Tourists to Venice will soon have to pay an entry fee as the city moves to better handle 'overtourism'

Tourists to Venice will soon have to pay an entry fee as the city moves to better handle 'overtourism'
Tourists enjoy a gondola ride in Venice on June 05, 2021. Miguel Medina/AFP via Getty Images
  • Venice will reportedly start charging an entry fee next summer, Italian newspaper La Stampa reported.
  • Other measures to curb tourism will include advance reservations and turnstiles into the city.
  • The city has been grappling with "overtourism" and the climate crisis in recent years.

Starting next year, visitors to Venice will reportedly need to prepare to pay for entry - and even make reservations in advance.

As first reported by Italian newspaper La Stampa, the historic Italian city wants to enact measures to ease the inflow of tourists as it grapples with what The Times calls "overtourism."

Bloomberg reports that the city will enact quotas beginning in the summer of 2022, when fees will also start kicking in. It'll reportedly cost between three and 10 euros - around $3.50 to $12 - to gain access to the city (the fee will be season-dependent, according to CNBC). Visitors will have to pass through turnstiles to enter, according to multiple reports.

The fees won't apply to those who already live in Venice, their relatives, or any younger children. You can also circumvent the fee if you stay at a hotel in the city. However, if the pay-to-enter model spreads wider, it could signal a two-track economy where only some can afford to participate. And it's not just about money - New York and San Francisco require proof of vaccination for many indoor activities like dining and using the gym. Los Angeles will require it for gatherings of more than 1,000 people.

These policies show how the pandemic and climate crisis have forced local economies to come up with solutions to problems that could threaten their futures. Venice, for instance, has long grappled with balancing its popularity as a tourist destination with locals' quality of life.


Currently, Venice residents and tourists alike are currently assiduously tracked as they navigate the city. In January, CNN reported on the "Venice Control Room," where officials are tracking how many people are in the city and clogging up its tourist attractions. They're using cell phone data to see where the tourists are from; on the Saturday that CNN reported on, 24 of 97 tourists at St. Mark's Square were not Italian. It's all part of an effort to rethink and create more sustainable tourism in a city that's reportedly often full to the brim and damaged by some tourists.

On Sunday, CNN reported that the city was now hiring armed guards on ferries to help control tourism overcrowding. A legal representative for the union that represents some of the workers on those ferries said some had been "physically attacked" as tourists flock back and lines grew.

The city was under consideration to be classified as one of UNESCO's world heritage sites in danger, the Associated Press reported, but avoided making the list after banning large cruise ships and being told to update UNESCO in 2022 on measures to curb "excessive tourism."

In June, a large cruise ship sailing through the city caused concern and led to protests, the Associated Press reported, with celebrities signing on to an open letter calling on authorities to halt such ships from coming through - and to get a better handle on managing tourism.

Venice has already seen disruptions to its famous canals, which have both flooded and dropped 18 inches within a year; the mayor attributed these fluctuations to the climate crisis.