The Italian Almanac

gondola in Venice

Italian News - February 15

Venice gondoliers, on strike for better safety regulations on the Grand Canal, have relented temporarily to provide a free skeleton service for young lovers on Valentine's Day. "Young lovers who asked us were able to come aboard our gondolas for free on Valentine's Day," said Roberto Luppi, the president of the Venice gondoliers' association.

The gondoliers have been taking industrial action to force city authorities to regulate traffic better on the Grand Canal, the main thoroughfare of the city's waterway system. Some 200 gondolas gathered in front of the mayoral palace for a Valentine's Day protest, accompanied by the sounds of whistles and trumpeters.