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Saturday 22 September 2018

Venice to tourists: You are not really welcome here

Tourists in Venice could be fined for sitting in public areas or pausing on bridges as part of new measures being discussed by the Italian city to deal with overcrowding, the TravelMole website reports.

The ideas, proposed by Mayor Luigi Brugnaro, will be voted on by the city council in October.  month.

Mayor Brugnaro said: "The aim is to create more of a deterrent to people who think they can come to the city of Venice and do what they want, not respecting the city, urban decorum, and public safety."

Other proposals include bans on picnics unless they are in public parks, bans on excessive noise at night or between Venice's siesta time of 1pm-3pm, no feeding of pigeons, no riding or wheeling along of bikes and no busking, drawing or other art without a permit.

Breaking the rules could see tourists fined anywhere between €25 ($40) and €500 ($805), the city's official website says.

Paola Mar, the councillor responsible for tourism, told Sky News people need to take the rules seriously.

"The message we have to get through is that we're not joking," said Mar. "If it gets about that people who do this kind of thing are fined, as well as it being flagged to their respective embassies, perhaps we'll be able to stop others copying."

The proposals are the latest in a list of measures to deal with the city's over-crowding problem, which also includes the banning of large cruise ships from 2021.

Venice's #EnjoyRespectVenezia campaign, which launched in summer 2017, highlights the message that tourists are welcome but they must follow the city's rules.

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