500Euro Fine for Luggage? Really?:
Venice has countless problems, like Mayor Orsoni is being under house arrest, the MOSES project under investigation for bribes, global warming, high water, overflow of tourists, lack of jobs for the young, high taxes, invasion of illegal immigrants, gypsies, cruise ships threatening the foundations of the city, and debate over charging tourist 1Euro admission to Venice…
With all these very real problems, the Special Commissioner Vittorio (Victor) Zappalorto (actually I love how it is written in Italian – il commissario straordinario di Venezia Vittorio Zappalorto) has chosen to make his name known by adding a law to the rule book, a nuisance law, banning suitcases with wheels. I’m guessing he lives right by a busy street to the train station or Piazzale Roma or was having a “spritz” with friends when this bright idea occurred to him and his complaining neighbors. But really, is this the biggest problem Victor can find – Luggage Cops?
Yes, the locals complain of the noise made by tourist pulling luggage through the streets in odd hours of the night, on their way to and from the city. Yes they are noisy, but isn’t it really the tourist they don’t like?
What if the tourist get new air-inflated tires but talk loudly while traversing these streets? Is that better? Or will Commissario Straordinario Victor add a curfew law or a “zitto” law? (“Stai zitto”, is what you tell children when you want them to be quiet.)
Banned in Venice:
The new law would ban suitcases of all kinds with rubber/plastic wheels, citing noise and damage to the streets and bridges. Why even the newly built Ponte della Costituzione bridge (also known as the Calvatrava which goes from Piazzale Roma to the train station side of the canal) seems has suffered damage from the offensive rolling luggage. Now seriously, this new excessively expensive bridge (11+ Million Euro) designed and built in the 21st Century does not withstand luggage, which we all know from traveling on airlines cannot weigh more than 23kilo (~50 pounds)? However, it was reported after the Volkswagon Punto crossed the bridge, driven by a slightly inebriated young Italian, that there was no damage? However, the suitcase wheels now cause damage? What about strollers? Banned or allowed?
Locals OK – Tourist Will Be Fined – Luggage Cop Wanted!
This rule applies ONLY to tourist which was essential as locals all use suitcases, rolling luggage or a corrello (a cart for shopping) to go grocery shopping, for the bus to Mestre and Panaroma, Carrefour and wherever they go to shop because you have to get your purchases back to your home in Venice, via pullman, via trains and finally via vaporetto. Did you ever see the line of corrello (see picture) at Coop, or Billa while the Nonna shops? Now I am wondering how my corrello, which is stowed in the attic in Venice, will be viewed when I dust it off to go shopping at the local grocery (Coop)? Will I be illegal? Will the Luggage Cop chase me down Strada Nuova? Or forbid me to take the #1?
Sliding Scale of Guilt?
As of May 2015, you will be fined if your suitcase or any rolling bag does not have inflatable rubber wheels.The fine can be between 100-500 Euro. The sliding scale of guilt has yet to be published. Is it by weight, by distance, by wheel number, or noise level?
Il Gazzettino, Giorgio Scuro, polled a series of people at Piazzale Roma to get their impression. Watch this little video, for me the last lady is priceless, and also speechless like a lot of Venetians on this subject.
Or check out the comments on Twitter at #trolleyisnotacrime
Victor I’m waiting!