St Mark's Square is always filled with visitors - PA
Venice has introduced its promised tourist tax making the city an even more expensive for a short break.
Visitors will be charged an up to €5 per person per night for overnight stays in the city of romance. The fee is charged on a sliding scale according to the hotel star rating.
A couple staying in a three-star hotel will have to find an €6 per night on top of the cost of their room; a couple in a five-star hotel will pay €10.
Visitors staying on neighbouring islands and Lido will pay a slightly reduced tariff of €4.50 per person per night at a five-star hotel.
The tax applies to the first five nights of any stay and is deliberately aimed at the short break market, as the majority of people stay for a long weekend. Children under 10 are exempt from the tax and those aged 11-16 will pay 50%. Residents are also exempt.
The city has defended the charge by portraying it as a cultural donation rather than a government levy designed to squeeze extra money from the 60,000 tourists who visit the city every day.
It claims the money will go towards a £20 million restoration project planned by the local council to help save the sinking city.
Sandro Simionato, Venice deputy mayor, told the Mail: "This tax is a new and important opportunity for the city. The fundamental objective, which will also involve tourists who visit and love Venice, is to save this unique city, which is precious and fragile."