Venice cracks down on unseemly coffee behaviour

Venice coffee

A cup of coffee has set two German backpackers back $1500 (€950) after they were fined on the steps of the famous Rialto bridge in Venice, Italy.

The backpackers from Berlin, aged 32 and 35, were sitting comfortably at the foot of the Italian landmark about to make themselves a coffee using some portable equipment when a passer-by reported the pair to local police.

A new law passed in May outlines rules for decency, cleanliness, and safety in the city, banning picnicking at certain sites, bathing in fountains, and not wearing a shirt in public spaces.

Under this law, police fined the two Germans for unseemly behaviour and both were asked to leave the city.

The law has been put in place to try and decrease the impact mass tourism is having on the city. Venice’s population generally sits around 55,000 but every year around 30 million visitors travel through the area.

“Venice must be treated with respect and impolite people who come here and think they can do what they want must understand that, thanks to the local police, they can be stopped, fined and sent away,” Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro says in an SBS News report.

The mayor vows to communicate the identities of people who were asked to leave to the embassies and consulates of their home county.

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