How did I avoid paying Venice’s new ‘entrance fee’? By joining the local Venezia FC fans

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Fans heading to the waterside stadium don’t have to pay the €5 tourist fee. And with the team fighting for promotion to Serie A, the atmosphere at the last home game of the season is electric

Sunday day-trippers to Venice flashing their €5 entry ticket QR code to get through the turnstiles at the city’s main access points look bemused when football supporters simply show their match tickets instead. Attending a sporting event just happens to be one of the exemptions in the opaque regulations behind what locals see as an attempt to turn their town into a living museum.

Anyone who joins the crowds of football fans making their way through the streets to the Sant’Elena neighbourhood, in the east of the city just beyond the Biennale Gardens, will discover that this city is a long way from being a museum, and that buying a ticket to watch Venezia FC affords the opportunity to enjoy a slice of local life. Where else in the world can you arrive at a football stadium by vaporetto (waterbus)? It costs just €15 to sit up in the Curva Sud stand surrounded by friendly cheering, singing Venetians, and watch a match against the backdrop of Venice’s lagoon.

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