The Rialto Bridge in Venice, the oldest of the four structures spanning the Grand Canal in the Italian city, is a national treasure and one of Venice's biggest tourist draws.

So it shouldn't come as any suprise that the city of Venice issued a €950 (NZ$1575) fine to two German travellers who broke the rules and then asked them to leave the city, according to reports from The New York Times and the BBC.

The sight of two German backpackers setting up a portable stove to make their morning coffee on the steps of the 400-year-old bridge was too much for a local, who reported them to the police.

The backpackers had violated new rules imposed in May. The bans cover a number of offences, from littering to sitting down in front of monuments, as well as swimming in the canals, according to The Lonely Planet.

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In a statement, Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said: "Venice must be respected and those impolite people who come here and do what they want must understand that. Thanks to the local police, they will be sanctioned and removed."

The city is also now charging all visitors who enter central Venice, not just overnight travelers.

Those found flouting the rules will also have their identities shared with the embassy of their home country.