Venice, Italy will be restricting tourists from visiting certain areas of the city during the busy holiday weekend of April 28 to May 1. Non-locals looking to visit popular destinations like St. Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge will be diverted to visitor-only routes. Unless you have a Venezia Unica pass, you will not be able to walk Venice boulevard, Strada Nuova.
The city is expected larger-than-normal numbers during the weekend because of the holiday. According to The Telegraph, Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro signed a decree that urges: “urgent measures to guarantee public safety, security and livability in the historic city of Venice.”
The city council added: “The tourist flows heading to Rialto or San Marco will be directed on alternative routes” to “manage pedestrian and water traffic and the flows of people”.
A 2017 study estimated that the city sees up to 60,000 visitors every day, or anywhere from 22 million to 30 million each year, and has been pondering the idea of limiting the number of outside people visiting.
Although the city of Venice, Italy is implementing the new rules for the holiday weekend, the mayor said it is an experiment — meaning, they may be looking to implement it permanently in the future.
Venice now has a population of fewer than 55,000 — down from 190,000 in the 1940s.
Other cities are experimenting with capping the number of visitors to their regions, with Santorini only allowing 8,000 per day on their island (they currently see two million visitors each year).