April 26, 2018
Venice is getting ready to manage the overwhelming number of tourists visiting its most iconic landmarks during the first bank holiday of May - by physically keeping them apart from locals.
Venice to SEGREGATE locals from visitors in a bid of control mass tourism
Local authorities announced that tourists set to reach popular locations, such as St Marco’s Square or the Rialto Bridge, will be diverted to visitor-only routes.
This crowd measures aim at relieving the locals from the their day-to-day misery created by thousands of visitors congesting their streets.
Mayor Luigi Brunero signed a decree declaring “urgent measures to guarantee public safety, security and liveability in the historic city of Venice".
The decree could stop visitors reaching Venice by car, as they could see their right to drive across the only bridge spanning over the lagoon from the Italian mainland taken away.
The measures will be carried out for the first time during the long weekend ending in May 1, which is a public holiday in Italy and many other countries.
The mayor called them “an experiment”, suggesting they can be implemented again if successful.
He added the decree’s objective was to “manage pedestrian and water traffic and the flows of people”.
The high number of tourists heading to the World Heritage city has created such a disruption that the city has long been debating the possibility of setting a limit on the number of visitors who can enter each day.
And the congestion suffered by the city is one of the main reasons behind a mass exodus from locals.
The historical city recently hit its population’s historic low of 55,000, a fraction of the 190,000 who lived there at the end of the Second World War.
Venice to SEGREGATE locals from visitors in a bid of control mass tourism
The decree follows the busy Easter long weekend, which saw Venice inundated with more tourists than usual queuing up for up to an hour to get a chance to board the city’s water buses.
This is not Venice’s first attempt to regulate the number of visitors.
During this year’s Carnival in February, the city kept tabs on the huge crowd using groundbreaking technology including laser sensors.
Greek island of Santorini and Dubrovnik in Croatia have already put limits on the number of visitors they are prepared to absorb, afraid they could otherwise lose their charm and see their landscape ruined by mass tourism.
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