The city of Venice has just proposed a “noisy luggage ban,” a ban on tourists from bringing wheeled luggage across the more than 400 footbridges in the city. If passed, this would take effect in May of 2015 and the fine could be as high as €500. Interestingly, the law would not apply to local Venice residents. I think this law will be difficult to enforce, not to mention the fact that luggage with bicycle-style pneumatic wheels does not even exist.
Venice is a beautiful place and yes, it is inundated with tourists every single day. According to the most recent study, 26,179 visitors per square kilometer are in Venice during peak hours. Every day over 60,000 tourists visit historic Venice. So I understand why the local government opposes the large cruise ships in the lagoon, since they block views and upset the fragile ecosystem. Yet it is a fine balance to maintain, since tourists are vital to the economy of Venice.
These types of laws seem so ridiculous, when you realize that Italy allows and even encourages other situations that are not permitted in other places. For example, did you know beginning in May of 2015, that the Italian Army will begin to grow marijuana in Florence for national healthcare system. The hope is to discourage medical marijuana users from buying the weed on the street.
For myself and others who plan to visit Venice, I hope this proposal sponsored by Special Commissioner Vittorio Zappalorto does not become law, especially since I plan on returning to Venice in May of 2015, and you can be sure that I will be bringing my wheeled luggage too. I’ll be paying close attention to the news reports out of Italy on this one.
Do you have an opinion? What do you think of this? I’d love to hear your feedback and perspectives. Leave a comment.