VENICE, ITALY: Venice, often hailed as one of Italy’s most enchanting cities, is renowned for its picturesque setting and is commonly referred to as the “City of Canals.”
With its meandering waterways, striking architectural marvels, and charming bridges, Venice stands as a highly sought-after travel destination.
Among the myriad attractions that Venice offers, the Gondola ride stands out as one of the city’s most iconic experiences.
This leisurely boat journey allows visitors to immerse themselves in the captivating beauty of Venice’s buildings and historical landmarks as they glide through the intricate network of canals.
However, the allure of a Gondola ride took a precarious turn for a group of tourists.
A mishap unfolded when their gondola capsized into a murky and cold canal in Venice.
The incident occurred as the passengers neglected an order to cease taking selfies and assume their seats, leading to an unfortunate accident.
Specifically, a group of Asian tourists found themselves immersed in the waters of the Rio de la Verona River after their gondola overturned on a Sunday afternoon (3 Dec).
A TikTok video, shared by user @ienaridens69 and garnering over 4.2 million views since its upload, depicted the aftermath of the incident.
It showcased five tourists clinging to the overturned gondola and an adjacent one.
Reports indicate that the mishap transpired as the gondola was navigating a challenging passage beneath a bridge close to the area of St Mark’s Square.
The delicate balance required to pass under the bridge was disrupted, resulting in the capsizing of the gondola.
The gondolier, attempting a tricky maneuver, also ended up in the water but swiftly moved to rescue the passengers from their unexpected plunge into the canal.
Tourists’ gondola mishap in Venice: Selfie-taking adventure takes a dangerous turn
As reported by The Guardian, a group of Chinese tourists became the center of an unfortunate incident in Venice.
The tourists were aboard a gondola, moving about and capturing selfies against the scenic backdrop of the lagoon city’s famous landmarks.
The incident, captured on video and widely shared online, unfolded as the group failed to adhere to the gondolier’s instructions, leading to an unexpected turn of events.
The gondolier’s intricate maneuver beneath a bridge necessitated optimal weight distribution on the boat.
However, the passengers reportedly disregarded the gondolier’s directives to sit down, persisting in standing up and taking photographs, ultimately causing the boat to capsize.
The gondolier demonstrated quick thinking by bringing one tourist to the shore and then bravely diving back into the river to rescue the remaining five individuals.
The video footage further revealed the distress of the tourists, with exclamations in Chinese and audible screams of fear as the gondola overturned.
Additional footage shared by the same user portrayed the poignant moment of one passenger being successfully rescued.
Fortunately, the incident concluded on a reassuring note, depicting all passengers rescued and safely aboard another vessel.
Online criticism emerges as tourists face backlash for selfie-centric behavior during gondola mishap in Venice
Observing The Guardian’s Facebook comment section, numerous online users criticized the behavior of the tourists while on the gondola ride.
One user expressed frustration, stating, “This is exactly what I have been writing about and criticizing many times. The only thing most tourists seem to be doing on their visit to Venice is taking selfies, as if they are more interesting than all the historic attractions in this beautiful town.”
A subsequent comment under this user’s post highlighted the perception that for some tourists, the primary objective is not to appreciate the beauty and history of Venice but rather to see their faces superimposed on these iconic backgrounds. This comment subtly critiques the self-centered nature of certain tourist behaviors.
Another user chimed in with a plea for greater respect from tourists, emphasizing the need for them to listen attentively.
She expressed concern about the potential damage to the gondola, noting its expensive nature and highlighting the significance of these vessels for the livelihood of the gondoliers.
This comment adds a perspective on the economic impact of such incidents on the local community, drawing attention to the financial implications for those dependent on these traditional means of transportation.
The alleged role of a language barrier
In response to the incident involving the capsized gondola in Venice, an observer added a comment focusing on the language aspect.
They expressed skepticism regarding the notion that a language barrier might have led to the tourists’ inability to comprehend the gondolier’s instructions, thereby causing the boat to capsize.
The commenter went on to suggest that the gondolier, if Italian, would likely use hand gestures to convey his instructions effectively.
Another user responded to this comment, countering the idea of a language barrier being the root cause.
They asserted that gondoliers in Venice are expected to speak English as part of their job responsibilities.
The user emphasized that the necessary instructions, such as “don’t stand up” and “sit down, please,” are typically communicated in just a few essential words, minimizing the likelihood of miscommunication due to language differences.
Calls for gondoliers to sue tourists over damaged gondola
On a different note, another user expressed a more serious perspective by commenting on the potential financial repercussions for the gondoliers involved.
This user remarked that they hope the gondoliers take legal action against each of the tourists for the damages sustained by the gondola, emphasizing that it serves as the source of livelihood for the gondoliers.
This comment highlights the economic impact of such incidents on local businesses, shedding light on the tangible consequences beyond the immediate safety concerns.
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