Italy – Venetian city authorities alarmed at the increasing number of fatal gondolier accidents have introduced breathalyser tests for Gondoliers.
Although speed traps were introduced six years ago, a spate of accidents and increased congestion have further focused minds on safety. Last July, a woman drowned when a boat whose skipper was believed to have been drinking hit a water bus.
Franco Vianello Moro, the president of the Association of Gondoliers, told The Bastard that he was unaware of any “drink-drive” accidents involving gondolas but admitted that it was “fair to assume that a certain percentage of gondoliers piloted their boats under the excessive influence of alcohol”.
But Giorgio Cornetto, a veteran gondolier, said that there was “nothing wrong with manning a gondola after drinking two, three or even four, bottles of wine”.
“We go very slowly anyway”‘