Video Shows Aggressive Tourist Head-Butting, Hitting Venice Gondolier Who Refused to Lend Boat for Selfie

A heated confrontation between a gondolier and a tourist in the European city of Venice was captured on camera this week, a dispute reportedly sparked by a selfie.

The incident took place yesterday afternoon at Ponte dei Bareteri, or Bareteri Bridge, which is a popular tourist destination in the region made famous by its sprawling network of canals. The video was posted to Facebook and has been viewed more than 90,000 times.

The 1:25 minute clip shows a man confronting the gondolier as a woman shouts from behind. The tourist aggressively pushes the boat owner multiple times and makes threatening gestures with his fist, as the gondolier stands his ground and laughs back in his face.

As the pair square up, the video shows the tourist knocking off the gondolier's traditional straw hat. Within seconds, the situation escalates as the tourist head-butts the gondolier four times and punches him on the left side of his face. The boat owner, who does not appear fazed by the violent attack, exchanges words with the tourist as the woman becomes more irate.

According to local newspaper La Nuova Venezia, the altercation occurred after a group of four people from South America, two parents and two children, got onto a gondola to take selfies. The gondolier was targeted after asking the tourists to exit the canal boat, it reported.

The family in the new video has not yet been identified. A similar incident involving South American tourists took place at Bareteri bridge last year, the local media outlet reported.

"The aggression is very clear, heads and even a punch, which the gondolier resisted. Solidarity and a handshake to him," wrote Frank Duse, who posted the video online, in a caption alongside the footage. His clip attracted hundreds of comments and shares.

While gondola rides are synonymous with Venice, they do not come cheap. According to tourist website Venezia Autentica, a private ride for up to six passengers typically costs €80 ($90) for approximately half an hour. At night, the price for a journey can reach €120 ($132).

Video dell'aggressione al gondoliere al ponte dei Bareteri. L'aggressione è chiarissima, testate e addirittura un pugno a cui il gondoliere ha resistito. Solidarietà ed una stretta di mano a lui per il sangue freddo. Duri i banchi vecio, no i pol far chel casso che i vol e dopo comportarse in sta maniera. - Frank #duseunodinoi #frankduse #dixeelduse #venezia #mestre #aggressione #gondoliere

Posted by Dixe el Duse on Sunday, September 15, 2019

In 2017, a gondolier hit the headlines after sharing a sarcastic update that went viral on social media. It featured a video of passengers who were all staring at their cellphones.

"A fantastic ride. The customers are very happy, they're enjoying the beauty of the city, they appreciate it a lot. They've taken lots of photos, made comments and said they will soon return to this wonderful city," the unidentified gondolier joked on Facebook, The Local reported.

Gondola
A gondola sails at sunset on the Gran Canal in front of the Palazzo Ducale on September 14, 2019 in Venice. LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty
Video Shows Aggressive Tourist Head-Butting, Hitting Venice Gondolier Who Refused to Lend Boat for Selfie | News
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