Venice Is Cracking Down on Tourists' Drinking in Public
Party people, you're going to want to sit down for this one. Venice is coming for you. In its on-going campaign against rowdy tourists, the historic city has announced that it is considering a new nightly ban on public alcohol consumption after 7:00pm. And that doesn't just mean no more open containers on the city streets, but liquor concealed in shopping bags as well.
The law is not targeted toward those making a run to the supermarket for a bottle of wine, however. Local Venetian police commander Marco Agostini stated that this potential fine is targeted specifically at unruly, drunk tourists. Or, in his words, "someone gets drunk and has a bag with three bottles of beer."
This push against tourists is nothing new to Italy. And Venice, in particular, has been a hotbed for badly behaved visitors. In 2016, a drunken tourist died attempting to jump from the Rialto Bridge into the canals -- and that's just one of many drunk tourist incidents that have occurred in the city. Hence why the crackdown, so far, has been no joke.
Aside from the laundry list of potential fines enacted by the city, one of our own at TPG, Darren Murph, had his own interesting experience with the Venetian law:
"I visited Venice with my wife for the first time in August, and while we generally aim to steer clear of mobs, we had to do the tourist thing once and visit St. Mark’s Square. I knew that Venice was cracking down on visitors in a number of ways but certainly didn’t expect the level of vigor in policing Tourists Sitting Down. After many, many miles walked, we attempted to plant ourselves on a set of steps far away from the throngs of people, aiming to be as courteous as possible while pausing for a few minutes to eat a to-go meal we’d grabbed from a local vendor. In under 30 seconds, someone in a branded shirt emerged from the ether and politely asked us to stand. We complied, hustled back to our hotel, and resumed eating our (now cold) meal. You’ve been warned."
The increase in strict tourist regulations in Venice might have something to do with the ever-shrinking population of its residents. With disruptive tourists constantly crowding the city's narrow streets and homes-turned-rental-accommodations causing rent inflation, it's no surprise that people aren't rushing to move there. It's estimated that tourists outnumber locals at a whopping 140 to 1, with a dramatic drop of more than approximately 120,000 people living in the city since 1951.
So, tourists, it's either time to get creative with your alcohol consumption (we won't tell) or perhaps take your desire to wander drunk through historic canals to a different city, like Amsterdam.
Featured Image by Viking Cruise