This Popular Italian City Will Soon Charge Tourists an Entrance Fee

Oh, and you’ll have to book "tickets," too

Zu Sanchez Photography / Getty Images

Planning a dream trip to Venice, Italy? Better make your budget a little bigger. Starting summer 2022, the famous tourist city will start charging visitors an entrance fee and capping how many people can enter the city.

In recent years, Venice has become somewhat of a poster child for over-tourism. The city itself dates back over 1,200 years, and its beautiful architecture, romantic canals, and top-notch food have been drawing tourists for hundreds of years at a constant and increasingly exponential rate.

It’s been estimated that around 20 million tourists make their way to Venice each year, or approximately 120,000 people per day. Considering this historic city only has about 55,000 actual residents, that’s a lot of extra traffic, extra trash, extra noise—and extra costs—for the Venetian locals and the city’s 800-year-old buildings, canals, bridges, and walkways to bear.

The city got a reprieve from tourists in 2020, though over 1.3 million tourists still made their way into the seaport town. As Italy reopened, Venice eyed a new path forward. Earlier this year, Venice finally made good on its threats to ban large cruise ships, which was ultimately made to prevent further damage to the city.

According to UNESCO, Venice has been exceedingly fragile, thanks to both climate change and over-tourism. There have been multiple concerns over tourism’s effect on the city’s historic infrastructure and the rising water levels that threaten to eventually “sink” the Floating City. 

According to La Stampa, an Italian newspaper based in Turin, the city will be taking further precautions against over-tourism by charging an admission fee anywhere between 3 and 10 euros and limiting the number of tourists allowed daily. However, anyone who has booked directly into a Venice hotel, is visiting relatives who live in the city, and obviously, locals will reportedly be exempt from the fee.

Starting next summer, all non-exempt visitors will be required to book their date of entrance. Access to the city will be controlled via new installations of metal turnstiles.

For those of you thinking what we’re thinking: No, it’s not unlike what you’d encounter at a theme park, but desperate times call for desperate measures. It’s a small world, after all—and Venice is a treasure worth paying to save.

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