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In Pictures: Protests in Venice after launch of €5 tourist fee

AFP
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In Pictures: Protests in Venice after launch of €5 tourist fee
Protestors clash with riot police officers during a demonstration against the new "Venice Access Fee" Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

Venice was the scene of protests on Thursday as many locals objected to the launch of a €5 fee for day-trippers to enter the city.

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Venice launched a new scheme Thursday to charge day-trippers for entering the historic Italian city, a world first intended to ease the pressure of mass tourism -- but many residents are opposed.

Visitors entering the UNESCO World Heritage site for the day have to buy a five-euro ($5.3) ticket, with inspectors carrying out spot checks at key entry points.

Around 10,000 tickets had been sold by the time the scheme began at 8:30 am (0630 GMT) on Thursday, according to Simone Venturini, the local councillor responsible for tourism.

Tourists stand outside the Santa Lucia railway station as they wait to pass controls, visitors entering the UNESCO World Heritage site for one day have to buy a five-euro ($5.3) ticket, in Venice, on 25 April 2024. (Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP)

"I think it's good, because it will perhaps slow down the numbers of tourists in Venice," said Sylvain Pelerin, a French tourist who has been visiting for more than 50 years.

Protestors hold banners as they take part in a demonstration against the new "Venice Access Fee", organised by the list "Tutta la citta’ insieme" (The whole city together) and members of several Venetians trade associations in "Piazzale Roma" in Venice, on April 25, 2024. (Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP)

Overnight visitors, who already pay a tourist tax, will be exempt, as will minors under the age of 14 among others.

But not everyone is happy, with some residents set to protest against a measure they say curbs fundamental rights to freedom of movement.

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"This is not a museum, it's not a protected ecological area, you shouldn't have to pay -- it's a city," Marina Dodino from the local residents association ARCI, told AFP.

A woman holds a banner reading "Venice is not sold, it is defended" as protestors take part in a demonstration, against the new "Venice Access Fee". Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
 
 
Protestors hold banners as they take part in a demonstration against the new "Venice Access Fee". Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

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