Venice Just Passed New Regulations — And Visitors Who Violate Them Can Be Kicked Out
Last week, the City Council of Venice approved new regulations with the intent of keeping the city clean and orderly. According to the Local, "visitors caught snacking, sunbathing or taking a dip in Venice's canals risk being kicked out of the city and banned from returning, under the latest rules aimed at reigning in disruptive tourists."
In recent months, the city has taken several measures to crack down on disorderly and disruptive behavior as well as overtourism more generally. Starting on May 1, the city began charging tourists a landing tax of €3 ($3.35 USD), though the fee will rise to €6 ($6.70 USD) for most of the year and as high as €10 ($11.16 USD) on days of exceptional overcrowding. Residents and visitors working or studying in the city will be exempt.
The new regulations specify that whoever "dirties public places in any way will have to pay an administrative sanction from 25 to 500 Euros." This not only applies to tourists, but also to shopkeepers, who must place trash cans and recycling bins within 100 meters of the entrance to their establishment.
Starting January 1, 2021, all single-use bags and containers must be biodegradable and compostable. It's not clear if the fines will apply to tourists who bring single-use plastics into the city, as they do in Capri. Business owners who violate the ordinance could be shut down temporarily and repeat offenders could lose their license permanently.
The regulations reiterate a ban on swimming or bathing in Venice's canals that was already in place. In addition, visitors are prohibited from eating in public places, sitting or laying down on bridges and monuments and wearing bathing suits in public places. Between 8pm and 8am, drinking alcohol outside of authorized places is not allowed. Graduation parties, as well as bachelor and bachelorette parties, are only permitted on weekends or during the day.
These rules apply to all UNESCO-protected areas of Venice and its Lagoon, the airport, train station, at piers and on public transportation. Mayor Luigi Brugnaro called the passing of the new regulations "a starting point for everyone," adding that it will take courage and patience to make these changes.
It's unclear exactly how the regulations will be enforced. According to Italian media, violators can technically be banned from certain areas. However, an assistant at the Mayor's office said that violators won't actually be kicked out of the city, but will receive a fine if they're caught by the local police. Either way, you'd better be on your best behavior when visiting Venice.