Flyers posted throughout Venice have been telling visitors to "go away", as the Italian city struggles to deal with its popularity among holidaymakers.

"Tourists go away ... you are destroying this area!" read the signs pasted on walls across the canal city, including one of Venice's oldest churches, the San Giovanni in Bragora, reported the Corriere del Veneto newspaper.

It was unclear who had carried out the anti-tourism stunt.

Many are fed up with the hordes strolling around Piazza San Marco, blocking bridges and crowding alleys.


Authorities have been racking their brains for ways to better deal with the floods of tourists.

In an attempt to ease the pressure, residents and locals now use separate entrances to the canal city's water buses, the Vaporetti.

The initiative, which started in June, allows residents to board faster by avoiding tourists.

Earlier this week, a New Zealand man injured himself and the driver of a water taxi when he drunkenly jumped off the city's famed Rialto Bridge.

Tourists are often tempted to jump into Venice's canals during the torrid heat of the summer, despite a strict ban on swimming, not to mention the pungent smell of sewage that frequently emanates from the canals.

Four British tourists were photographed stripping down to their underpants and leaping into the canal from the Rialto Bridge in 2013.

But the Mayor of the World Heritage city has now had enough of this and other types of bad behaviour. "I insist on (introducing) special powers to the city to uphold public order. Pickpockets, vandals, drunks! A night in the cells," Luigi Brugnaro, the Mayor, wrote on his Twitter account.