
Also big no-no’s in Venice? Camping, placing padlocks on bridges and wearing inappropriate clothing.
Speaking to The Independent, Paola Mar, Venice’s councillor for tourism, said: “The message we have to get through is that we’re not joking.”
No kidding, but you have to admit it all sounds pretty funny.