The Reading / Listening – Venice – Level 2

Venice is one of the world’s top tourist destinations. It can get around 20 million visitors a year. This causes problems such as pollution from cruise ships and overcrowding. City officials are now planning to charge tourists to visit Venice’s historical centre and canals. Italy’s La Stampa newspaper said this could be as much as 10 euros ($11.70). This could start from the summer of 2022. They might also set a limit on the number of visitors who can enter the centre each day. Tourists may need to book their visit to Venice before they go.

City officials have talked for many years about different problems. Environmentalists worried about the damage from cruise ships to marine life. Heritage lovers want to protect the city’s famous squares from the millions of tourists. Italy’s Culture Minister said that there is a “concrete risk” of UNESCO adding Venice to its list of World Heritage in Danger sites. However, a hotel worker says Venice needs cruise ships because tourists “spend big in a short time”. A city official is worried that charging tourists to enter the city will turn Venice into a “theme park”.