Gondola turns over in Venice as tourists stand up for selfies

  • 11.12.2023 20:46
  • Bruno Arcos

In a bizarre incident that could have only taken place in Venice, a group of Chinese tourists took an unexpected plunge after their gondola flipped over. Why – you may ask? Well, they were standing up while trying to capture the perfect selfie!

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According to Venice police, the incident took place when the five tourists defied the gondolier’s instructions by standing up to take selfies while navigating under a low bridge. Although no injuries were reported, one unfortunate visitor ended up losing their cellphone. After the gondola capsized, the tourists swam safely to the canal bank, seeking refuge at the historic La Fenice theater. As for the gondola, and despite escaping extensive damage, its upholstered chairs and blankets were tossed into the canal.

The Guardian also revealed that the gondolier had explicitly warned the tourists not to move around or stand up during the ride, but the language barrier proved too high, affecting communication and leading to the unfortunate “turn” (pun intended) of events.

In an attempt to mitigate overcrowding and improve safety, the city’s gondola association recently adopted new regulations, limiting the number of passengers on a gondola from six to five. Additionally, a weight restriction of 230 pounds per passenger was introduced.

This comes as no surprise, since Venice has been grappling with the challenges posed by unruly tourists in recent years, with incidents ranging from daredevils diving into the canals to individuals fined for swimming in the historic waters. In an unrelated incident back in May, Venice authorities launched an investigation after a mysterious green substance turned a canal fluorescent green, with the shocking findings proving that someone dumped chemicals into the canals. Needless to say, this raised concerns about the impact of pollution on such a fragile ecosystem.

In an effort to address these and other issues raised by overtourism, Venice will implement an entrance fee for day trippers to the city starting next year, helping strike a balance between welcoming visitors and preserving the city’s authenticity and infrastructure.

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