Reasons why you shouldn’t swim in the Venetian lagoon

Happy Halloween folks! On this special night, I’ll give you a piece of advice regarding our beautiful canals and sea.

Apparently, diving in the green Venetian water attracts lots of tourists, as locals have been witnessing for years; this summer was no exception actually. After all, Venetians too used to do so in the past.


So.. what’s the matter? Why are they complaining now? What’s the reason behind authorities and locals raling against people plunging in the Grand Canal?

First of all, you must know that diving or swimming in the old town centre is forbidden by law. Therefore, if you’re yearning for a dip in the Adriatic sea, you better reach Lido, which is a proper bathing zone. Moreover, in the case the existence of a specific rule isn’t a deterrent enough for you, remember that this great stunt of yours could cost you something like fifty euros(and your health, as I’m about to explain), that is the possible amount of the penalty.

In addition, I must say that it’s not just your money you’re risking, but your life too. Actually, nowadays Venice suffers of quite the traffic jam due to the mass of tourists swarming around the city; this makes it a lot easier for those going for a dip to hit a boat and get injured(see what happened to this New Zealander).

Furthermore, Venetian waters are quite polluted. Both industry chemicals and home detergents are ruining the cleanliness of the canals, as you can see and smell. Don’t forget that the city centre is just a few kilometres away from Porto Marghera, an area where, in the ’70s, industries disposed of their products and toxic waste offshore, resulting in an increase in cancer-related diseases with hundreds of victims among the inhabitants(click here for information about the pollution of the place).

Last but not least, I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but poetic Venice was characterised by an open air sewage system in a not-so-distant past: this means that the vast majority of raw sewage produced by Venetians was flushed directly into the canals, therefore you’re basically swimming in s***e.

Hello little fella!

Not to mention that nutrie, that is big rats, love swimming there too.

Of course this facts aren’t meant to prevent you from visiting this incredible and enchanting city: Venice is safe, you won’t die, you’ll probably feel re-born by its beauty. Just, you know, don’t enter the lagoon, since you are now aware of what you could find.

Enjoy your stay, visit museums, wander, get lost, eat, drink, do whatever pleases you and if looking for a beach head to Lido or directly to Jesolo!

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10 Replies to “Reasons why you shouldn’t swim in the Venetian lagoon”

  1. i too was in shock when i first heard about the canal being the sink of the cities waste. before that i assumed that its specially made for attraction and maintained for tourist to rome around the city.

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  2. I thought at first that the title is a clickbait, you know, when bloggers say the X number of reasons to “not go” to a certain place but when you read it it’s telling you otherwise. So I definitely appreciate that this article is true to its title. I think it’s nice that you are spreading out this kind of message just so the people would know what they should or shouldn’t do when they visit the Venetian lagoon. Personally, I wouldn’t swim in there just by looking at the water. It does look like it’s polluted. Also, I might get the greatest scare if I see a rat swimming along. And the fact about the sewage, oh my god! It’s a whole bunch of nos!

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  3. It might be a very relaxing place before, not until human become irresponsible that this lagoon has to suffer… I appreciate this article, you help travelers who will visit Venetia maximize their time by avoiding this lagoon and instead you suggested other awesome things to do in Venetia

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  4. This is good advice. When we were there we did think that the place was definitely not for taking a dip. Would hate to swim with the rats. I have heard of swimming with whales and dolphins, but rats! ugghhhhh…

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  5. I didn’t know that people do swim there. Crazy! I was aware of how polluted it is so I cannot fathom that some would still take the risk. Hehe. It is good for taking the gondola but definitely not for swimming! Thanks for sharing!

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  6. I am trying to think back to my time in Venice to recall if I saw anyone swimming in the canals but nothing is coming to mind. I did notice the smell when we were there so we didn’t feel compelled at all to jump in. And those rats!!! The beauty of Venice is definitely best explored on foot or by gondola.

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