Italy: Relax, Venice isn’t out to ban your noisy wheeled bags

Visitors tour the Grand Canal by gondola in Venice, Italy.
Visitors tour the Grand Canal by gondola in Venice, Italy.
(Andrew Medichini / Associated Press)

No matter how many stories and outraged #trolleyisnotacrime tweets you read, the Italian city of Venice will not ban wheeled luggage for being too noisy and will not fine noncompliant tourists hundreds of dollars.

City Commissioner Vittorio Zappalorto on Friday denied numerous news reports that announced wheelies were no longer welcome in the all-pedestrian floating city.

An Italian National Tourist Board spokeswoman said in an email that the ban “exclusively involved carts used to carry and deliver goods and merchandise in Venice and not wheeled luggage. The commissioner states that any other interpretation is pure fantasy and not true.”


It’s not just the noise factor that’s at issue. Hard wheels apparently can ruin historic cobbles, particularly on Venice’s ancient bridges.

Zappalorto also said he hopes someone would invent low-impact wheels that would “contribute to saving our architectural heritage and to the peace of residents and the tourists themselves,” Italian news service reports.

Other protective measures Venice has taken this year:

--The city removed about 20,000 padlocks this summer from its famed Ponte dell’Accademia over the Grand Canal. (Paris, where part of the Pont des Arts grill collapsed from the weight of locks, and other cities share this problem.)

--Venice said no to an onslaught of super-sized cruise ships from coming to close to Saint Mark’s Square and other parts of the city’s canals.

In an unrelated incident, the Norwegian Jade in September temporarily held up George Clooney’s star-studded wedding flotilla as it was zipping along the Grand Canal. Clooney held two wedding ceremonies in Venice.