Venice gondola capsizes after tourists stand to take selfies.
A group of tourists experienced a perilous mishap in Venice as their gondola capsized into a cold canal. The incident transpired when the passengers, reportedly from China, neglected an order to cease taking selfies and sit down, causing an imbalance in the vessel’s weight.
Local press reports detailed that the incident, caught on video and widely shared online, occurred during a tricky gondola manoeuvre under a bridge. The passengers’ failure to comply with the gondolier’s instructions to sit down and their insistence on standing to take photos reportedly contributed to the boat tipping over.
A social media post on the Instagram page of Venezia Non è Disneyland (Venice Is Not Disneyland), an account managed by young Venetians documenting tourist mishaps, confirmed the group’s successful rescue. The tourists were reportedly provided with “hospitality and warmth” at the nearby La Fenice theatre.
This incident brings attention to the ongoing challenges faced by Venice’s gondoliers. In 2020, the gondoliers’ association implemented capacity reductions on their boats, attributing the decision to the increased burden posed by “overweight” tourists.
The limit on a gondola da nolo, which offers the classic canal tour, was reduced from six to five people, and on a gondola da parada, used mainly for crossing the Grand Canal, the number decreased from 14 to 12.
President Andrea Balbi of Venice’s gondoliers’ association acknowledged the changing dynamics, stating, “It’s true that compared with 10 or 15 years ago, tourists weigh a bit more.”
In a related incident in 2022, an American tourist sustained minor injuries after falling into the crater of Mount Vesuvius while attempting to retrieve a phone that had slipped during a selfie-taking moment.
These incidents underscore the potential risks associated with the pursuit of capturing the perfect shot and emphasize the need for responsible behaviour during travel experiences.
VENICE—Tourists capsize gondola after refusing to stop moving for selfies.pic.twitter.com/wFe6AVLldZ
— Bree A Dail (@breeadail) December 6, 2023