No Joke: Venice Is Banning All Wheeled Suitcases for Tourists

Greg Keraghosian
·Associate Travel Editor
venice bag ban
venice bag ban

We might be seeing a lot more boats carrying bags in Venice next year. (Photo: Graeme Churchard/Flickr)

Here’s bad news for visitors to Venice, and good news for entrepreneurs and chiropractors: roller suitcases are soon to be illegal in the Italian city.

 The Venice City Council has announced that beginning May 2015, any tourist seen using a bag with hard wheels will be subject to a fine of 500 Euros (about $620), in the name of decreasing noise pollution for locals and wear and tear to the old city’s delicate streets and bridges.

So anyone unable to shlep their bags over their backs to their hotel, or carry them with the handles like people did in the 70s, is going to need some help – many parts of Venice aren’t accessible to cars.

And the real kicker, according to the local newspaper that reported this? Locals are exempt from the law.

venice bag ban
venice bag ban

Venice’s streets are pretty, but delicate. (Photo: Thinkstock)

The City Council’s solution to the ban is that it’s OK to use bags with inflatable tires – too bad no such bag exists yet.

According to the local Il Gazzettino newspaper, city officials say the ban will be a relief for local residents and shopkeepers who were suffering “serious discomfort” from the daily cacophony of bag wheels. They also noted “progressive deterioration” of the city’s fragile infrastructure.

Some initial reactions to the news over Twitter:

We couldn’t find a similar ban in any other city, but Venice does have a unique conflict in balancing tourism with preservation – the city gets over 20 million visitors a year, and with its cobblestone streets and rising water levels, it’s delicate. Venice already moved to ban large cruise ships from its lagoon this year for environmental reasons.

venice bag ban
venice bag ban

You’ll have to pick a direction other than Venice now. (Photo: Thinkstock)

Related: Tahoe Officials Banning Bear Selfies, Rightly So

Still, until a soft-wheeled suitcase hits the market, one wonders how people who are physically unable to lift their bags for long distances are going to adapt to this ban. Hire a designated bag gondolier? Or simply plan their romantic vacation somewhere else?

WATCH: Planning a Honeymoon in Venice, Italy

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