Venice mayor backs 'tourist ticket' plan

Venice should be able to introduce a "tourist ticket" on its roughly 20 million visitors a year in order to help the historic island city's finances, the city's mayor said Wednesday.

Giorgio Orsoni said that he welcomed "the possibility of making tourists who come to Venice pay a ticket.

"I think the time has come for Venice... to be able to decide on its own finances," he said in a statement.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Tuesday backed a plan to introduce a one-euro (1.3-dollar) a day tax for tourists visiting Florence and Venice.

Venice residents last month held an ironic protest against rising prices and tourist traffic, saying their city had become a Disney-like "Veniceland".

The resident population of Venice is only around 59,000.

The mayor courted controversy this year when he backed the installation of large billboards on some of the city's most famous landmarks undergoing repair.

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