I apologise for the quality of the photos, I only had my phone with me.
It seems that trials are underway in the use of flotation vests on all gondolas. We spotted two gondolas from the Accademia station, loading tourists onto the gondolas, and making them wear vests.
In this photo, you can see the customers wearing red safety vests. This is not my idea of a romantic gondola ride!
In this shot, you can see other people waiting to go for their ride, also wearing the flotation vests.
I can only surmise this is the city council’s response to increased traffic on the busy Grand Canal, and their attempt at ensuring passenger safety.
Will we soon have to wear these on the already overcrowded vaporetti? I might be able to tell you more when I read Il Gazettino (the local newspaper) tomorrow.