The mayor of Venice has said he is on the hunt for the “two overbearing idiots” who were filmed gliding down the Grand Canal on motorized foil surfboards.
The young men were spotted on Thursday morning dodging gondolas and water buses as they navigated Venice’s main road. The scene was recorded by several astonished onlookers.
One of the videos widely shared online was posted on Twitter by Luigi Brugnaro, the mayor of Venice.
“Here are the two presumptuous idiots who are making fun of this city,” Brugnaro wrote. “I ask everyone to help us identify and punish them, even if our weapons are very blunt – mayors urgently need more powers over public safety.”
Brugnaro said he would “offer dinner” to anyone who could help find the duo.
A clip of the violation was also shared on the Instagram account of Venezia Non è Disneyland (Venice Isn’t Disneyland), a group founded by young Venetians with the aim of sensitizing visitors to the city.
The video, with the Beach Boys hit Surfin’ USA in the background, sparked outrage. “Embarrassing,” wrote one Instagram user. “They must be expelled from Venice for life, mamma mia.”
However, others thought their mode of transportation was pretty cool. “I want one too!” one commenter wrote, while another said: “Wouldn’t it be great if we could all travel around Venice this way without giving money to ACTV? [the public transport authority].”
Venice authorities have been trying to crack down on bad behavior for years, with so-called “angels of decorum” patrolling the streets in the summer and fines for people caught diving or bathing in the canals, walking around bare-chested, eating give pigeons or litter.
Venezia Non è Disneyland closely monitors the various violations. In late July, the group shared a video of a man jumping from a bridge into the Grand Canal and narrowly missing a passing boat.
Last week, Brugnaro called for “10 days in jail” for a 33-year-old Scottish tourist caught diving in a canal.
In 2020, a French tourist was fined €150 after paddling along the Grand Canal on his stand-up paddleboard, and two German women were ordered to pay €250 each for sunbathing in bikinis at San Stae Church.