TRAVELLERS in Venice could soon be slapped with a £250 fine after an entry fee to the city was agreed.
Day-trippers visiting the Italian hotspot will have to pay up to €10 (£8.63) to enter from the start of next year, as city officials try to reduce tourist numbers.
However, those caught in violation of the charges could be fined anywhere from €50 to €300 – so rule-breakers will face huge costs.
The charge will see Venice become the first city in the world to require an admission cost.
It is hoped that the fee will curb "tourist peaks" and ensure people have "peaceful visits" in the future, while keeping Venice a "living city".
The new fees will come into force from January 16, 2023 and the cost of entry will range from €3 to €10.
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Venice's councillor for tourism, Simone Venturini, described the new measures as "a great revolution".
He said the aim is to not "close the city" but to "reduce tourist peaks".
He said: "Venice is a living city and it has to stay that way."
The charge comes due to a change in attitude towards tourism from the city council after the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Mr Venturini told Italian TV network RAI in April: "Covid made us realise that what was an everyday occurrence before Covid isn't acceptable anymore; the mentality has changed, as has the sensitivity [towards crowds].
"This will give us the chance to know how many people are predicted for that day, and to calibrate services according to the number."
An online ticket booking system is expected to be launched later this year, with local authorities promising that QR codes will prevent the need for turnstiles.
They have also vowed not to have unenforceable limits on the number of tourists.
However, not everyone will have to pay the fee.
Residents, children under the age of six, disabled people, homeowners, those visiting for health reasons, those visiting relatives or attending sporting or cultural events will be exempt.
Overnight guests will also not have to pay, with tourist taxes already applied to hotel guests.
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Venice is one of a number of places in Italy looking at measures to limit tourists, with beaches in Sardinia also applying charges.
The Amalfi coast has also brought in rules to prevent overcrowding this summer.
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