LifestyleSiena grapples with over-tourism: Mayor Fabio seeks balance

Siena grapples with over-tourism: Mayor Fabio seeks balance

Siena has a problem with crowds
Siena has a problem with crowds
Images source: © Adobe Stock

11:51 AM EDT, June 10, 2024

After the pandemic, the issue of excessive tourism, known as overtourism, is being discussed more frequently. Siena is struggling with this problem, much like other historical cities of art and architecture in Italy. Mayor Nicoletta Fabio has spoken out, emphasizing that tourists are welcome.

Excessive tourism is becoming a problem throughout Europe. Although it is only the beginning of June, most Italian cities are already full of tourists. Siena is among those dealing with crowds. The mayor emphasizes that the priority is to balance the needs of the residents of the crowded center with those of the tourists.

Siena vs. tourist crowds

"Siena is also struggling with the problem resulting from mass tourism. In our case, it affects the historic centre, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The most famous monuments are located in a very limited area, not an ample space," says Nicoletta Fabio.

The mayor highlighted that, of course, tourists are welcome in the city, "but sometimes their crowds create the impression of total overcrowding around the central Piazza del Campo and on the neighbouring streets."

When asked what actions the city authorities are taking in response, the mayor answered that the goal is not to reduce the number of tourists but to improve the quality of tourism. "To do this, we need to focus primarily on culture, on the beauty that we were fortunate to inherit from our ancestors, and offer it to visitors in the best possible way," Fabio explains.

She added that tourists must be shown that Siena is also a university town and that its architecture-filled center has residents. "This is a task for the administration of every historical city: to balance the needs of residents and tourists," said the mayor of Siena.

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