We know what you’re thinking: who goes skinny dipping in Venice? Well…
Two Czech soccer fans decided to go for a moonlight swim in Venice this past Monday night. In the canals. In the most crowded part of the city. Without any clothes on.
After shouting, splashing, and attracting attention from passersby, the pair were fished out by police and taken into custody. (We only hope the cops hosed them off before putting them in the cruiser.)
It really shouldn’t need to be said, but apparently some folks still haven’t received the memo: you should never, ever, go skinny dipping in Venice’s canals.
In case you’re one of those who need convincing — or you’re just curious — we’ve compiled five fairly compelling reasons why you don’t want to swim in those canals, clothed or otherwise.
1. The canals are incredibly dirty
If you’ve ever been to Venice, you likely caught a faint whiff of rotten tomato on the breeze. It may be the most romantic city in the world, but no one ever said it was the most perfumed.
The rather unpleasant truth is that the city is built upon centuries of waste. About 90% of human excrement created in the city winds up in those canals sooner or later, and they’re really only cleaned about once every 10 years.
If that isn’t enough to deter you, consider that all manner of detritus gets dumped in there, from food waste to packaging to old tires. You’re basically swimming in a giant sewer/underwater garbage dump. You may as well go roll around in puddles of medical waste.
2. They’re not swimming pools; they’re roads
Venice has roads of a sort, but they’re mainly for pedestrians (or smartly dressed men on Vespas). The real roads are the canals themselves, which connect like major arteries and capillaries. The canals are what most people use to get from A to B in the old town — whether they be tourists on gondolas or locals motorboats.
If you’re swimming in the canal, you’re endangering yourself and everyone else who is trying to traverse the city in the most efficient way possible.
And if you’re skinny dipping in Venice… you’re also just grossing everyone out and ruining their photo ops.
3. If you do, it’s gonna cost you
In May of this year, the city of Venice introduced a bunch of new bylaws to discourage ‘bad behavior’ in their city. Everything from wandering around shirtless to chillaxing on the city’s historic monuments is now sanctioned.
You’d best believe swimming in the canal is an offence as well; according to the new rules, it’s an automatic €450 fine.
Of course, nudity and causing a public nuisance in Saint Mark’s Square also add to the charges, so those two Czech bathers ended up being dinged for a total of about €3,000. That’s some serious shrinkage — for their wallets, I mean!
4. Tourists are doing enough damage to Venice as is
The popularity of the city as a destination has driven prices up, and driven the population out. In fact, there are now more tourists in the old city of Venice than actual residents. It has become a sort of Renaissance Disney World.
Even more concerning is the large number of cruise ships which make Venice a signature port of call. The vibrations from their motors may be undermining the foundations of the city itself.
Point is: if you’re going to visit Venice, the least you can do is stay out of the canal. And for god’s sake keep your clothes on — at least in public.
5. You don’t want to be like Logan Paul
Yes, famous (infamous) YouTube personality Logan Paul made a complete idiot of himself in Venice by jumping of a historic bridge into the canal below.
If you want to be like Logan Paul, you go right ahead. Enjoy your Venetian poop diseases.