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Venice Bans Wheeled Bags?
After having banned large cruise ships from crossing its main Giudecca Canal, Venice has put a ban on wheeled bags.
To my discontent, this is exactly my favourite way of carrying my belongings.
Why did they do this, are they mad?
Allegedly the abundance of wheeled bags generated a terrible noise in the city and they decided to forbid their use.
This is old news from late last year (late November 2014), but the new ban will only come into effect in May 2015. So, get prepared, train your muscles to carry your luggage!
I can recall the roaring sound of dozens of wheeled bags in the area around the Piazzale Roma, near the train station in north-western Venice.
I'm talking about a vaster area near train station, the bus station, far beyond Piazzale Roma. This is where most people get in and get out of the city.
Venice is flooded with visitors especially during the warmer spring and summer months and also during the Venice Carnival.
Most people arrive in by land. Some by bus or car, others by train. And once they disembark, the all "hit it" with the wheeled bags.
I got in by bus, first "touched down" at the ominous Piazzale Roma, then a long bag dragging stroll followed, all the way to my hotel.
The worst barrier to me was the Ponte della Costituzione. A modern Calatrava-designed stepped pedestrian bridge. Terrible, Calatrava didn't even think about wheeled bags. And it's even worse to people in wheelchairs.
The most popular way of getting around in the city of water channels is by foot. And if your hotel is found deep inside the labyrinth, it would be nice to drag it, wouldn't it?
Well, starting with May 2015 you won't be able to.
The fine will slam you with 500 EUR (about 578 USD).
But noise isn't the only reason Venice is banning wheeled bags. As The Independent says, there are also worries regarding the deterioration of the pavement.
In addition, Venice discourages the usage of "lovelocks", which are frequently being placed on the old bridges, fences...
In summer 2014 only, 20,000 lovelocks were removed from Rialto Bridge alone!
For now, contradictory news are spreading like this article on Time, which says Venice is not banning wheeled bags, only commercial carts. Local officials have stated that it was a misunderstanding, which was quickly picked-up by online media.
In case it gets serious, better leave your wheel bag home or block your wheels with something, so that you don't forget.
About the Author:
Escape Hunter, the young solo traveler in his early 30's explores the World driven by curiosity, thirst for adventure, deep passion for beauty, love for freedom and diversity.
With a nuanced, even humorous approach to travel, an obsession for art and design, Escape Hunter prefers to travel slowly, in order to learn and "soak up" the local atmosphere...
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