Tourists to queue separately for Venice's vaporetti ferries

With hordes of tourists clogging up public transport in Italy's floating city, Venice announced Tuesday that visitors and residents will have to queue separately to use the famous "vaporetti" ferries.

Heaving crowds have been caused not only by the summer tourists but also by a period of poor weather in the region which had seen holidaymakers abandon the beaches to soak up the city sights, Venice's public transport body said.

The separate queues will remain in place until the end of the high season, they added.

"The exceptional wave of tourists has forced us to take urgent measures which will make life easier for those that live here," said Roberto Panciera from Venice's tourist board.

"It also allows us to respect those who come to Venice just to admire it," he added.

The first "vaporetto" stop where tourists will have to queue separately is the Rialto, close to the famous eponymous bridge. Season ticket holders and tourists with singles will wait in different lines.

While the yearly influx of visitors helps fill Venice's coffers, the sheer numbers often make everyday life more difficult for locals.

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