Stupid Tourist Tricks

Bicycling in Venice


ABOVE: An illegal bicyclist in Venice's Centro Storico. INSET BELOW: Spiderman can flout the law (but only because he's an arachnid who hasn't reached adolescence).

We don't know if the bicyclist above and her offscreen companion didn't have a clue, or if they were simply ignoring Venice's feet-and-boats-only law while hoping they wouldn't get caught. Either way, cruising Venice's historic center on wheels qualifies as a Stupid Tourist Trick unless you're a child or a disabled person in a wheelchair.

Bicycling, roller-skating, and skateboarding are forbidden in the city center, and for good reason: Many of the streets and lanes are narrow, and they're often filled with pedestrians.

Spiderman on a bicycle in VeniceItaly is a child-friendly country, so young children can get away with riding around squares on their Barbie and Ken bikes or Hello Kitty Rollerblades, but adults are expected to park their bikes on the Lido, in Mestre on the mainland, or--if they can find a space--at the Piazzale Roma (the vehicular gateway to Venice), where the municipal Autoremissa Comunale parking garage has free parking for 25 bikes with a limit of one day per visit.

For information about bike parking in Venice, see the city government's English-language On Bicycle page. 

Tip: If you're biking to Venice's historic center from the mainland and plan to stay overnight, we recommend staying at either of two hotels by the Piazzale Roma that offer bicycle storage for guests:

Hotel Santa Chiara

Best Western Hotel Olimpia


Stupid tourist tricks: A penis among the pigeons

Tourism is supposed to educate the mind and enrich the soul, but sometimes it just gives people an excuse to behave more stupidly than they do at home. The scene below is a case in point:

Stupid tourist tricks

These two young tourists ignored the local ban on feeding pigeons in Venice, hauling out a supply of bird food and using it to tempt the Piazza San Marco's pigeons into posing for a photo op.

A penis among the pigeons
For unexplained reasons, one of the visitors whipped an artificial penis from his jeans and displayed it to the pigeons and people in St. Mark's Square.

Venice local police
Two policewomen soon put a stop to the pigeon-feeding and pornographic display. (According to our photographer, they were polite but firm, and no pink plastic objects were confiscated.)