September 29, 2022

Forbes India – Travel: On the way to Venice? Don’t forget your water gun

In Venice, orange water guns are used to deter seagulls. Image: Mael Balland / Unsplash

youGenerally, these are the monkeys to watch out for when traveling, whether to Gibraltar or Lopburi in Thailand. But primates are not the only animals likely to attack tourists. In Venice, seagulls are a real nuisance. And hoteliers have found a surprising way to keep them from disturbing visitors: arming guests with a water gun!

While pigeons may annoy you in Paris or London, spare a thought for visitors to Venice, where the birds that bother tourists are seagulls. In 2008, the ban on feeding pigeons allowed St. Mark’s Square to reduce the presence of birds. But that does not mean that visiting this legendary place is a relaxing experience for tourists. Now visitors have to be very careful not to have a piece of pizza stolen by one of these coastal birds. The New York Post reported on this seagull invasion in 2016, comparing the situation to scenes from Hitchcock’s famous thriller “The Birds.”

The Venice Hoteliers Association has previously tried to limit aggressive seagull attacks by deploying falcons, but the solution has proven costly. The new approach is to provide customers with water guns. And not just any water guns. The favorite accessories are orange, a color the seagulls apparently don’t like at all. But, rest assured, Venice hasn’t turned into an open-air squirt gun battleground. Tourists are supposed to just place the toys next to them on the table in the hope that this will prevent the birds from getting too close. Euronews explains that seagulls have even been known to steal an entire steak straight from a restaurant plate! Gritti Palace and Monaco & Grand Canal are among the hotels that have included squirt guns in their room kits.

If you are planning to take a water pistol (orange), keep in mind that it should not be used against seagulls, as they are a protected species.

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