Venice showing the Chiesa della Salute and entrance to the Grand Canal. There is now a day-tripper charge to enter the city

How did the first day of the day-tripper charge in Venice go?

By Region News North-east Italy Travel & Tourism

On the first day of Venice’s new day-tripper charge for entering the city, there were protests from residents and some confusion at checkpoints. Overall, the mayor hailed it a success.

25th April, Festa della Liberazione, was the first day of Venice’s trial at charging day trippers to enter the city. In 2024, there are 29 days earmarked for the charge, when visitor numbers are expected to be very high.

Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has hailed the charge a success at the end of the day. “I apologise for the inconvenience, but we must do something to preserve the city,” Brugnaro said.

The mayor imposed the charge as part of ongoing efforts to protect the city from overtourism which is suffocating the lagoon city.

The city said 15, 700 visitors paid the ticket on its first day.

How does the charge work?

All people entering Venice on one of the 29 peak days in 2024, must purchase a ticket for €5. The tickets are purchased via the Venice access fee site. See the bottom of the article for instructions on how to pay the fee or claim exemption.

The dates requiring payment in 2024 are:

April: 25th-30th inclusive

May: 1st-5th inclusive, 11th, 12th, 18th, 19th, 25th, 26th

June: 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 22nd, 23rd, 29th, 30th

July: 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th

If you are a resident of Veneto, commuter, student, or visiting for a sporting event, then you are exempt from buying a ticket. Children under the age of 14 are also exempt. Likewise, if you are staying overnight in registered accommodation or with family, you are exempt from the charge as you already pay a tourist tax.

However, even if you are exempt, it is essential to still go on to the site and register yourself as an exempt visitor. This tripped up a few tourists who were staying at hotels in the historic centre.

The ticket is enforced with checks at points of entry around the city. Day-trippers without a ticket risk a fine of up to €300.   

Residents protest over ‘Veniceland’

Some of the key reasons for introducing the charge were that the resident population is dwindling as they are squeezed out by spiralling rental costs due to short-term rentals. Also, residents have complained for many years of not being able to get on the water buses during high season, of clogged alleyways and essential shops being replaced by souvenir shops.

The charge is meant to be one way of combatting this.

However, hundreds of local residents staged a protest against yesterday the ticket. Their argument being that the charge is effectively turning the city into a sort of ‘Veniceland’ theme park.

“I can tell you that almost the entire city is against it,” claimed Matteo Secchi, who leads, a residents’ activist group. “You can’t impose an entrance fee to a city; all they’re doing is transforming it into a theme park. This is a bad image for Venice … I mean, are we joking?”

Federica Toninello, who leads ASC, an association for housing, said: “They think this measure will solve the problem, but they haven’t really understood the consequences of mass tourism on a city like Venice.

“For a start, €5 will do nothing to deter people. But day trippers aren’t the issue; things like the shortage of affordable housing are … What we need are policies to help residents, for example, making rules to limit things like Airbnb.”

Venice council is one of the cities which has been pressurising central government to alter the law regarding ownership of multiple properties for short-term lets. Last May, the tourism minister said she hoped a new bill would be adopted which altered regulations around this concern.

Data collection for tourist flows

However, others are not so critical of the scheme. Tommaso Sichero, the president of the association for Venice shop owners, told Avvenire newspaper, “It will serve to collect fundamental data and help regulate tourist flows, which during certain periods of the year risking damaging a fragile city like Venice.”

This echoes the sentiment of the new head of ENIT, Italy’s National Tourism Board, Alessandra Priante. In a recent interview with DW news, she said these charges “generate very important and intelligent data that must be used in order to programme better the [tourism] fluxes.”

“If you use the tax as a means or sort of controlling that, and contributing to managing the flows, then it’s a very intelligent way of doing it.

“On the other hand, if you’re using it just to gain money, it doesn’t really help.”

To book your ticket or claim exemption

Head to the Venice access fee site. Select your preferred language at the top right-hand corner.

Select either Exemptions or Payment of the fee.

screenshot from Venice day-tripper charge site

Choose the date of your visit.

Enter the number of visitors. NB, you must also enter the number of children aged under 14, even though they will not be charged.

Enter your first and last names.

Enter your email and phone number for the QR code to be sent to.

Accept the terms and conditions, and privacy policy

Enter your payment details.

You will receive the QR code to your phone and/or email.

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