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Making Coffee at Landmark Gets Tourists a Ticket Out

Venice didn't like a stove being set up at Rialto Bridge
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2019 10:46 AM CDT
Two German visitors were expelled from Venice for making coffee at the Rialto Bridge.   (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

(Newser) – The picturesque Rialto Bridge in Venice seems like a lovely spot to enjoy your morning coffee. But setting up a travel stove on the bridge's steps to make it got two backpacking tourists from Berlin expelled from the city and fined $1,000, the BBC reports. A resident passing by reported the couple to police; facing complaints about the volume of tourists, Venice enacted a regulation recently about behavior in public spaces. The Rialto is the oldest of the Grand Canal's four bridges. Venice's mayor was unapologetic about the punishment. "Venice must be respected and those impolite people who come here and do what they want must understand that," he said. "Thanks to the local police, they will be sanctioned and removed."

Venice has struggled for decades with the double-edged sword of the financial bonanza brought by tourists who seem to be overrunning the city, per the New York Times. Falling air fares have increased the crunch. Cruise ships began delivering hundreds of visitors at a time to the city center. Tour buses were first limited in 1987, and the new rules cover not only obvious offenses such as urinating in public, but also eating in public places that aren't restaurants or cafes. From now on, the mayor said, per Newsweek, the city will give the names of visitors asked to leave to their home country's embassy. "Our city will always be open and welcoming to all those who want to come and visit it," Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said. "At the same time, we will be intransigent with those who think they will come and do what they want." (A cruise ship crashed in Venice last month.)

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