Published on Wednesday, July 14, 2021
Italy has finally decided to ban cruise liners from Venice lagoon.
The government has acted as UNESCO proposed putting Venice on a World Heritage watchlist due to its failure to ban large ships.
The ban takes effect from 1 August and bans ships weighing more than 25,000 tonnes from the Giudecca Canal.
That effectively means all cruise ships large and small are forbidden.
Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said the government acted 'to avoid the concrete risk' of being placed on the UNESCO blacklist.
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.
For many years, sentiment on cruise ship visits has been quite evenly split between local businesses grateful for the revenue and environmentalists and concerned residents fed up with overcrowding and pollution.
"The decree adopted today represents an important step for the protection of the Venetian lagoon system," Italy Prime Minister Mario Draghi said.
Draghi said funds will be dispersed to businesses to mitigate the loss of revenues caused by the cruise ship ban
Although the ban becomes official, there is still no permanent alternative location for cruise ships to dock.
For the short term, large ships will be diverted to the industrial port of Marghera.