Brew hullabaloo gets German tourists kicked out of Venice

Rome (AFP) –


A couple of German tourists were ordered to leave Venice on Friday for brewing coffee at the foot of the famous Rialto bridge.

The Berliners, 32 and 35, had stopped for a rest, downing their backpacks to prepare a cup of coffee using a little gas stove.

They were slapped with a 950 euro ($1,066) fine under a new rules brought in by the centre-right council as part of a public order crackdown in the streets and canals of the tourist-packed lagoon city.

The pair were marched to a police station after a local resident reported them to the authorities, the city council said.

It is the 40th time the rules have resulted in tourists being ordered to leave town since they were brought in in May, it said.

"Venice must be respected, and bad-mannered people who think they can come here and do what they want must understand that, thanks to local police, they will be caught, punished and expelled," Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said.

"From now on, we will also communicate the identities of those subject to a removal order to their embassies and consulates," he added in a statement.

The rules -- including a ban on diving into canals, washing in fountains or going around bare-chested or in bikinis -- were brought in after residents complained bad behaviour by tourists was degrading the UNESCO World Heritage site.

The so-called "Serenissima", which today has just 55,000 inhabitants, hosts some 30 million visitors each year.