Tourists beware, convenient luggage may cost you in Venice. Reuters/Luke MacGregor

The city's reasoning is ... sound. Way too much of it.

Carrying wheeled suitcases could now be a crime—and not just a fashion crime—in Venice, Italy.

The city council just introduced a law that suggested fining wheelie-dragging tourists up to $650, which is approximately how much six extra wheelies would run you on an Alitalia flight from North America to Italy. *(Some local sources now say that the law would be more squarely directed at hard-wheeled luggage trolleys.)

The legislation was introduced to address the problem of tourists rattling luggage across the city's cobblestone pathways at all hours of the day and night, which the council argued contributed to noise pollution in the city. Littering has always been a problem in tourist destinations, and squeaky wheels grating on the sidewalks outside the Piazza San Marco on a lazy Italian afternoon are apparently just as exasperating. The situation is so bad that when big groups arrive or leave, the entire town is kept awake by the cacophony of little plastic wheels hitting stone after stone, Il Messaggero reports. That's why City Special Commissioner Victor Zappalorto has instituted the ban as a part of the city's building code. The wheels, it seems, also literally grate on the city's marble staircases, stone walkways, and historic bridges, causing wear and tear, officials claim.  

Wheelies are ruining Venetian streets, officials say. (Flickr/10946461@N05)

But let's be honest, wheeled suitcases and luggage trolleys are very handy for travelers. For the 20 million-plus tourists who visit Venice each year, it's going to be quite a hassle to schlep all their stuff across the city in inconveniently large duffle bags starting next year.

But officials have a solution: the not-yet-invented "Venice trolley."

"Hopefully by [May 2015], one or two companies might start producing trolley suitcases with air-filled wheels," The Telegraph quotes the council's planning director Maurizio Dorigo saying.

Perhaps this man's last invention—a foot-powered wheelie you can ride to and from the airport—just needs a small tweak?

(H/T: The Telegraph, The Daily Mail)

*This story has been updated with more current information.

Correction: An earlier version of this article said that 20,000 tourists visited Venice each year, when in fact, it's upwards of 20 million.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. photo: Chris Burden's "Urban Light," installed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, features several of L.A.'s historic streetlight styles.
    Design

    The Future of the Streetlight Might Be in the Past

    A new competition from the L.A. mayor’s office invites designers to reimagine the rich history of civic illumination and create next-generation streetlights.

  2. Life

    Talent May Be Shifting Away From Superstar Cities

    According to a new analysis, places away from the coasts in the Sunbelt and West are pulling ahead when it comes to attracting talented workers.

  3. photo: A Starship Technologies commercial delivery robot navigates a sidewalk.
    POV

    My Fight With a Sidewalk Robot

    A life-threatening encounter with AI technology convinced me that the needs of people with disabilities need to be engineered into our autonomous future.

  4. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.
    Equity

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

  5. photo: a WeWork office
    Equity

    Amid Layoffs, WeWork’s Other Workers Are Making a Stand

    The co-working giant is letting 2,400 employees go and outsourcing 1,000 cleaning and facilities jobs as part of a company-wide belt-tightening.

×