The Changes of Venice
Beautiful Venezia, Venice, the capital of Veneto, Italy. Where over 119 islands, with more than 150 canals wend their way through the city, joined by more than 400 bridges. Millions of visitors are lured to this famed city of islands each year.
The deep history of Venice dates back to 421, founded by the Venti who originally lived on the marshlands of the region in homes built on stilts. Throughout history, this city, built on the swamps has changed hands time and again. As the rulers changed, so did the culture, laws, and buildings that slowly rose to form an empire. All of the transformations lead to the mystique of Venice as you walk through the city, glide on the gondolas, or take vaporetti (waterbuses) to some of her famed sister islands like Murano, Burrano, and Torcello.
Now, to guard this island city and her beauty, the Italian Government has begun making changes as to how tourists can visit this gem of Italy. The first change will affect how you arrive from your cruise. For years many have voiced concerned about the fragile ecosystem of the lagoon and the damage caused by large cruise ships. Also, safety concerns have risen especially after an MSC cruise ship crashed into the Venice dock in 2019.
As of August 1, 2021, ships over 25,000 gross tons will no longer be able to dock near St. Mark’s Square. Ship berths, in the process of construction, will welcome the cruise ships soon in Marghera, an island across from Venice. Large cruise ships are expected to be received in Marghera in early 2022.
Adding to this, though tourism is a very important factor for businesses in Venice, there are concerns of over-tourism; too many people. For several years, the city has struggled with an overabundance of visitors, mostly during the summer, holidays, and festivals making entry and exit from the Venetian Island difficult.
In an effort to manage this congestion, Venice will begin installing turnstiles at the entry points of the island. Residents, workers, and students, will gain access with an app on their mobile phones without charge. For tourists, entry will be a bit trickier. Special access will need to be pre-arranged for your visit. The cost for access will be about 10 Euro per person. Once a specific number of tourists is reached, entry will close to those who do not have a reservation. This will take into account guests staying in hotels in Venice, as well as cruise passengers. They plan to begin testing the entry system in September in Tronchetto and expect the system to by fully operational by summer 2022.
While this may seem daunting at first, the Italian Government, local Venetian Government and residents of Venice hope your visit will be enjoyable. It does add another layer of planning, but that’s okay. You have the services of Rubinsohn Travel’s expert advisor to help with all of your travel planning.
Rubinsohn Travel wants to make sure that it’s the most memorable vacation of your life. Let us know when you’re ready to start planning!
Wishing you happy travels,
Adrienne Sasson, VTA