Today's RAI Veneto television news reports that the crackdown on tourists continues, with fines ranging from 25 to 500 euros!
This time, the supposed "ne'er-do-wells" were fined for impromptu picnics in Saint Mark's Square! We're not talking about spreading a blanket and breaking out the potato salad. Nope, we're talking about just sitting on the pavement or the steps and gnoshing on a sandwich.
This campaign has been spearheaded by Augusto Salvadori, "Assessor for Tourism and Decorum," who was quoted by the telegiornale today as saying that Venice should be treated as a "temple"; before, he's stated, "The hospitality of Venice should not be confused with permissiveness and with a freedom of behavior that's in contrast with its decorum."
Now, I'm all for educated tourism, but if this is going to be a big new priority for the city, then the city needs to take more of an initiative to be the one that educates its tourists. A couple of signs here and there in Piazza San Marco isn't going to do the trick!