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Thursday, 15 July 2021

Cruise ships banned from Venice lagoon


After much procrastination and prevarication, Italy has finally decided to ban cruise ships from Venice lagoon.

The Government acted as UNESCO proposed putting Venice on a World Heritage watchlist due to its failure to ban large ships.

The ban takes effect from August 1 and bans ships weighing more than 25,000 tonnes from the Giudecca Canal.

That effectively means all cruise ships - both large and small - are forbidden to enter.

Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said the government acted "to avoid the concrete risk' of being placed on the UNESCO blacklist, Travel Mole reported.

It also "establishes an unbreakable principle, by declaring the urban waterways of St. Mark's Basin, St. Mark's Canal and the Giudecca Canal a national monument," the minister added.

The issue has been the centre of controversy for many years, with environmentalists against and many local businesses grateful for the revenue.

"The decree adopted today represents an important step for the protection of the Venetian lagoon system," Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said.

Draghi said funds will be dispersed to businesses to help mitigate the loss of revenue caused by the cruise ship ban.

There, is, however, no permanent alternative location for cruise ships to dock near Venice so several cruise lines will have to amend their schedules.

In the short term, large ships will be diverted to the industrial port of Marghera.

Photo by Evgenii Iaroshevskii

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