|A handout picture released on July 19, 2019 by the city of Venice shows Italian police officers addressing two German tourists after they were caught preparing coffee in front of the Rialto Bridge (Ponte de Rialto) in Venice, Italy; the two were fined and asked to leave AFP|
The Berliners, 32 and 35, had stopped for a rest, downing their backpacks to prepare a cup of coffee using a little gas stove.
They were slapped with a €950 (US$1,066) fine under new rules brought in by the centre-right council as part of a public order crackdown in the streets and canals of the tourist-packed lagoon city.
The pair were marched to a police station after a local resident reported them to the authorities, the city council said.
It is the 40th time the rules have resulted in tourists being ordered to leave town since they were brought in in May, it said.
“Venice must be respected, and bad-mannered people who think they can come here and do what they want must understand that, thanks to local police, they will be caught, punished and expelled,” Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said.
“From now on, we will also communicate the identities of those subject to a removal order to their embassies and consulates,” he added in a statement.
The rules – including a ban on diving into canals, washing in fountains or going around bare-chested or in bikinis – were brought in after residents complained bad behaviour by tourists was degrading the UNESCO World Heritage site.
The so-called “Serenissima”, which today has just 55,000 inhabitants, hosts about 30 million visitors each year.
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