Venice to introduce entry ticket for tourists in 2023
Daytrippers will pay up to $10 to visit lagoon city; move aims to check overtourism
Starting next year, daytrippers will have to pay up to 10 euros ($10.4) to enter the Italian city of Venice, one of the wonders of the world that has long been plagued by overtourism.
The measure, announced on Friday by the Venice city council, will kick in on Jan. 16, 2023.
Tourists who stay overnight, children under 6, holiday home owners, people staying with locals, students, commuters and several other categories will be exempted.
Simone Venturini, city councilor for tourism, called the new system “the only way” to control mass tourism. “It is an important step, it is a key stage, and we are the first in the world to do it,” he said.
Entry fees for Venice will range from 3 to 10 euros, depending on how busy the city is. The city council has yet to decide on the overcrowding thresholds that will determine the prices tourists have to pay.
The councilor also announced price hikes for public transport and tourist attractions. From Sept. 1, a single ticket for a water ferry will go up from 7.50 to 9.50 euros, while entry to the St. Mark’s museums will increase from 25 to 30 euros ($31.2).
Venturini insisted there was no question of closing the city altogether during exceptionally busy times, like the carnival in February. “The city always stays open, but if we reach a threshold … you can still come if you want, but you pay a bit more,” he said.
Booking will be done online, and a team of 15-20 inspectors will patrol the city’s alleys, bridges and piazzas to look for fare dodgers, who will face fines ranging from 50 to 300 euros (from $42 to $311).
Venetians have long been trying to discourage so-called “hit and run tourists” who stay in the city only a few hours. The council first presented plans to make them pay to enter the city in 2019, but their implementation was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tourism is Venice’s main industry, but the constant inflow of visitors is blamed for making the city ever more expensive and less hospitable for residents, a fact that is reflected in dwindling resident numbers – now down to 50,000, compared to 76,000 some 30 years ago.