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Venice announces details of its €10 entry fee

Venice announces details of its €10 entry fee
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(CNN) — The countdown has started. From January 16, 2023, visitors to Venice – this jewel in Italy’s tourism crown – will have to pay for this privilege.

It is said to be the first city in the world where admission is charged. The launch date was announced by Venice Tourism Councilor Simone Venturini at a press conference on Friday.

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

The cost of the ticket ranges from at least three euros to 10 euros. The price is not fixed, but varies depending on the number of visitors: the more admission requests, the higher the costs.

The goal, Venturini explained, is not to “close the city,” but to get people to book their attendance to reduce “tourist peaks.” He said: “Venice is a vibrant city and it must stay that way.”

exceptions

The complex ticket booking system and its online platform will be presented this autumn. There are many exceptions to the ticket mandate, explained Budget Councilor Michele Zuin.

Excluded are residents and children under the age of six, people with disabilities, homeowners, people coming to town for health reasons or to visit relatives, and people coming to a sporting or cultural event.

Overnight guests of the hotel also save the entrance fee, since they already pay a tourist tax through their hotel.

“It’s not a system to make money, but to control tourist flows,” stressed Zuin. The proceeds from the entrance fee will be used to lower the taxes of the Venetians, which are already very high due to the large number of tourists that have to be accommodated.

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

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

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

Post-pandemic mentality

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

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

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

“We can say: ‘Dear visitor, we advise against coming on that day because it is Ferragosto [August public holiday] or Easter – there will be a lot of people there, so it will prevent you from having a peaceful visit, and if you can make it a week later, you can enjoy your visit more,” he said.

Venturini also predicted that Venice would not be the last to press charges.

“I think a lot of other European cities that live with significant numbers of day trippers are watching us to understand how to introduce us [a similar scheme]” he said.

While Venice is the first city to introduce a fee, one village in Italy has already introduced a fee for day-trippers. Civita di Bagnoregio introduced a “symbolic” fee from €1.50 ($1.67) in 2013. Mayor Francesco Bigiotti planned it as a marketing stunt to lure tourists to his village on a crumbling cliff, known as the “dying city.”

The fee intrigued visitors so much that attendance grew from 40,000 in 2009 to 1 million in 2018.

Main image: Pre-pandemic crowds in Venice’s St. Mark’s Square. (MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)

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