ROME: Tickets went on sale on Tuesday (Jan 16) for visitors wanting to see Venice from April as part of a trial aimed at controlling the growing numbers of day trippers crowding into the lagoon city.
A one-day ticket costs €5 (US$5.45) and will be valid from 8.30am to 4pm local time.
The new daily admission fee will come into force from Apr 25, a national holiday in Italy. Tickets will be needed for the following 10 days and thereafter for most weekends until mid-July.
Visitors have to pay online and will obtain a QR code giving them access for a day. Anyone caught without a ticket will face a fine of between €50 and €300.
Restrictions will not apply to the lagoon’s smaller islands, such as Murano, famous for its glass-making industry.
Residents and people who were born in Venice as well as students, workers and homeowners in the city will be exempt from paying and booking a slot.
Visitors aged under 14 and tourists with hotel bookings will need to be registered and obtain a QR code, but access for them will be free of charge.
There will be no limit on the number of people entering the city, at least initially, as city authorities study the efficiency of the system.
Mass tourism and floods have long been a problem for the fragile city, known for its picturesque canals, churches and squares.
Last year, the United Nations cultural body UNESCO threatened to add Venice to its list of World Heritage in Danger, accusing Italy of not doing enough to protect the city from the impact of climate change and mass tourism.
It later dropped the threat after giving the thumbs up to Italian efforts to address these concerns via the MOSE anti-flooding system and by the introduction of the entry fee.