You will need a ticket to enter the Italian city of Venice next summer

Aug 27, 2021

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The last time we checked, Venice was a city — not a theme park.

The Italian city beloved for its romantic allure and captivating canals will finally put into effect new measures to combat the massive crush of tourists that have overrun the city in recent years. Lawmakers announced that starting in the summer of 2022, an advance reservation system will be in place and most visitors will have to pay an entry fee to enjoy all the city has to offer.

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The fee, essentially a tourist tax, has been in the works since 2019, when TPG first wrote about it, but activating it has been delayed for various reasons, including the pandemic. The entrance fee will have to be booked in advance, no “day-of” purchases will be available. With the ticket, visitors will be able to enter the city through electronic turnstiles that will be set up at various points, according to CNBC. The entry fee will use dynamic pricing, and will vary according to the time of year for which it is purchased. During peak season, tourists can expect to pay as much as $12 (€10) for the ticket. During less popular times, the price could drop to $3.50 (€3).

Travelers who are staying in local hotels will be exempt from the entrance fee, because overnight guests in the city already pay a nightly tax. Residents and their families, as well as children under the age of six will also be exempt from the fee.

The logistics of implementing turnstile entry to an entire city are huge – Venice is not a purpose-built tourist attraction.

Related: 8 mistakes most tourists make in Venice

And if you have visions of enjoying a gondola ride through “The City of Canals” during the summer, better make your plans early. As of next year, Venice will also implement strict daily capacity limits on the number of tourists who can visit during the summer months. The impact tourism has on the city, with its narrow streets and waterways, became apparent as the coronavirus spread and shut down the tourism industry. Without the daily crush of visitors, the waters around Venice became noticeably clearer than they have been in years.

Before the pandemic, Venice was drawing as many as 80,000 tourists each day, approximately 25 million per year.
The heavy congestion had gotten so bad, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee considered adding Venice to its list of endangered heritage sites. The decision was abandoned after Italy banned large cruise ships from entering Venice’s waters earlier this month.

Cruise ships have long been criticized by locals and environmentalists for contributing to overcrowding in Venice, as well as polluting its iconic canals.

Featured image by Halil Sarikaya/EyeEm for Getty Images

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