Historic Italian City Will Begin Charging Vistors to Enter


The city of Venice, Italy has announced plans to institute an entry fee for visitors beginning next year.

Aimed at reducing tourist traffic in the historic city, the $5.35 (€5) fee will apply to all day-trippers 14 and older. The charge, which the city admits is only an experiment at this point, will be instituted on 30 separate dates throughout 2024, many of them during spring and summer holidays.

Venice tourism councillor Simone Venturini said that the move wasn’t financially motivated, but rather to find “a new balance between the rights of those who live, study or work in Venice and those who visit the city.” The entry fees will only cover the cost of instituting this trial run, Venturini confirmed.

The plan to charge tourists was first floated in 2019, but was delayed after the pandemic drove visitors from the city. Yet even as they returned, far exceeding the 50,000 locals and making it impossible to travel the city’s slender canals and tapering walkways, charges were further delayed due to administrative issues.

Overtourism has long been an issue for Venice. In July, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) requested that the city and its iconic lagoon be placed its List of World Heritage in Danger, which identifies locations “threatened by serious and specific dangers.” In its report, UNESCO said Venice hadn’t made any “significant level of progress in addressing the persistent and complex issues related in particular to mass tourism, development projects, and climate change, which are causing deterioration and damage to building structures and urban areas.”

A meeting will be held next week to determine the exact dates of the fee, and how it will be organized. The long-anticipated action comes after numerous recent incidents involving tourists defacing or damaging historic Italian property. A particularly bold woman refilled her water bottle in Rome’s Trevi Fountain, while a number of people decided to carve their names into the city’s Colosseum. Last month, two German men were arrested after they spray-painted the Vasari Corridor in Florence.

Source link: https://www.mensjournal.com/news/venice-entry-fee-overtourism by Declan Gallagher at www.mensjournal.com