Americans will not need to buy a ticket to enter Venice yet

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The Italian port of Venice, which has been hit hard by over-tourism, has decided in recent years to introduce a ticketing system for visitors in the hope of mitigating the effects of the crowds. It was originally supposed to come into effect on January 16th, but it has now been delayed, which means Americans will not need to buy a ticket to enter the city at least for now.

A gondola is pictured in front of the Rialto Bridge in the Grand Canal of Venice, Italy

Venice is one of a number of European cities that are stepping up efforts to combat mass tourism. For now MexicoWhile the Dominican Republic and others are looking to capitalize on the continued travel hype and actively promote themselves as tourist-friendly destinations, the Old Continent is going the exact opposite way.

Moving on from Covid, Europe does not want a return to the hectic days before the pandemicand the entrance fee to Venice is strong evidence of this:

Starting in January, Americans will not have to pay a fee to enter Venice

St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy

In exciting news for bureaucracy-wary travellers, the Venice authorities have once again shelved plans to introduce a tourist tax, canceling the previous launch date of January 16, 2023. The new system, which is set to turn Venice literally into an open-air museum that requires booking months in advance, has been described as “the first of its kind in the world”.

The implementation has never been easy, as it concerns an entire city – one of the most important in Italy – and not a well-fenced archaeological site or park. Needless to say, Venice is surrounded by sea walls, as in medieval times was never a plausible alternativeeven for the fiercely anti-tourist Venetian.

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A gondola in a narrow canal lined with colorful houses in Venice, Italy

As reported by Forbeslocal authorities are struggling to implement changes struggle with logistics“, although no further details were available at this time. In a way, it reminds us of Europe’s going back and forth with its future ETIAS requirementMandatory online travel authorization that applies to Americans and will take effect in November 2023.

ETIAS together with related to it Entry and exit system, is a multi-million dollar project that has proven difficult to implement despite having been in the works for years, and Venice’s own ticketing system is no exception. This involves more than just creating a web page to collect visitor tax: it will be dramatically changing tourism in Venice for future generations.

How will the ticketing system work?

A couple of happy travelers ride a gondola in Venice, Italy

Currently, the only thing that tourists traveling to the Floating City need to watch out for is the availability of rooms. They are allowed to come and go as they please, even as day-trippers, but finding reasonably affordable accommodation at the last minute can be nearly impossible. However, this is especially true in the height of summer Venice stays busy all year round.

The record year 2019 has become alarming 36 million foreigners arrive in Venice, a city of about 270,000 people. To make a comparison, that is as many tourists the country of Mexico hosted throughout 2022. Looking at it from this angle, we can’t even be mad at the Venetians for wanting to close their doors – if only a little.

A crowd of tourists crosses a bridge in Venice, Italy, Overtourism

After going through the ticketing system, visitors to the historic center of Venice, which includes all the main medieval canals and attractions such as the Rialto Bridge, St. Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Palace, will need to book a visit. perhaps several months in advance to avoid blocking due to overwhelming demand.

If you are a day tripper, one ticket will cost €3, although it can rise to 10 euros in “especially busy periods”. On the other hand, those staying overnight in the city will be exempted from paying the levy as their ‘tourist levy’ will be charged by their accommodation provider, but not from booking a visit through the official online portal.

A glimpse of Chioggia from the arcades.

Tickets are valid for Venice itself and any islands and municipalities in the Venetian Lagoon, including picturesque towns Murano and Burana. Those who are visiting family or staying at a friend’s house will obviously not be charged for their time staybut will be subject to a booking process, as confirmed by Forbes.

Tickets will be issued in the form of a QR code, which will be checked upon arrival at one of the points of entry into the city by “controllers”. We have not been able to find information on fines for non-compliance at this time, but we assume that day-trippers who do not stay the night without a paid reservation will not be able to access the historic center.

What is the new launch date?

Crowds in front of the Doge's Palace, Venice, Italy

So, now that January 16th is no longer the launch date, when will the ticketing system go into effect? This time, Venice City Council refrained from proposing a final date, proposing instead the delay will be “at least six months”. This leads us to believe that the system will be fully operational summer or autumn 2023 year.

Funnily enough, “low-touristy” Triestea town near the Slovenian border covering transport costs Americans visiting for at least two nights through May 31, 2023, when they arrive from Italy. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by Venice’s drastic measures, perhaps you should consider exploring the beautiful Friuli-Venezia Giulia region.

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This article originally appeared on Americans will not need to buy a ticket to enter Venice yet

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