Funny things tourists say, in Venice

The exchanges below were overheard and recorded by the tourist organization on their Facebook page and made me laugh out loud, so I translated a few of my favorites and in some places added comments in parentheses for clarification.



1) Spanish couple: Excuse me, would you tell me where I can get a vaporetto to Florence?


2) Dialogue between a woman and her child in Campo San Giovanni e Paolo:

Child, pointing to the transparent plastic pieces that protect the sculptures: “Mamma, what are those boards for?” 

Mamma: “nothing, honey, they’re just magnifying lenses so that people can see the details of the statues better.”


3) Frenchman: “The vaporetto tickets are valid for one hour, correct? So can I decide which hour I want to use it for? For example could I use it for half and hour today and half an hour tomorrow?”


4) Overheard on a foggy day, on a full boat leaving the Fondamente Nuove, by a French tourist: “look we’re going into the open sea!” Pointing at the island of Murano, “And look, there’s Croatia!”


5) The other day, in front of my house I saw a family of Nordic tourists – a mother, a father and two children – who had just gotten off a vaporetto. The smallest child, probably 8 or 9 years old, was on a leash and was wearing a life jacket!



6) From a Sicilian couple: “Excuse me, would you tell us where the Egyptian museum is?”

Me: “I think it’s in Turin”

Couple: “No, it should be in Venice. It’s extremely famous. And that big tower in front of us – what’s that?”

Me: “It’s the San Marco bell tower”. I felt like saying it was the Mole Antonelliana.


7) From an Italian tourist: “Excuse me I am looking for ‘Calle'”

Me: “Calle what?” [Streets in Venice are called Calle]

Italian: “Calle! A street that is called Calle!”


8) An American tourist, pointing at the North Lagoon, asks: “Is this the Grand Canal?”

Me: “no, sir, it’s the Lagoon”

Tourist: “Oh, I thought it must be the Grand Canal since the other one {indicates Grand Canal} seemed small”

9) Tourist from Atlanta: “It’s raining today so there’s nothing to do in Venice”

Me: “Ma’am Venice has many amazing museums”

Tourist: “Well I heard that Mestre has malls. When it rains at home we go to the mall to go shopping, so I think I’ll go there.” [Mestre is a suburb of Venice and people often stay in Mestre to visit Venice, never the other way around.]

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Posted by on Jan 14, 2013 in Venice & the Veneto | One Comment

1 Comment

  1. Yu Ching
    February 25, 2015

    These are great! So funny. You must be very observant to have a collection of these.

    Here’s one I heard from a Chinese mother and child.

    They were sitting in one of those enclosed vaporetto stops. They sat their for a long time until the child asked, “Mom, are we on a boat?”
    The mom said, “yes, of course.”
    And the child pointed to an on-coming boat and asked, “Then what is that?”

    The mom realized that they’ve been sitting on a floating platform and hurried to get on the actual boat.


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