Pay virtually and pee virtuously in Venice

Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:12pm EST
 
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By Ian Simpson VENICE, Italy (Reuters Life!) - Venice wants to make itself an easier place to go, so it is launching an online service to allow visitors to pre-pay for access to public toilets with the click of a mouse.

Instead of paying the current 1 euro ($1.33) fee to get into a public bathroom, tourists who think ahead can get one week or day passes to the lavatories online.

Visitors can pay 7 euros online for 10 toilet visits over 5 days in high season, and 5 euros in the low tourist season.

For a regular toilet card, bought at a bathroom or other site, the corresponding costs are 9 euros and 7 euros.

The online day rate for 2 visits is 1 euro in low season, 2 euros in the high season. Otherwise, the card costs 1.50 euros and 3 euros respectively.

"For people who want some security, who don't want to go into a bar to buy a coffee or a roll, so they can go to the bathroom, this is a solution," a Venice city spokesman said.

The online bathroom pass is accessible starting February 1 as part of the city's Venice Connected card which gives access to various services and allows reservations online. The purchase has to be made at least 15 days before use.

City residents pay 25 euro cents per visit to the public bathrooms.

The pass is another attempt by Venice, which hosts about 20 million visitors a year, to deal with tourists who use the streets as urinals.   Continued...

 
<p>A man leaves a public toilet a few days before a new online payment system takes effect in Venice January 27, 2009. REUTERS/Chris Helgren</p>