Entrance ticket to Venice, Toto Bergamo Rossi: “It will not be decisive”

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“It’s not a solution,” he says Toto Bergamo RossiDirector of Venetian Heritagea foundation that supports cultural initiatives to make known to the world, through restorations, exhibitions, publications, conferences, studies and researches, the heritage of Venetian art in Italy and in the world,introduction of the ticket from next year in the city of Venice.

We reach him on the phone shortly after the announcement by the municipal council of the access fee for tourists who will arrive in Venice the same day starting from January 16, 2023. This is a tax from 3 to 10 euros to which visitors who do not stay overnight in the municipal area, with the exception of citizens of the Veneto Region.

Let’s start with the ticket. What do you think?
“It won’t help. I have been saying this for some time: Venice must be treated like the Louvre ».

Don’t you think that treating Venice as an open-air museum could be harmful to the city? Could it give even more the idea of ​​a “non-city”?
«We must stop giving a negative meaning to the word museum. Museums are beautiful and valuable places and treating our city as an open-air museum means respecting and preserving it and means protecting its citizens “.

Is citizenship in Venice the central theme of the question?
«Of course, and it’s not just Brugnaro’s fault. Over the years, the Venetian middle class has been wiped out, in the sense that it has been forced to go and live outside its own city. Upstream of everything, rents must be regulated ».

So how to fight overtourism which in Venice is a problem that visibly grows bigger every year?
«What you really need is the limited number. The reservation – not necessarily for a fee – must be used to manage the flows keeping in mind the structure of the city and once the bookings reach the maximum number, that’s enough, no one else must be allowed access. The management of this city is the same as when I was a boy and instead the airport opened in the middle, bus connections increased, low cost companies appeared, high speed arrived, a quantity of impressive boats in Riva degli Schiavoni every day. If globalization has arrived, Venice has not been able to face it. Again, there is no safeguarding thought. The only system that can work is the Louvre system, a museum institution that works perfectly and when you cross the threshold of 40-45 thousand tourists a day, it just closes. No promoter of initiatives like these seems to have understood: do we want to be part of globalization or pretend nothing has happened? ».

The ticket, according to Brugnaro, should keep away from Venice especially the hit and run tourism of a day. And that’s the problem?
«It seems to me a confusing solution. The exemption of the ticket for Venetian citizens is not decisive since the day trips, which everyone complains about, come mainly from the cities within the region. Has Brugnaro ever been on the Ponte degli Scalzi over the weekend? Over the past few weekends, 90,000 visitors have been reached. The solution is to prevent the streets from flooding, the bins overflowing from the early hours of the day… I have never seen a policeman who would help manage the flow of people in crowded areas. You get shots like this, but no one is there to check. Charging a ticket is not dissuasive and treating the city as a museum is not belittling, but fundamentally, above all, rent regulation is necessary. The city must be protected and also its citizens, who must be kept inside ».

Source: Vanity Fair

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