Venice to separate tourists from locals over May Day weekend

The authorities will introduce “urgent measures to ensure public safety and livability in the historic city of Venice”

One of the world’s most visited destinations has decided to launch temporary restrictions to save locals from an influx of tourists during this weekend.

From April 28 to May 1, certain parts of the historical city of Venice will be closed to tourists as the city authorities want to separate them from Venetians.

Venice to introduce temporary restrictions while expeting large crowds over the May Day weekend — Bumble Dee / Shutterstock venice to separate tourists May Day weekend
Venice to introduce temporary restrictions while expecting large crowds over the May Day weekend — Bumble Dee / Shutterstock


As the city is expecting large crowds over the May Day weekend, Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said “urgent measures to guarantee public safety, security and liveability” will be implemented.

“All tourists know that if they are respecting the city, they are welcome,” said Brugnaro. “At the same time, however, we have the task of safeguarding Venice.”

While the main attractions will still be accessible to tourists, certain streets and ports will be available only to locals and regular visitors holding the Venezia Unica card.

Among many sites, the restrictions will also affect the main road connection from bus and railway stations visitors usually use to get to the popular Ponte di Rialto and San Marco church, Strada Nova.

Tourists coming from the sea will be diverted to a special facility set up at the Fondamente Nuove, instead of disembarking at the usual landings of Riva Degli Schiavoni.


Visitors intending to drive to the site will be required to have reserved a parking place in advance. Without a proof of the reservation, they might be denied access to the city completely.  

The unprecedented step reflects the city’s increasing problems with overtourism that have been taking place during past couple of years.

In 2015, head of the Italian Environment Fund, Andrea Carandini, said Venice was being negatively affected by mass tourism.

“Venice now has 50,000 inhabitants — a third of what it did in the 18th century — and yet it receives 30 million tourists a year,” Carandini said.

The authorities have urged locals to stay up to date over the course of the weekend by monitoring the official City of Venice Facebook and Twitter profiles.