Venice reveals details of its €10 tourist entry fee

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(CNN) — The countdown has begun. From January 16, 2023, visitors to Venice – that jewel in Italy’s tourist crown – will have to pay for this privilege.

It is on its way to becoming the first city in the world to require an entrance fee. The launch date was announced by Venice tourism adviser Simone Venturini at a press conference on Friday.

Venturini called the new measure a “great revolution” and a solution to the problem of overtourism that the lagoon city has struggled with for decades.

The ticket price will range from a minimum fee of three euros up to 10 euros. The price will not be fixed, but will vary depending on the number of visitors: The more requests for entry, the higher the cost.

The goal, Venturini explained, is not to “shut down the city”, but to get people to book their attendance to reduce “tourist peaks”. He said: “Venice is a living city and it must remain so.”

Exceptions

The complex ticket reservation system and its online platform will be unveiled this fall. There are many exceptions to the admission ticket mandate, budget adviser Michele Zuin explained.

Residents and children under the age of six will be exempt, as will people with disabilities, landlords, those coming to the city for health reasons or to visit relatives, and those coming to attend an event. sporting or cultural.

Hotel guests staying overnight will also avoid paying the entrance fee as they will already be paying a resort tax through their hotel.

“It’s not a system to make money but to manage tourist flows,” Zuin said. The proceeds of the entrance fee will be used to reduce the taxes of the Venetians, which are already very high due to the large number of tourists to welcome.

The entrance fee will apply to the historic center of Venice and the following islands:

Lido di Venezia, Pellestrina, Murano, Burano, Torcello, Sant’Erasmo, Mazzorbo, Mazzorbetto, Vignole, S. Andrea, La Certosa, S. Servolo, S. Clemente and Poveglia.

Fines for ticket violations will range from 50 euros to 300 euros.

Post-pandemic mentality

“Covid has made us realize that what was an everyday occurrence before Covid is no longer acceptable – the mentality has changed, as has the sensitivity [towards crowds],” he said.

He explained that the reservation system “would give us the chance to know how many people are scheduled for that day and calibrate the services according to the number”.

Venturini also said in April that the portal would alert people that they might want to change their minds.

“We can say, ‘Dear visitor, we do not recommend coming on this date because it is Ferragosto [August public holiday] or Easter – it will be very crowded, it will prevent you from having a peaceful visit, and if you do it a week later, you can enjoy your visit more,” he said.

Venturini also predicted that Venice would not be the last to introduce a fee.

“I think many other European cities that live with a significant number of day trippers are looking to us to understand how they can introduce [a similar scheme],” he said.

Venice may be the first city to introduce a fee, but already a village in Italy has introduced a fee for day trippers. Civita di Bagnoregio introduced a “symbolic” tax of €1.50 ($1.67) in 2013. Mayor Francesco Bigiotti designed it as a marketing stunt to attract tourists to his village on a ruined cliff, known as the “dying city”.

The fees have intrigued visitors so much that the number of visitors has increased from 40,000 in 2009 to 1 million in 2018.

Main image: Pre-pandemic crowds in Venice’s Piazza San Marco. (MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)

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