A pair of German tourists who swam in Venice’s Grand Canal have been fined $790 and removed from the city, Italian police told CNN Friday.
“It happened Wednesday afternoon around 3:00 pm local time. The two men undressed near the Rialto bridge, leaving their clothes there. They jumped into the water and swam, crossing the Grand Canal,” a police spokesperson told CNN.
Situated in northeastern Italy in an enclosed bay in the Adriatic Sea, Venice is famed for its network of waterways.
The city’s main waterway, the Grand Canal, has an average depth of 16 feet and connects with numerous smaller canals. Lined on both sides by churches, palaces, and hotels, it is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions.
The police spokesperson told CNN that members of the city’s Lagunari Regiment — a branch of the military police based in Venice to patrol and keep order — began to film the two men when they saw them swimming. They then showed the footage to local police, who fined the tourists.
“The two men were fined €350 each and were temporarily removed from the city,” the police added.
The fine imposed on the the pair is the standard fine for swimming in Venice’s famous canals and was not related to coronavirus restrictions.
The men were temporarily removed from Venice under the “DASPO Urbano” regulation, which allows authorities to remove a person from a city to maintain public order.
After more than two months of strict lockdown measures aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus, Italy has begun to welcome visitors back.
As of Wednesday, people arriving from elsewhere in the the EU, the UK or countries covered by the Schengen Agreement can travel to Italy freely without having to go into quarantine, the Italian Foreign Ministry said.