Venice is poised to become the first city in the world to charge an entry fee and to require advance reservation for tourists to enter.
The announcement had already been made in April, but now we have a date: last week at a press conference, Venice’s councillor for tourism, Simone Venturini, announced the new booking system will kick in January 16, 2023.
Venturini called the new measure a “revolution,” and explained the decision has been taken to tackle the overcrowding issue. “Venice is a living city and it has to stay that way,” he said.
Before visiting the lagoon city, people will have to book a spot and pay an entrance fee, which will range from €3 to €10, depending on the number of visitors: the more requests for entry on any given day, the higher the cost.
Categories that are exempt from paying the fee include residents, children under the age of six, disabled people, homeowners, people visiting for health reasons, those visiting relatives, and tourists traveling to attend a sporting or cultural event. Residents of the Veneto region will be exempt from paying the fee, but will still need to book a spot.
Another important category of visitors that would not be required to pay the entry fee is overnight hotel guests since they will be paying the tourist tax through their hotel.
The entrance fee will apply to the Venice historic center, to the Lido, and to the islands of Pellestrina, Murano, Burano, Torcello and other minor islands including Sant’Erasmo, Mazzorbo, Mazzorbetto, Vignole, S. Andrea, La Certosa, S. Servolo, S. Clemente and Poveglia.
The fines for ticket violations will range from €50 to €300.
According to the council for the city’s budget, Michele Zuin, “It is not a system to make cash but to manage tourist flows.” He said that the proceeds from the entrance fee and fines will be used to provide tax reductions for Venetians.
The booking system and online platform are scheduled to be unveiled this fall. Residents and tourists who stay overnight in the hotel should be automatically registered. All others will be required to enter their data in the system.