Venice bans wedding rice

Venice bans tradition of showering newly-weds with rice

IT MAY BE known as the world’s most romantic city, but Venice is to enforce a ban on one of its oldest wedding traditions – in an effort to keep down the city’s pigeon population.

Each year more than 1,000 couples choose to have their civil marriages at the historic Palazzo Cavalli. But the tradition of using rice as confetti to shower over the bride and groom is feeding the city’s large pigeon population.

The city’s police chief Marco Agostini said the rice ‘brings hordes of pigeons, who then wait around until the next ceremony’. He added: ‘The situation has become unbearable.’

There are believed to be 40,000 pigeons in the historic centre, and they are blamed for soiling its piazza and damaging the city’s marble statues and ancient buildings. A spokeswoman for the city said every Venetian forks out £191 per year cleaning up their mess.

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