Gondoliers face breathalyzer tests

Venice’s gondoliers are facing alcohol and drug tests as their increasingly drunken antics come to the attention of authorities, while Veneto has also appointed a new “Prosecco policeman”.

veniceThe city council in Venice has apparently been receiving an increasing number of complaints regarding the gondoliers who ply the city’s famous canals.

The Daily Telegraph reported that the issue was brought to a head after an aspiring gondoliers’ assistant underwent a “hazing” ceremony, which involved him having to jump naked into the Grand Canal.

City councillors deplored the act as “despicable” and said in a statement: “Gondoliers represent our city in the world and must therefore respect historical and traditional values, as well as human dignity.”

The president of the gondoliers’ association, Nicola Falconi, was the one who demanded the drug and alcohol testing however.

He told the news agency, Ansa: “Given that unruly behaviour is on the increase, I’m proposing tests, which would be conducted without warning.

“We don’t yet know if it’s practicable but we at least need to try to tackle this growing problem.”

Meanwhile, the Italian government has apparently appointed a young oenology graduate to act as a “Prosecco policeman”.

Andrea Battistella, who has been christened “007 Prosecco” by the Italian media, has been tasked with cracking down on fake Proseccos by the ministry of agriculture and to ensure it is always served from the bottle rather than from a tap or decanter.

Anyone caught breaking the rules could be fined up to €20,000.

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