If you've been contemplating booking a trip to Venice, this may be your sign to make it happen quickly! Starting from January 16, 2023, the Italian city will introduce an entry fee - making it the first city in the world to do so. The highly popular tourist spot, famous for its beautiful lagoon, has been inundated with visitors in the age of post-covid travel. To limit the crowds at the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the decision was made to charge entry and control the inflow. Here are all the details you need to know.
Because the main goal is to prevent overcrowding, the entry price tag will range from 3 - 10 Euros according to the level of demand. It's believed the main target group of this approach are those visiting the city on a day trip. Every day, thousands of tourists grace the streets and canals of Venice, coming from resorts all over the Adriatic coast. The hope is that, with this new fee, they may be discouraged from making the day trip out and will choose to visit an alternative city.
The announcement was first made in July by Simone Venturini, Venice's councilor for tourism. He used this press conference to explain the rationale behind the decision and outline the plan. "We are pioneers, the first city in the world to apply a measure that could be revolutionary," he noted, before stating that it will help to avoid tourist peaks. "Venice is a living city, and it has to stay that way," he declared.
Many were quick to question whether this means the city will close its doors in the case of maximum capacity. Venice's finance chief, Michele Zuin, quickly explained this would not be the case. "We are thinking of a visitor limit beyond which you pay more, but the city will never close," he said in The Times. "Venice is open - we just want a disincentive to tourism." As The Times reports, visitors will be made to scan a QR code upon entry to the train station, and spot checks will be frequent throughout the city. Those found without a valid pass will be fined up to 300 Euros ($312). Tourists staying overnight and paying tourist tax at their hotel will be exempt from purchasing an entry pass. "It is not a system to make cash but to manage tourist flows," insisted Zuin.