Venice is at it again in its fight against overtourism – Big Brother style.
On Monday, September 6, 2021, Reuters reported that Venice now tracks “every person who sets foot in the lagoon city”.
According to Reuters, Venice uses 468 cameras, a cell phone-tracing system, and optical sensors, that can tell residents from visitors and Italians from foreigners, where those people are coming from, where they are going, and how fast they are moving.
These cameras are controlled by and set up in police headquarters in Venice, and the devices take a snapshot every 15 minutes of how crowded the city is. They also track how many gondolas are on the canal, if boats are speeding, and if the waters rise to dangerous levels.
“I expect protests, lawsuits, everything…but I have a duty to make this city liveable for those who inhabit it and also for those who want to visit,” said Venice mayor Luigi Brugnaro to reporters.
The use of cameras and the tracking system are part of Venice’s attempt to limit the number of tourists in Venice at a given time in an effort to combat the negative effect of overtourism in the city.
A couple of weeks ago, it was announced that, starting next summer, Venice was to require travelers to book their visit in advance, pay an entry fee between $3.50 and $12 depending on the season, and enter the city via electronic turnstiles.