Destinations

Venice kicks out 20,000 tourists

Daisy Doctor

Holidaymakers who had booked a trip to Venice to see the city’s Carnival were faced with an unpredictable situation, they weren’t allowed in.

The city has been grappling with steadily increasing tourists for a number of years, and it seems locals have finally put their foot down.

Punters keen to see the spectacle were barred from entering the city centre to watch the parade, with almost 20,000 faced with geographical restrictions.

The Carnival, which first took place in the 11th century, began festivities on 27 January and hordes of tourists lined up at Festa Venezia to watch the show.

However, police and officials stopped tourists from attending the show, cutting the number down to 11,000 visitors only.

To add to this, Prefect Carlo Boffi has said security groups are now brainstorming how they can reduce the number of visitors hoping to attend the ‘Flight of the Angel’ show on 4 February in San Marco this Sunday.

Locals are also hoping to combat surging tourist numbers in the Piazza San Marco by restricting visitors.

Some are offering a number of 25,000 people maximum in the city centre at all times to take pressure off the square.

Earlier this month, a group of tourists complained to police after receiving a $1,600 bill for three steaks and some fish at a cafe near the city centre.

Speaking to Venice Today, a spokesman for Gruppo 25, a Venice civil rights organisation said of the bill: “This is just the latest case of many of this kind.

“THE YOUNG PEOPLE, WHO ARE UNIVERSITY STUDENTS IN BOLOGNA, MADE A FORMAL DENUNCIATION TO THE LOCAL POLICE STATION AS SOON AS THEY GOT OFF THE TRAIN.”

Other tourists who have visited restaurants in the same area as the cafe, Osteria de Luca, said they left feeling “conned”.

In November of last year, a new law which was to roll out over the next few months will see giant ships officially banned from entering the water in front of the famous St. Marks Square.

The Mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, said the ban was a huge win for Venetians, and applauded the ban for adhering to residential, tourism and conservationists’ requests.

“WE WANT IT TO BE CLEAR TO UNESCO [THE UNITED NATIONS CULTURAL AGENCY] AND THE WHOLE WORLD THAT WE HAVE A SOLUTION,” BRUGNARO SAID AFTER THE MEETING OF THE GOVERNMENTAL COMMITTEE CHARGED WITH SAVING VENICE.”

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