To say that the canal city of Venice is being flooded with visitors is neither a joke nor an exaggeration. Despite the coronavirus pandemic dampening the wanderlust of many would-be travelers, the famous Italian city was still overrun with up to 80,000 visitors a day in early August 2021. Considering that Venice is home to only 50,000 residents, it's not hard to imagine the difficulties that such an influx is causing.
In an effort to improve the situation, Italian officials have long considered implementing a visitor tax. After years of discussion, it will finally go into effect in 2022, when anyone not staying overnight will be asked to book advance tickets and pay between €3 and €10 ($3.50 and $11.80 USD) to enter the city, depending on the season and how many visitors are expected.
Although the city might welcome the extra cash – and the lessened strain on resources – some people feel that theme park-like turnstiles will diminish Venice's old-world charm.
- There are no cars in Venice, but the canals are filled with hundreds of gondolas, water taxis, and vaporettos (water buses).
- Around 400 footbridges connect most of the 118 islands that make up the city.
- The influx of visitors is one of the reasons why Venice's population has declined from 120,000 residents three decades ago to 50,000 today.