Two Austrailian tourists in Venice have enraged the city's mayor by riding motorised surfboards through the famous Grand Canal this week.
Mayor Luigi Brugnaro branded them "imbeciles" who were making a mockery of Venice through their total impunity and disregard for the city.
The mayor posted a video of the pair on Facebook and Twitter, offering anyone in Venice a free dinner if they apprehend the unruly surfers – how very Italian.
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"Venice is NOT Disneyland," the mayor wrote as he posted a second video showing the pair skimming their boards under an arched bridge in the city known for attracting scores of tourists.
Passerbys caught the spectacle on film.
Eventually the allure of a free spag-bol paid off, and Brugnaro found his most wanted.
The pair were tracked down and their boards were seized in short order, he said in an update on social media.
Both men were hit with fines of 1,500 euros (about £1,264), according to local newspaper La Nuova di Venezia e Mestre. The mayor also wants to see them prosecuted for harming Venice's image and reputation.
Just four years prior the decision was made in Venice to ban personal watercraft such as paddleboards and kayaks from its main waterways due to overcrowding that snarled the flow of gondolas and vaporetti (water buses).
The law allows some exceptions, but they're mainly for residents, certainly not brash surfers.
Venice is a UNESCO world heritage site — but it has been at risk of being classified as "in danger." In an attempt to lessen tourism's harmful effects, large cruise ships were barred from the city's center in recent years.
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