Nothing is quite as romantic and aesthetically pleasing than taking a ride on a gondola in Venice, Italy.
But with the town beginning to reopen to tourists again, some notable changes are being made.
The biggest change is that the size of the boats has gotten smaller. But it’s not due to social distancing,
According to gondola operators, (and I’m putting this nicely) riders have gotten fatter over the years.
“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 explained.
He also added that heavier loads often mean the gondolas take on water and make it more difficult for gondoliers to navigate canal traffic.
One gondolier told a local newspaper, “(Tourists) 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.”
Yikes! Subtle much?
Italy isn’t the first country to enforce such a rule. In 2018, Greece banned tourists from riding donkeys to help prevent the animals from suffering spinal injuries.