“It happened on Wednesday afternoon around 15:00 local time. The two men undressed near the Rialto bridge, leaving their clothes there. They jumped into the water and swam, crossing the Grand Canal,” said a spokesman for the police at CNN.
The city’s main waterway, the Grand Canal, has an average depth of 16 feet and connects with numerous smaller canals. Aligned on both sides by churches, palaces and hotels, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.
The men undressed and threw themselves into the canal, police told CNN.
The police spokesman He told CNN that members of the city’s Lagunari regiment – a branch of the military police based in Venice to patrol and maintain order – started filming the two men when they saw them swim. They then showed the footage to the local police, who fined tourists.
“The two men were fined € 350 each and were temporarily removed from the city,” added the police.
The fine imposed on the couple is the standard fine for swimming in the famous canals of Venice and was not related to the restrictions of the coronavirus.
The men were temporarily removed from Venice under the “Urban DASPO” regulation, which allows authorities to remove a person from a city to maintain public order.
After more than two months of rigid blocking measures aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus, Italy has started to welcome visitors.
As of Wednesday, people arriving from other parts of the EU, the United Kingdom or countries covered by the Schengen Agreement can travel freely in Italy without going to quarantine, said the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
CNN Sharon Braithwaite contributed to this article.