Hotels

Venice hotel guests are being armed with water pistols to thwart pesky gulls

Have you ever had some unsavoury thoughts about how you would get rid of gulls that you probably wouldn’t even mention to a therapist on your death bed?

Well, a nice hotel in Venice is equipping its guests with water pistols to get rid of the gulls in a nicer way and help you push down those deep dark thoughts.

The marauding birds are quite the pest in the famous lagoon city, often stealing food such as gelato from tourists in popular spots like St Mark’s Square.

As comical and hilarious as that scene is, Venice hoteliers have had enough, so they organised a seminar to come up with ideas to thwart the chip loving pests of the sky.

“The huge number of seagulls, in addition to being an aggressive and annoying presence for people, represent a problem for health and hygiene, as well as for buildings and the environment,” Francesco Boemo, a hygiene and environment expert who coordinated the seminar told The Guardian.

He added that the association must use solutions that can deter the birds in an uncruel way.

“They are, in fact, a protected species and cannot be eliminated, as is done, for example, with mice,” Boemo said.

Other solutions discussed included hiring a falconer to hunt the gulls or deterring them with a special acoustic system or unpleasant odours (although humans would not be able to smell them).

“As soon as guests get up, perhaps to go to the buffet, seagulls pounce on the food and take it away,” one hotelier said, according to the minutes of the seminar.

“We are forced to intervene continuously to change tablecloths, plates and glasses, which they often break. Some customers laugh about it, but others get angry.”

The falconer solution was attempted by some hoteliers, but calling upon them every day proved to be expensive.

This left the Gritti Palace and Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal to arm their guests with orange water pistols – as gulls supposedly dislike that colour.

“As soon as they see the pistols, they fly away,” Paolo Lorenzini, of the Gritti Palace, told the Italian press.

“You don’t even need to use them, you just need to keep them on the table.”


Featured Image: Gull posing at Grand Canale  from Rialto Bridge in Venice (iStock/imagoDens)



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