Rage as Venice vandalised and tourists caught swimming nude in canal – ‘they must pay!’

Simon Calder outlines customer rights after EasyJet cancellations

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The facade of the Redentore church was vandalised earliest this month provoking outrage from Venice’s mayor, Luigi Brugnaro. A portion of the church, which was designed by Renaissance architect, Andrea Palladio, was covered in pink paint.

Someone had scrawled writing that looked like an equation on top of the pink paint on the Retendore church.

A local resident who attempted to clean off the graffiti unfortunately caused further damage by using water.

Mayor Luigi Brugnaro, tweeted: “Scarring to the Basilica of the Most Holy Redeemer, stained a symbolic place of the Venetians’ devotion and their traditions.

“Those responsible must not go unpunished, they must pay! It is essential that criminal powers be given to the Justice of the Peace as soon as possible!”

Further outrage was caused by two American tourists who were caught swimming in one of the city’s famed canals.

Local residents watched them for about five minutes before the pair were spotted returning to their Airbnb.

Residents were reportedly especially shocked as local houses drain sewage into that part of the water.

According to CNN, Venice police are now looking for CCTV footage of the naked swimmers to follow up.

While Venice’s canals might look inviting, the water is dirty and is often used as a sewage system.

Tourists might notice the occasional bad smell in the air when taking a gondola ride or crossing a bridge.

In 2020, two tourists were fined 400 euros (£383) each after they were caught swimming in the canals.

The police can fine swimmers up to 500 euros to prevent people taking a dip. It can also be dangerous as tourists could be hit by boats.

The latest drama follows ongoing friction between Venice officials and tourists as the city attempts to crack down on tourism.

Earlier this year, the city announced that visitors to Venice would have to buy tickets for access.

Tickets would have ranged from £2.50 to £8.40 and would have hit day tripping visitors and tourists.

However, according to Euronews, plans have now been delayed until January 2023 instead of launching this summer.

Tourists who stay overnight in the city will be exempt from the fee as they are already subject to a tourist tax.

Venice has also introduced a video surveillance system which monitors tourists as they visit the city.

The system may now be used to trace the skinny dipping tourists as the city tries to tackle tourism excesses.

In peak season, over 110,000 tourists sometimes visit Venice per day which officials believe is unsustainable.

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