What next!

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.





Filed under Venice

30 responses to “What next!

  1. Caroline

    Have you seen/heard anything more about this, Yvonne? I haven’t seen anything about it in La Nuova (although I don’t buy it every day), so no idea. Maybe it’s just that some tourists were asking for them?

    Michelle, the “no wheeled suitcases” story was a misunderstanding which became a (largely) internet myth, although widely disseminated. The actual proposal was to oblige the large delivery trolleys (often used in the early hours) to have soft tyres/wheels – fair enough, I think.

    Yes, the German man who died in the accident 2 years ago didn’t drown, he died from chest injuries after being crushed.

    Deaths by water do seem to be pretty regular – there was another German tourist who died after falling off a jetty while taking a photo, just a couple of weeks ago. (So should pedestrians wear life-jackets? 🙂 )

    The thing which intrigues me, though, is that La Nuova never seems to say what people who fall in actually die of – drowning? poisoning? hitting their heads? There was a local guy who died around January outside the Hotel Papadopoli, even though a passer-by dived in immediately to help *and* the water in the canal was unusually low – so he probably could have stood up.

    (This had a heartwarming postscript, though, in that the man who tried to help – an East European looking for work – was given a permesso di soggiorno (albeit this only lasts for a year) on humanitarian grounds.)

    I have read a lot of locals can’t swim, though. And the nature of canals means they are difficult or impossible to climb out of.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Caroline, The only info I had on the wheeled bag issue was the rumors on Trip Advisor. Hmm, wonder if they make those delivery trolleys with softer wheels like the ones on the shopping trolleys that hardly make any noise at all..like the one I have.
      All things considered, there really aren’t many drowning deaths in Venice say as compared to Seattle where they happen every time the sun comes out….which is more often than most people think. There will probably be five by the end of this week as we are finally getting a warm, sunny streak.


      • Caroline

        Yes, Michelle, most of the delivery trolleys do have soft tyres, but a few still had/have hard wheels. I’m afraid I am also a ‘hard wheels’ offender with my wheely briefcase (necessary when I have lots of books plus maybe an antique laptop): I do feel embarrassed about trundling it noisily up the calle, along the fondamenta & through our communal garden when coming back from work at 10pm, but there’s isn’t really an alternative – unless, I suppose, I use my shopping trolley!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Caroline. I’ve given the truth, and all the truth in the subsequent post!

      I have to run now, more pesky tourists are arriving from the west of England. Cheers for now. xx


  2. And why isn’t the gondolier wearing one?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Surely if you fall into a canal there is a greater danger of some sort of nasty disease or infection?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. When I was a child I went swimming in the creek without a vest and I went to school on a horse without a helmet and I climbed trees and sometimes fell off and once I cut my leg and needed seven stitches and nobody sued anyone for any kind of liability but the doctor at the hospital did put up a mirror so I could see him stitching up my leg and I wasn’t traumatised and if I’m going to follow your blog then I insist on all my rights and expect you to go back tomorrow and take photos with a proper camera . As if!!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Still, It gives us hope that at least in Holland the wearing of helmets on push bikes is not compulsory. Indeed it is adviced against, as it will stop people from using bicycles and succumb to heart attacks instead, at a greater rate than the possible damage done on a bicycle during an accident while not wearing a helmet. The research proved it!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Andante

    Wow! Red safety vests? Is it a plot to annoy Bert? Do they, in fact, come in other colours – such as tasteful lime green, understated vivid purple, elegant orange, or perhaps my own favourite, screaming yellow? Perhaps people can sign a disclaimer to refuse to wear one? It certainly doesn’t add to the atmosphere of Venice, does it?

    Liked by 2 people

    • As we saw in a previous post, they do come in a shade of hot pink as modeled by Karen of the Pink Lionesses (those ladies who row in the lagoon and anywhere they can).
      I had forgotten (or chosen not to remember) that Bert doesn’t care for red. I seem to remember now from one of Yvonne’s previous posts.


  7. It’ll be life jackets when taking a bath in a Venetian Hotel next 😉 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Rob C

    FFS!! 🙂 but why am I not surprised, so Gondolas on the GC, but only with Vests, no row boats either, it’S gonna become a Vaporetto racetrack along there soon.
    I predict more accidents as the taxi drivers weave in and out with less regard than before for others.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Buy shares in flotation vest manufacturers and eventually they will float on the stock exchange instead of the GC.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I did try to Google for statistics on drowning deaths in Venice and as you may have guessed…..they don’t keep records on that. Actually Italy doesn’t keep statistics on death by drowning….according to anything I could find.
    Probably the person who manufactures these flotation vests has a Venetian lawmaker in their pockets. How do you say “kickback” in Italian?
    I can hardly wait for the commotion this will cause on TripAdvisor Venice Forum.


  11. Italians interested in safety…good grief.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Seems to me the vests could be stored under the seats to be used if needed. That’s what the water taxis do here.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I will definitely stay tuned to see what they decide.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. And the next question is….or several questions….
    Can you refuse to wear one?
    Will they refuse to let you board if you refuse?
    Can you be fined if you don’t wear one?(another money grab to line the pockets of politicians)
    Most international law says that you must have them available but people are not required to wear them. I have seen the signs on the vaporettos showing where they are located.
    And my last comment…no type of flotation device would have saved the man who died in the accident as he did not drown but if I remember correctly suffered a massive head injury….which would mean everyone will be required to wear safety helmets when on the water.

    Let’s hope this goes the way of the “no wheeled suitcases”(although that one is probably still floating around…pun intended).

    Yes, we just as Yvonne says, have to wait and see. And in the meantime I have visions of a bride in a gondola in her beautiful white wedding gown wearing a red flotation vest. Not going to happen.


  15. Obsessed with safety, we wave goodbye to style and grace…

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Jo

    What about the traghetto?!!! Can you imagine all the locals wearing them to pop over the canal ……

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Do you think this is the reaction to that accident (two years ago?) when a gondola passenger died after an incident with a vaporetto? You don’t have to wear them to go in a punt in Oxford or Cambridge.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Jane

    Oh boy…. my husband is going to have my head for not doing this before red vests!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. So the easy solution (or rather a ridiculous one) it is then. Che sorpresa…


  20. Pat

    How deep is the canal anyway?? I’m so happy I’ve done my gondola ride wit photos w/o safety vest 😉 This also does not make sense unless EVERYONE has to wear one, not only on a vap, but also on private boats…

    Liked by 1 person

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