Gondola in 60 seconds: Venice boat stolen by German tourists

It is the latest in a series of examples of tourists behaving badly in the city

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Not content with seizing hold of Europe’s export market, Germans have gone a step further by making off with one of Venice’s gondolas.

The couple, aged 23 and 24, took the gondola near the Danieli vaporetta (water bus) station and got as far as the little island of San Giorgio, after paddling in a roundabout route that took in St Mark’s Square and the Giudecca island.

They also saved themselves the €90 (£71) fare. But after collapsing with fatigue, the couple were spotted by a policeman in a nearby vessel, who notified the police station.

By the time officers found the pair. who had taken the gondola late last Friday night, they had disembarked at St Giorgio, according to the Venice edition of Corriere Della Sera. They were said to have told police officers: “That wasn’t us. We don’t know anything about the gondola. It’s always been here.”

But after checking the facts, the officers returned to their hotel a few hours later to inform them they were under investigation for handling stolen property.

The incident involving the gondola is the latest in a series of examples, however, of tourists behaving badly in the city. Last summer a 10-point guide was launched to encourage tourists to respect Venice and to blend in with the locals.