Have You Seen This? How to get a free dinner in Venice

Two men surf the canals of Venice, Italy, in this video shared by the city's mayor on Twitter Aug. 17.

Two men surf the canals of Venice, Italy, in this video shared by the city's mayor on Twitter Aug. 17. (Luigi Brugnaro via Twitter)

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

VENICE, Italy — If you've ever traveled to Venice, you know how expensive it can be for a decent meal. When I spent a few days there in 2008, I ran out of money early on and ended up subsisting on Clif Bars and Skittles.

But I came across a Twitter post the other day that got the wheels in my head turning like Gaston when he met "crazy old Maurice." Interested? Here's the video from the post:

Apparently, a couple of tourists decided to go jet surfing on one of Venice's famous canals. The mayor of the city, Luigi Brugnaro, was outraged by this stunt and took to Twitter to seek revenge.

Referring to the surfers as "overbearing idiots," he told his followers that a mockery had been made of the city and that the perpetrators must face punishment. Then came the interesting part: Brugnaro offered a free dinner to anyone who could help authorities identify the two men.

A free dinner in Venice? With the mayor, no less? That has to be one of the most tantalizing offers I've ever heard!

Unsurprisingly, someone has already claimed the prize by providing the names of the two Australian surfers. They now face stiff fines and had their beloved boards confiscated.

But surely there will be copycats to this crime. So if you want a free meal with Mayor Brugnaro, just hang out on the Grand Canal and wait for someone to jet surf past you. Then follow the daredevil and get their name once they exit the canal.

Sure, this plan will take some work. But it'll all be worth it when you sit down to your absolutely free dinner of risotto al nero di seppia.

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Grant Olsen joined the KSL.com contributor team in 2012. He covers outdoor adventures, travel, product reviews and other interesting things. He is also the author of the book “Rhino Trouble.”


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