Venice Locals Oppose the City’s New Entry Fee

Venice Locals Started Opposing the City's Decision to Apply a New Entry Fee for the City, Saying This Turns Venice Into "Theme park".

Apr 28, 2024By Angela Davic, News, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and Analysis
The city. Via Wikipedia.


Venice locals started opposing the city’s decision to apply a new entry fee for the city. This measure comes a week after the Venice Biennale opened to thousands of journalists, curators, VIPs, and professionals in the art world. The authorities launched a fee initiative that imposes a €5 levy on visitors and tourists if they want to enter the city.


Some Groups Will Not Pay the Fee

Venice Biennale
La Biennale di Venezia. Via Wikipedia.


The goal of the authorities, with this measure, is to reduce the consequences of “excessive tourism”. The pilot initiative is unique among the world’s largest cities. Residents compared the decision to converting Venice into a “theme park”. Even if Mayor Luigi Brugnaro declared that the tax would help make the city “livable” once more.


Additionally, some Venetians claim that the tax will damage the city’s reputation while doing little to mitigate the disadvantages of high tourism. “I can tell you that almost the entire city is against it”, Matteo Secchi, who leads, a residents’ activist group, told the Guardian. “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?”, he also added.


Poland, Venice
The Polish PavilionLa Biennale di Venezia 2023. Via Archdaily.


The charge will only be necessary for entering the historic core of Venice. Also, it will only last for 29 days, primarily on weekends. This is from Thursday, April 25 through July 14. The admission cost is exempt for residents, overnight guests, students, and kids under the age of 14.

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Venice Made €27,000 on Day one

The Biennale. Italy.


Online ticket purchases are possible, and five of the city’s primary entry points now have sporadic checkpoints. This includes the train station at Santa Lucia. No ticket? Expect a fine of between €30 and €500. The Venice Council reports that 5,500 tickets were set aside for the April 25. This happens to be an Italian national holiday. Brugnaro disputes the idea is just a money-making ploy, even though the city did make €27,000 on day one.


The mayor promises to deliver tax relief for residents should the idea succeed. With the title “Strangers Everywhere,” and under the curation of Adriano Pedrosa, the artistic director of the Museu de Arte de São Paulo in Brazil, the 60th Venice Biennale officially opened on April 20 and will run until November 24. The last edition of the Biennale, in 2022, drew 880,000 visitors into the city despite Covid-related travel restrictions, a record for the international exhibition.

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By Angela DavicNews, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and AnalysisAngela is a journalism student at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and received a scholarship for continued education in Prague. She completed her internship at the daily newspaper DANAS and worked as an executive editor at Talas.