As anyone who’s ever been to the Italian city that’s slowly sinking can attest, Venice is stunning. With gondolas galore, beautiful bridges, breathtaking architecture, delectable food and drinks (and the occasional carnival), there are hundreds of reasons why tourists flock to Venice.
But as Venice is home to only 50, 000 residents, for years the city has felt the immense pressure of thousands and thousands regularly visiting; so much so, that for quite some time, Venice has been trying to implement an ‘entry fee’ for tourists.
An entry fee that’s now come into fruition.
Yes, starting from June this year, anyone planning to visit Venice for the day, must book ahead and pay a fee – which will range from three to ten euros; it’ll depend on how busy the city is expected to be on the day you book for.
Luigi Brugnaro, the mayor of Venice, took to Twitter to explain that this booking system and the associated fee is a necessary measure for Venice to better manage tourists; although he did admit it will be “difficult”.
“Today, many have understood that making the City bookable is the right way to take, for a more balanced management of tourism. We will be the first in the world in this difficult experimentation,”
The condition for tourists to book and pay a charge prior to entering Venice will be in effect for six months from June. However, officials have said it’s likely that this will become a permanent measure from as early as January next year.
Venice’s tourism councillor, Simone Venturini told La Repubblica – an Italian publication – that there will also be a maximum amount of tourists let into Venice each day.
“…We will set a maximum threshold of 40, 000 or 50, 000 visitors a day.”
She also revealed that there will be “incentives” for tourists to receive once they’ve booked and paid their entry fee.
“Those who book, will receive incentives, such as discounts on entering museums.”Simone Venturini
Over the next few weeks, exceptions to this new rule are expected to be announced; for example, it’s speculated that tourists won’t have to pay the entry fee if they’re only visiting Venice to attend a funeral.
And so far, tourists planning to stay overnight in Venice will be exempt from having to pay the entry fee but this is because they already are required to pay a ‘tourist tax’.
If you were planning on visiting Venice later this year and are outraged at the prospect of having to pay an entry fee, just remember the old Italian saying, ‘Niente che valga la pena di avere è facile.’ Translation? Nothing worth doing comes easy…
And Venice is well worth doing.