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Italy Is Expecting Its Biggest Summer On Record, Here Are 7 Changes Travelers Need To Know 

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Tourism is set to be off the charts this summer, with a record number of travelers heading to Europe especially.

Americans in particular are looking to visit some of Europe's most popular destinations, with countries such as Italy and Spain bracing for record crowds this year. 

Back view of young woman with straw hat and yellow dress with Atrani village on the background, Amalfi Coast, Italy copy

In order to combat the effect of over-tourism, some countries around the world are starting to put in place tourist fees, as well as new regulations and rules to help combat the effects of over-tourism.

One country that is sure to be mega-popular this year with American travelers is Italy, a dreamy destination that is no stranger to over-tourism in recent years. 

In order to keep preserve their beloved Dolce Vita, Italy has enacted more changes that travelers need to be aware of this year, and those looking to visit need to know about these rules and make their plans in advance in order to avoid surprises and possible disappointment. 

woman traveling in Italy with map

Here Are 7 Changes Travelers To Italy Need To Know:

Higher Ticket Prices 

One way to combat over-tourism is to raise fees for specific sites or to start charging a fee for those that have always been free to visit.

Italy is doing just this, starting with the county’s most visited site, The Pantheon. A staple of any Rome itinerary (and previously free), a visit to the Pantheon will now cost you €5 for those over 25 years old and €2 for those under. 

Another attraction that is raising its ticket prices this year is Florence’s famed Uffizi Gallery. As of March 1st, 2023 the ticket has gone up from €20 to €25, although if you get there before 8:55 am you can snag one for only €19. 

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Pantheon, Rome, Italy

Reservations Needed 

When you think of overcrowding, remember it’s not limited only to beaches and cities.

Outdoor destinations have also become affected by over-tourism as well, one such area being the popular region of the Dolomite mountains in Northern Italy.

The area of Bolzano – South Tyrol is now enforcing reservations as well as capping overnight visitors and not allowing new accommodations to open up without approval. 

In addition, the picture-perfect (and extremely popular on social media) glacial lake of Lago di Braies now requires visitors to register before coming, ensuring that it will never be too crowded.

It also now only allows visitors to arrive via public transport to help preserve the environment. 

Lake Braies (also known as Pragser Wildsee or Lago di Braies) in Dolomites Mountains, Sudtirol, Italy

No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service

Certain areas where many like to lounge poolside or on the beach all day are beginning to attempt to change their image, and it’s starting with how visitors are dressed.

For example, last year, the popular town of Sorento stated that it would enact a fine for those who walked around outside of swim areas if they didn't cover up. 

This includes going shirtless, in bikinis, and any other swimwear that is deemed inappropriate for being about town. Other popular seaside areas have similar rules, from the Italian Riviera to Calabria, so make sure you ask before you get hit with a fine.

In addition, fan-favorite Cinque Terre is strict on what kind of footwear you wear when walking their famous coastal paths, so make sure to pack accordingly. 

Small city Atrani on Amalfi Coast in province of Salerno, Campania region, Italy

Visitors Fees 

Venice has a problem, and it’s not just that some of its famed canals are drying up

Day trippers have long been an issue for Venice, with crowds of people packed into the narrow lanes and clogging the canals and bridges.

Without staying over, these visitors are seen as not contributing much to the local economy. Hence a tourist fee is being enacted to counter this. 

It is said the fee will range from €3 to €10, depending on a few factors, and should be completed online prior to arrival.

It’s important to note that those who are staying overnight will already have this added to their bill, so they don't need to worry about an extra step. 

boat going under bridge in venice canal italy

Selfie Fines 

The very mention of Portofino probably conjures up images of brightly colored buildings crowded around tiny pebble beaches with stunning views.

You are not wrong. Portofino is postcard perfect, and because of that, residents want to make sure it stays that way.

The newest rules are set to make sure the fishing village is not ruined any longer by stampedes of tourists waiting to get the perfect selfie.

By designations two of its popular areas as “red zones,” those who loiter too long or take selfies there will be faced with a fine of around €300. 

colorful portofino italy

Tourist Caps 

The popular island of Sardinia is home to many of Italy’s most beautiful beaches, and unfortunately, this is well-known and they get crowded.

The area has attempted to address this by charging a fee as well as a limit on the number of tourists who can visit a day.

In the La Maddelena islands off Sardinia’s north coast, for example, those wishing to visit the beach must pay an extra fee on top of the fee that they had to pay to reach them by boat.

There are caps on tourists that are being allowed to visit popping up around the country, so it’s crucial that anyone who is looking to visit does their research first. 

Torre Bianca of Bressanone (Brixen) - south tyrol - Bozen (Bolzano) province - Italy

Traffic Enforcement

One surefire way to preserve the local environment is to combat the traffic congestion that tourism can bring.

Certain popular island destinations around Italy are doing just this by limiting the number of cars allowed or not allowing cars with outside license plates at all.

The Sicilian islands of Lampedusa and Linosa will not allow cars from anyone who is not a resident, and tiny Gilio, located off the Tuscan coast, will only allow cars for visitors who are staying for more than 3 nights. 

Another area where visitors must be aware of traffic restrictions is the Uber-popular Amalfi coast, where an alternative number plate system was put into effect last year and looks to be set again for the 2023 season. 

Italy Sardinia Nuoro province National Park of the Bay of Orosei and Gennargentu Cala Mariolu

Talks of raised prices, tourist caps, and other initiatives such as app reservation systems are not limited to these certain places mentioned here. We still have a while to go before the summer season kicks off, meaning more changes could be coming up. Therefore it’s important to remain on top of all official sites for the most current news before you visit.

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