With travel picking up again in Italy, Venice is once more mulling ways to limit the number of tourists allowed inside the city by moving ahead with plans to introduce an entry fee for visitors next summer.
For a long time now, the lagoon city has been concerned with finding ways to reduce overcrowding while also making sure that both residents and tourists can enjoy all that Venice has to offer. The latest solution dates back to 2018 when the local administration decided that all visitors would be charged an entry fee ranging from €3 to €10—a scheme that was meant to be implemented last summer but was put on hold because of the pandemic.
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Tourists in Piazza San Marco in front of the basilica, Venice, Italy ©Claudio Stocco/Shutterstock
According to local media, that scheme will now be introduced in summer 2022 and it would require visitors to book and pay their fee in advance. The fee would be paired to electronic turnstiles located at Venice’s main access points to help regulate the access of tourists to the city. All residents, workers and students that need to enter Venice on a daily basis would have the virtual key to the turnstiles through an app on their smartphones, and tourists would fill the remaining spots each day by booking their entrance.
Prices will start from €3 in low season and could increase to €10 in high-season. Residents and their relatives, children under six and people staying in local hotels will not have to pay an entry fee. The move is aimed at day-trippers instead.
The Times reports that the council approved the plan last week and the administration is keen to move ahead after years of postponing it. It comes as visitor numbers increase again, with 80,000 people a day visiting in late summer, according to the newspaper.
And in what might just be a first step in the push to reinvent and regulate mass tourism, Venice formally banned cruise ships from the historic city center in April after UNESCO warned the city about the “damage caused by a steady stream of cruise ships.”
This article was first published on July 24, 2020 and updated on August 27, 2021.
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