A tourist who dived from the roof of a Venice palazzo into a canal has been described by the mayor of the World Heritage city as “a cretin”.

The young man, who was wearing just a pair of boxer shorts, was filmed leaping from the top of the 30ft-high building and performing what looked like a belly flop into the water below.

Shortly before he jumped, locals could be heard saying: "No!" and telling him not to take the risk.

There were gasps as he jumped into the water but, a few moments later, he climbed out of the canal and was handed a towel by a friend.

He was lucky to emerge unscathed – some of Venice’s canals have been drained of water in the last few weeks as a result of a series of exceptionally low tides.

The stunt, which was posted to social media, was condemned by the mayor of Venice, who has become exasperated with tourists stripping off to swim in canals, water skiing illegally along the Grand Canal and jumping off the famous Rialto Bridge, often while drunk.

'Certificate of stupidity'

“We should give a certificate of stupidity and a good number of kicks up the backside to this individual,” Luigi Brugnaro wrote on Twitter, along with a video of the stunt.

“We are trying to identify and charge him, along with his friend who took a video of the cretin for social media.

“These people are risking their necks just for a few likes. They have no regard for the danger they pose. Imagine if a boat had passed beneath.”

The diving stunt provoked plenty of comment on social media. Many people called for the young man to be identified, given a heavy fine and banned from Venice for a set period.

One Twitter user said there was no need to formally punish him. “Just wait for him to go down with the illnesses that he will surely have picked up during the 10 seconds he spent in the canal,” he wrote.

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2023-03-24T17:32:01Z dg43tfdfdgfd