Venice bans loudspeakers and limits tour groups in latest mass tourism crackdown

Venice has introduced new rules tackling mass tourism, with loudspeakers now banned and tour groups limited to just 25 people.

The Italian canal city, which welcomes an estimated 25 million people a year, announced the measures in December in a bid to tackle mass tourism.

Coming into effect from Saturday, the new rules say tour groups are limited to 25 people in Venice as well as the islands of Burano, Murano, and Torcello

Loudspeakers have also been banned as they "generate confusion and disturbances".

Elisabetta Pesce, the official with responsibility for the city's security, said last year the latest rules are "aimed at improving the management of groups organised in the historic centre".

It marks the latest crackdown on mass tourism for Venice. In April, the city rolled out a €5 (£4) fee for day trips throughout the summer in a bid to thin the crowds.

Simone Venturini, Venice's top tourism official, said at the time: "We need to find a new balance between the tourists and residents.

"We need to safeguard the spaces of the residents, of course, and we need to discourage the arrival of day-trippers on some particular days."

However, some residents protested the measure, saying more attention needs to be paid to boosting the local population and services they need.

Venice passed a milestone last year when the number of tourist beds exceeded the number of official residents for the first time, who now number fewer than 50,000 in the historic centre.

In August, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recommended Venice be added to its list of World Heritage sites in Danger over growing concerns of overcrowding and unsustainability.

The agency said steps proposed by the Italian state to tackle the issues are "currently insufficient and not detailed enough".

Venice avoided being blacklisted in 2021 as Italy banned cruise ships from entering its lagoon to defend its ecosystem.

UNESCO members cited the then-planned day-tripper fee as a reason to keep it off the endangered list.