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Italy takes dramatic steps to curb overtourism
Posted on 11/08/2019


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No sitting, no swimming, and certainly no cruise ships.

Venice has had enough

Venice has had enough

Venice is the latest Italian city to amp up its efforts to curb overtourism. With just 55,000 residents, Venice plays host to 30 million tourists each year. 14 million visit just for the day, and residents have decried their impact on Venice for years.

After a cruise ship crashed into a dock and injured five people, a city-wide protest for a ban on large ships was reignited. It seems like residents might be getting their wish. Italy's transport minister, Danilo Toninelli, has proposed a plan to divert cruise ships weighing more than 1,000 metric tons away from the city's lagoons and center.

While nothing has been put in place yet, Toninelli suggested that the changes could be implemented as early as September.

Venice has also implemented a number of laws aimed at punishing rowdy or ill-mannered tourists. Picnicking in certain places and going shirtless can all garner fines, as can swimming in the canals. A German couple caught making coffee with a camping stove on the steps of the Rialto Bridge were fined 950 EUR total and asked to leave Venice entirely. The city has also made it clear that it will share the identities of misbehaving tourists to their respective consulates or embassies.

Day-trippers to Venice are also charged a 10 EUR tax to offset the expensive upkeep of the city.

No more Roman Holiday

No more <i>Roman Holiday</i>
Rafael Ben-Ari/123RF

And Venice isn't the only Italian city that's had enough. Don't expect to have a view like this during your visit to Rome! Those found sitting on the Italian capital's iconic Spanish Steps can be fined up to 250 EUR. The fine jumps to 400 EUR if tourists are caught causing damage to the monument. Strollers and wheeled suitcases are also not allowed to touch the steps or any other historic staircases

It comes on the heels of an early June crackdown in Rome, during which messy eating in public, going shirtless, and swimming in fountains were all banned. Fake Roman centurions around the Colosseum, those selling unauthorized tickets, "skip-the-line" tours, and organized pub crawls have also received a notice of eviction.

Cinque Terre along the Ligurian Coast has banned flip flops, the island of Capri has banned non-recyclable plastic, and even the rich and famous don't seem to be exempt from following the rules. Heidi Klum and her husband may be facing a fine of around 6,000 EUR for swimming in Capri's Blue Grotto. Visiting the grotto by boat is allowed, but swimming is prohibited.

It seems that even Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn wouldn't have been spared. It's best to keep your Roman Holiday reenactments to a minimum.

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