Venice authorities say wheeled suitcases are a noise nuisance and cause damage to historic streets
New laws restricting use of wheeled luggage will affect many of 27 million annual tourists
Those flouting the restrictions could be fined up to 500 euros
For years, Venice has battled the effects of rising waters on its historic architecture, but now it’s facing a new threat: wheeled suitcases.
City officials have become so tired with the cacophony of rumbling luggage they’re introducing fines of up to 500 euros ($620) for anyone caught using one. The move, due to come into effect in May 2015, is likely to create a headache for many of 22 million who annually visit the city and need to cart bags to hotels in car-free streets.
For locals, long tired of plastic or hard rubber wheels rattling past their windows as they try to sleep, it will come as a welcome relief. The new rules, which will require luggage to be transported on quieter air-filled tires, are the idea of City Commissioner Victor Zappalorto, according to the Il Messaggero newspaper.
Insider travel guide to Venice
City officials have reportedly said the noise from hard-wheeled suitcases and traders using trolleys was causing “serious discomfort.”
There were also concerns about the “progressive deterioration” of historic marble steps, stone pathways and footbridges around Venice’s old canals. The local Il Gazzettino newspaper says the new rule will be legally binding as it’ll be written into local building code
Zappalorto has suggested the legislation will be an opportunity for an entrepreneurial luggage to cash in in by creating a Venice-friendly suitcase that runs on soft tires.
Whether the idea takes off could depend on how loud the rumblings of complaint from visitors are.
New in travel bags: Smart luggage, lighter weight, better wheels