Summer tourists flock to Italy in record numbers
Museums and monuments in Italy are cherishing record numbers of tourist arrivals this year, welcoming over 23 million visitors in only 6 months – an increase of 7.3 percent compared to 2016.
The numbers were high, and so was the temperature.
Rome and Latium saw 19,131,268 tourists from January to June, which means a plus of 17.6 percent, generating a proud amount of entrance fees, to the tune of 36,220,370 euros – up 14.7%.
The winner was the Colosseum as the most-visited place in Italy this year.
The magic of the Colosseum and the Forum Romani – the most-visited archeologic zone in the world – witnessed increased entrance fee profits and over 7 million visitors so far this year, said Rome’s Minister of Culture.
Whether it is the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan under the management of-Canadian Mr. James Bradburne, or the Uffizi in Florence with German Director Elke Schmid, they are all talking of a museum revolution which is topping all possible predictions.
The second place in Italy with record numbers was taken by Campania with Napoli, Pompeii, Island of Capri, and Ischia and receiving 4,375,736 visitors.
This was followed by Tuscany in third place with 3,443,800 visitors during the first 6 months of 2017.
Venice is a world unto itself, and saw 4 tourists to every 1 resident per day, making it difficult to find a real Venetian these days.
Venice has 433 gondolas and 600 listed gondoliers, 438 bridges plus 90 private bridges, and it is built on 124 tiny islands which form this unique city. It unofficially received an estimated 28 million arrivals, as official numbers go by overnights and at least a 1-night stay.
Venice can only digest 14 million visitors.
The city boasts 3,000 shops, with most of them selling souvenirs. It has 31 baker shops, but 10 have shut down during the last 4 years. This is a real drama to the locals that is being seen in all tourist destinations in Italy.
The shooting star in Venice is Airbnb with over 7,153 accommodations, providing a total of 27,648 beds at average rates of 195 euros as well as 90 euros for a single room.
Not a real bargain… but Venice is Venice, and there is no limit for skyrocketing rates during the high season.
Cruise ships contribute also great waves and big numbers with 1.6 million visitors a year. But these visitors turn Marcus Square into a battle field when thousands of tour guides hold up umbrellas and fight their way through the crowds.
The famous and beautiful Lake Como has seen record arrivals from all over the world this summer, where getting a seat on a ferry boat is often a matter of sheer luck.
The Tourist Office on Piazza Cavour, Como, was invaded by tourists this summer and often had long queues – making it hard to understand why such an important and helpful Tourist Office had to shut down at the beginning of this September for good. Apparently, the management believes that internet is a far better replacement to help inquiries from worldwide tourists lost in Como and to poor travelers who have no access to the Internet and simply want some good advice about the territory.
When buying a first-class train ticket for a local train in the railway station, I was looking in vain for first class on the local train in Milan which had a kilometer of second-class wagons. When asking the conductor where the first-class seats were, he said there is no first class on these trains (which had not even one empty seat left!). So why did they sell me a first-class ticket? Well, I was told… “You asked for it.” I also asked where the Tourist Office was, and was told, “Right there… where everybody arrives.”