Recently, some gondoliers operating the famed waterways of Venice, Italy, have been acting inappropriately and may soon be facing drug and alcohol tests. Their actions have upset many including the president of the gondolier’s association, Nicola Falconi. According to Italian news agency Ansa, he is requesting that the gondoliers face drug and alcohol testing. Falconi said it was important to tackle the “ever mounting problem.”
A young Venetian man was filmed stripping and diving into a canal as part of a hazing initiation. He was seeking to become a “ganser” or gondolier’s assistant. For awhile, footage of the incident appeared on YouTube but has since been removed.
The Venice city council said that gondoliers “represent Venice to the world” and as such should respect the “human spirit of Venetian citizenship.” Falconi said that he would be asking the council members to introduce random drug and alcohol testing for all Venetian water craft personnel, “from water bus drivers to ship hands.”
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