“It happened on Wednesday afternoon around 3pm local time. Two men stripped off near the Rialto Bridge, leaving their clothes on. They jumped into the water and swam crossing the Grand Canal,” a police spokesman told CNN.
The city’s main waterway, the Grand Canal, has an average depth of 16 feet and connects to a number of smaller canals. Overgrown on both sides with churches, palaces and hotels is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions.
The men undressed and jumped into the canal, police told CNN.
Police spokesman he told CNN that members of the Lagunari city regiment – a branch of the Venice-based military police to patrol and maintain order – began filming the two of them when they saw them swimming. They then showed the footage to the local police, who fined the tourists.
“The two men were fined 350 euros each and were temporarily removed from the city,” police added.
The fine imposed on the couple is a standard fine for bathing in the famous canals of Venice and was not related to the restrictions of the coronavirus.
The men were temporarily expelled from Venice under the “DASPO Urbano” regulation, which allows authorities to remove a person from the city to maintain public order.
After more than two months of austerity measures aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus, Italy has begun to welcome visitors back.
As of Wednesday, people arriving from other EU countries, the UK or Schengen countries can travel freely to Italy without entering any quarantine, the Italian Foreign Ministry said.
CNN’s Sharon Braithwaite contributed to this article.