It is known, Venice is one of a kind: made of 121 islands and 435 bridges, the city is different from all others in the world. This uniqueness must be respected by all means. To this end, Leo – the Department of Commerce’s mascot – will explain you 10 simple rules to follow in order to be considered the “perfect tourist” for Venice.
The Municipality and Department of Commerce of Venice have created – with some students at Francesco Algarotti Istitute for Tourism – a series of 10 cartoons, translated in 7 languages, in which is explained how virtuous tourists should behave in Venice.
Leo, the winged lion, is the narrator and mascot of project ViviAmo la Città.
How to dress in Venice
Just like in other cities, it is better to dress according to seasons, and especially to public decency. In summer, particularly, when the weather gets very hot, you must resist the temptation to walk around bare-chested or in a bathing suit. Having a bottle of water along at any times will help, and you will be able to fill it at the various fountains located across the city.
Diving into the canals to cool off is not a proper solution: not only is it forbidden, but the water is a bit contaminated, and on top you might even cause an accident between the many boats passing every day in the canals.
High tide (Acqua alta): a Venice problem
During winter especially, you might come across acqua alta, a natural suggestive phenomenon, which will force you to wear a pair of rubber boots and walk on the boardwalks set out by authorised personnel.
The presence of these raised paths ensures a proper pedestrian circulation. For a minimum of inconvenience, always stay on the right side, and avoid stopping suddenly on the boardwalks. You might even see Venetians smiling at you.
Public order respect: an increasing venice tourism problem
As in any other city, everyone in Venice should avoid making noise after 11 pm, and even speak softly to avoid disturbing Venetian citizens in their sleep as every little sound resonates in the narrow streets and squares.
If you end up slightly drunk after your bàcaro tour, try to keep quiet while walking back to your accommodation under the moonlight.
Walking in Venice as a responsible tourist
As soon as you will arrive in Venice, you won’t help but notice how lively and bubbling of energy the city is, with thousands of people around, residents and tourists (most of all), who literally invade the city streets. To avoid any frontal collision around the corners, or inappropriate lines in narrow streets or on crowded bridges, you should always keep to the right in order to free the way for others, either people coming from the other direction or whoever needs to get past.
You know, the people you see snorting, slightly stressed and in a hurry… well, these are Venetian people.
Lunch box in Venice
A sandwich is surely the most convenient meal when visiting Venice. However, when you will feel the hunger pang, try to have lunch on a bench, rather than on the ground or on some stairs. You should find benches in squares equipped with a water fountain, as well as garbage cans to throw your litter.
Keep in mind that in St. Mark’s Square it is forbidden to have food.
What about litter in Venice: a major venice tourism problem
Contribute to keeping Venice clean by using the many garbage bins located across the city. Chewing gum and cigarette are no exceptions, and should also be thrown away in the provided bins.
If you are staying a few days in an apartment, keep in mind that the cleansing department service operates from Monday to Saturday. You only need to leave your garbage bags near the building entrance. Recycling services work this way: Monday, Wednesday and Friday for paper, and Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday for plastic, glass and metal.
Do not feed the pigeons in Venice
How many pictures have we seen showing excited tourists feeding the ever-hungry pigeons in St. Mark’s Square? Thousands. Well, actually, it is not allowed to feed these birds since they are considered a real pest in Venice because they carry and spread diseases… so you now have a good reason not to share your sandwich with them!
On top of this, pigeon droppings spoil the ancient pavements and beautiful sights. Do not be taken in by their friendly approach, you could be their next victim: while you are walking, with a perfect sense of timing, they will aim at your shoulder, and… Well, you got it!
Means of transportation in Venice
If you are not going by foot, you can go by vaporetti, the famous water buses that crosses the Grand Canal and connects the city to the nearest islands.
There are a few rules to respect on board, such as putting your bags or backpack on the floor in order to leave more room to others, given that most of the time vaporetti are crowded. Another rule is to stay away from the exit/entrance to avoid blocking the flow of people embarking/disembarking. Regarding your suitcase, there are specific areas designated for such items, so they do not get in other passengers’ way.
Unauthorized trade and counterfeited goods
When you buy counterfeited goods from illegal sellers on the streets, not only are you committing a crime, but you are also putting your life at risk given the lack of control on such goods. Moreover, you are jeopardizing the healthy trading system, and Venetian handicraft production.
Avoid buying counterfeited purses or small souvenirs of dubious origin and authenticity. This will turn not only in your favour, but in the city’s.
Graffiti: a still spread venice tourism problem
Since there is so much art and culture in Venice, there are rules that forbid anyone from drawing, tracing, sketching on walls, given that most of the time they will belong to ancient buildings and historical mansions.
You are most welcome here as long as you respect the city and its beautiful heritage. A picture is a perfect tangible way to demonstrate your presence; there is absolutely no need to spoil the city walls with some inappropriate writings.
Following these 10 rules means loving and respecting Venice and its residents, but most of all it will allow you to avoid potential unpleasant fines that could go up to 500 €, and to 7,000 € for any counterfeited good purchase.
Now that you know these ten rules, you have what it takes to behave like a virtuous visitor in Venice. The city itself will be most grateful for your respectful manners.
Enjoy your stay!