Venice is usually a place of enchantment and enlightenment for thousands of tourists each year, but it is becoming a hotbed of tension for residents who feel priced out of their own city and are leaving in droves.

Hundreds of residents protested on Saturday (12 November) to show their outrage at being forced out by high rents due to visitors and housing shortages, according to a BBC report.

The population of the city has gone from 175,000 in 1951 to just under 55,000. The sign '#Venexodus' was hung over the city's famous Rialto bridge while protesters carried suitcases symbolising that they have to leave.

"Venice is losing 1,000 residents each year," said Matteo Secchi, head of the association venessia.com, which organised the rally.

"We are turning into Pompei, a town which people come to visit and say it's magnificent, but no-one lives there."

Earlier this year, people in dinghies tried to stop a cruise ship from docking. The city's mayor has reportedly proposed taxing day-trippers to help deal with the problem.

To make matters worse for the city, The Guardian reported in July that Unesco's world heritage site committee voted to postpone a decision on whether to make Venice an endangered site following a 2015 damning report into the effects of overcrowding, construction and pollution on the sinking city.