From April next year, Venice will trial a system that introduces a daily entrance fee and a ceiling for visitors to the city in a bid to tackle over-tourism.
The measure is designed to regulate the flow of tourists during the spring holidays and some summer weekends when the number of tourists peaks, local authorities said at a press conference on Thursday.
"This is the first time in the world that we have done something like this, where we have made the city available for reservations," Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said.
The restrictions will be in place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. local time for 29 days and will apply to most weekends from April 25 to mid-July next year.
Travelers will have to book their visit online and pay five euros to receive a "QR code", which will be validated at checkpoints and will allow them access to the city's historic districts.
The restrictions will not apply to smaller islands in the lagoon, such as Murano, known for its glass industry.
Those who do not comply with the measures face fines ranging from €50 to €310.
Venice residents and natives, as well as students, workers and homeowners in the city will be exempted from the fees and reservations, said Councillor Michele Zuin.
Visitors under the age of 14 will have to register but will have free access.
"We want to measure the effect of this trial, of this possibility of booking," said the mayor, specifying that at first the experiment will be costly for the municipality.
The cost of the experiment is estimated at three million euros, while revenues will be around 700,000 euros.
Overall, the introduction of paid limited access for visitors in Venice is a step in the right direction. This measure can help the city preserve its unique historical and cultural character and improve the quality of life for residents.