Italy Is The Latest To Fight Against Mass Tourism

Oftentimes, Italy is the dream destination for travelers seeking romance and love. The setting for some of the most romantic films ever made, the country has been romanticized to the max. It attracts visitors from all over looking to make their fairy tales a reality. Now, the country’s tourism is getting out of control.

Similar to recent measures taken in Amsterdam, Italy is cracking down on tourism. The country’s most popular cities are being overwhelmed with visitors. According to German broadcasting company Deutsche Welle (DW), Venice alone welcomed 5.5 million tourists in 2019. Since the pandemic, the numbers have continued to increase. 

Italy is attempting to address the crowds with new rules and regulations. While locals may benefit from the changes, travelers may have to adjust on their next visit to the Amalfi Coast.

Paid Up Or Don’t Come

Italy
Photo credit: cottonbro studio

A few years ago, Venice government officials announced the city would begin charging an entrance fee for one-day visitors. Anyone not planning to stay overnight in the city would pay between €3 to €10 ($3.15 to $10.50) to enter. The fee would vary depending on the number of visitors in the city and the season. 

Initially, the fee was set to begin in January 2023. However, it has been postponed until 2024 as the city braces for one of its biggest tourist seasons in history. Once the fee is implemented, travelers who skip out on paying will be charged a fine. 

Although Venice is the first to implement the fee, more cities may follow. While the city doesn’t want to discourage visits to Italy, crowds 100 times larger than the city’s population are creating extreme issues. 

“However, the matter is very complex,” a city government spokesperson told DW. “The city of Venice is the first in Italy to implement this measure. We want to be sure that everything is done properly.”

Limited Beach Access

Italy
Photo credit: Maria Isabella Bernotti

According to the market research institute Demoskopika, tourist numbers in Italy are expected to reach 68 million by the end of the year. Therefore, Italian beaches are also being protected from mass tourism. Popular hotspots like the Baunei on Sardinia are restricting access to certain beaches, according to the newspaper Il Messaggero. Instead of all sandy shores being fair game, specific areas will have to be reserved in advance and off-limits to the public. 

No More Cars 

Italy
Photo credit: LUNA LUNA

Tourists traveling in rental cars are overcrowding Italian streets. To combat this issue, multiple Italian cities have banned tourists from bringing their own vehicles. This includes the islands of Lampedusa and Linos and Procida in the Gulf of Naples.”This is the only measure that works,” Procida mayor Raimondo Ambrosino told Il Messaggero. “We are the most densely populated island in Europe, and for us mobility is a problem.”

Don’t Get Caught Lingering 

Italy
Photo credit: Ketut Subiyanto

In Portofino, city officials are cracking down on lingering. With so many tourists stopping in the streets to take selfies, locals have grown exhausted with the photo ops and overcrowding. 

“The ordinance prohibits gatherings in certain areas of the borough where getting around is so difficult that police must be called in to control pedestrians,” Portofino Mayor Matteo Viacava told news portal Leggo. “This is a commonsense safety measure.” 

While Italy doesn’t want tourists to stay away, cities are placing the safety of their residents before tourism. Certain cities are also encouraging tourists to follow proper tourist etiquette. This includes no diving in Venice’s canals, no public nudity, walking the streets barefoot, or lying down on sidewalks and bridges.

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