Venice is a huge draw for tourists visiting Italy – but the famous city has experienced a very difficult year. First, there were “Biblical-style” floods in 2019 followed rapidly by the coronavirus crisis in 2020. Italy was the first European country to be heavily hit by the deadly pandemic.
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It currently has 22,434 confirmed cases of coronavirus.
However, the country is now taking steps to ease lockdown.
The relaxed measures have seen gondolas return to the canals of Venice.
The age-old transport for which the historic city is known was reinstated today.
Gondolas have been launched via two major routes – but travelling in the famous boats will be quite different to before.
Passengers and gondoliers are now required to wear protective masks and gloves.
What’s more, the boats can only take a maximum of six people at a time.
Green markings on the piers signal where passengers should stand to ensure one metre of social distancing when in the queue.
Venice bosses are enthusiastic about the return of the iconic boats.
The city’s councillor for traditions, Giovanni Giusto, has said the return of the gondolas is great news for Venice.
Giusto explained the taxi gondolas were a vital link for the city’s mobility and it had been imperative to restore the services at Santa Sofia and San Toma.
“It is good news, a signal of everyone’s desire to start again in order to return to normal as soon as possible, without ever lowering the guard to be able to definitively defeat the virus,” he said.
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This weekend it was announced that Italy will allow travel in and out of the county from June 3.
This will mark a major milestone for Italy’s recovery post-coronavirus.
The country is hoping to reopen the economy after more than two months of lockdown.
Venice is one Italian destination eager for the return of holidaymakers.
Venice has even scrapped its controversial daily entry fee which should have started on July 1. This will now begin on April 1, 2021.
Anyone wanting to enter the city will need to buy a stamp, with different colours depending on the day and time of the season.
They will cost three, five, six or eight euros. Boat or ship passengers will pay five euros.
The city will continue its separate tourist tax but hotels and tourist accommodation will have an extended deadline of November 30 to declare it.
Additional reporting by Rita Sobot.
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