XL Tourists Burden Venetian Gondoliers

Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw

You could call it weight-shaming, but for Venetian gondoliers “it’s like bombs loading on!”

"Over the last 10 years or so, tourists weigh more -- and rather than having them step on a scale before they get on, we are limiting the number," Andrea Balbi, the president of Venice's Gondola Association, told CNN.

Venice is reducing the maximum capacity for its famously slim gondolas from six passengers to five because tourists are getting heavier, making it harder for gondoliers to navigate canal traffic safely.

In 2018, Greece banned hefty tourists from riding donkeys on the popular island of Santorini, after activists complained that the animals were suffering spinal injuries.

The reduction in Venice will also apply to the larger "da parada" gondolas punting people back and forth across the Grand Canal, with their passenger numbers cut from 14 to 12.

Raoul Roveratto, president of the association of substitute gondoliers, held nothing back in his statement in La Repubblica newspaper. 

"From some countries, it's like bombs loading on and when (the boat) is fully loaded, the hull sinks and water enters. Going forward with over half a ton of meat on board is dangerous," he said.

We blame it on delicious Italian pasta and pizza. Who can resist?

Anna Kroupina

Anna Kroupina Journalist

Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.

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