Residents of Venice in northern Italy held an ironic protest on Sunday against rising prices and tourist traffic, saying their picturesque city had become a Disney-like "Veniceland".
"Venice has become an entertainment park for the 20 million tourists that benevolently invade us every year," Matteo Secchi, a spokesman for the Venessia group behind the protest, said in a statement.
AdvertisementThe resident population of Venice is only around 59,000.
"All we can do now is hold a party and inaugurate the 'Veniceland' theme park. It's an ironic provocation for the city administration, which appears not to be able to reverse the tendency," he said.
Protesters wearing theme park costumes conducted a procession along the Grand Canal in around a dozen gondolas in front of puzzled tourists and then sold tickets for "Veniceland" at the city's main train station.
Venice Mayor Giorgio Orsoni said in a statement that he would work together with Venessia "to find the best solutions for possible action."
"I hope your demonstration will... use joy, playfulness and good humour to raise the questions that this administration must deal with," he added.