Despite the same region holding dangerous protests against tourism, leaders Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di Maio want to transform the stunning city into a tourist theme park. Visitors that have booked in advance, as advised by the Italian government, will be able to skip queues to attractions like holiday-makers do at Disney Land. Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said the fees will not come into play immediately, but over time. He added: “This is an important turning point in the management of Venice’s tourist flows.
“But above all it is a starting point for a three-year journey that will lead, in 2022, to the booking of accesses to the city through a service card, managed by a specific software.”
He added: “You will not be prevented from access if you haven’t booked, but it will be more complicated for those who do not book.”
He said the starting fee to enter the city will be three euros, but this will increase to 10 during busy periods such as the Easter break, summer and Christmas.
Governor Luca Zaia said: “The contribution will serve to reduce those extra ordinary costs that Venice has, such as cleaning and waste removal operations, quantified in over 41 million euros a year and guarantee maintenance of Venice heritage.
“The message we want to give is that Venice is accessible, open, but visitors must understand that planning is needed to better manage the balance between residents and tourists.”
Should tourists travel to the city without paying the fee they will incur a charge of between 100 and 450 euros.
Lawyer Francesco Gianni from the Gianni, Origoni, Grippo, Cappelli & Partners Law Firm, said: “This is innovative, unique in its kind, deriving from the peculiarities of Venice. It differs in nature and purpose both from the residence tax and from the landing fees already provided for some islands.”
The fine follows news nine months ago that Venice segregated tourists in protest against the amount of people that flocked to the beauty spot, resulting in many being warned not to fly there.
City officials installed metal barriers to segregate the tourists and locals arguing Venice could not accommodate any more tourists.
Protests followed, where demonstrators form Italy shouted “free Venice” at holiday-makers.
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.