It's Now Illegal to Picnic In Venice!

October 26, 2007 | By | Reply More
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St. Mark's Square VeniceVenice officials are fed up with littering and loitering in St. Mark’s Square and surrounding areas, so they have enacted new strict rules for tourists and locals alike. Unless you want to be slapped with a fine of up to 500 Euros, forget about buying local delicacies for a picnic lunch to eat while enjoying the sites around Venice‘s most famous square. Eating is now limited to restaurant tables ONLY.

Here’s a sampling of newly prohibited behaviors:

No eating or drinking other than in restaurants, no littering, no sitting other than in a restaurant, no resting or reclining under a portico, no dangling feet in the canals, no swimming (yuck), no bare chests or sunbathing, no bicycling, no roller blades. In other words, keep moving and don’t stop until you’re ready to spend money in a restaurant, and be neat about it when you do!

There has been an effort to eliminate take out food all together, which directly effects the tradition of selling food for less at a cafe counter rather than at a table. So far the 6 officers hired to be €˜picnic police’ have been giving warnings prior to issuing fines.

In their defense, trash has become a major issue (with McDonalds contributing more than their fair share). All refuse must be bagged, collected, loaded onto boats and taken far away. And if the Mayor has his way, the pigeons had better keep their whits about them as well – he’d like them to disappear right along with the trash!

At least Venice has their trash problems under control for the moment, unlike Naples where a waste-disposal crises has resulted in piles of trash littering the city all summer long. Seems the local landfills are full and there is no agreement on a solution. Talk about politics paralyzing a city!

Category: Italy Travel Tips