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Venice to start charging tourists entry fee in 2024

Venice day-trippers to pay €5 entry fee.

Venice is to trial a €5 entry fee system for day-trippers in 2024 as officials seek to ease the pressure on the fragile lagoon city from hordes of tourists.

The move, first mooted a few years ago and stalled several times due to the covid pandemic and various logistic obstacles, was approved by the city council on 12 September.

The entry fee system will be introduced on an experimental basis on about 30 days around key public holidays in the spring and summer, the council said.

The fee will only apply to tourists on day trips, not those staying in Venice overnight.

Residents of the surrounding Veneto region and visitors under the age of 14 will be exempt from paying the fee, as will those visiting the city for academic, medical, work or family reasons.

Venice tourism councillor Simone Venturini told reporters on Tuesday that the aim of the entry fee is to encourage day-trippers to choose off-peak days for their visit, adding that the city needs to test the system first and "if needed, improve it."

Last week Venturini said the entry fee system would position Venice as a "trailblazer on a global level", as the city seeks to find a "new balance between the rights of those who live, study or work in Venice, and those who visit the city".

UNESCO said recently that Venice was at risk of "irreversible damage" from climate change and mass tourism, warning that the canal city faced being declared an endangered world heritage site unless more was done to protect it.

According to the latest data for September, for the first time there are more beds for tourists in Venice than there are beds for residents: 49,693 to 49,304.

Article updated on 13 September following approval of entry fee plan by Venice city council

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Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia