Venice: Protesters challenge the return of cruise ships
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Cruises, including popular Mediterranean routes, have made a stop at Italy’s Venice for many years. While this destination is a favourite among tourists, cruises will no longer be able to visit from August.
Cruise ships will not be allowed to stop at Venice lagoon following the latest announcement.
Italy introduced the new rule after years of speculation on the matter.
During busy cruise periods, before the coronavirus pandemic, ships docking in Venice put strain on residents and culture bodies.
The ban aims to defend the ecosystem and heritage of the Italian city.
The decision was made after pressure from various groups, cabinet sources stated.
The United Nations culture organisation UNESCO reportedly threatened to put Italy on the blacklist if liners were not banned from the area.
Those hoping to step foot in Venice during a cruise only have until August 1 to do so before the ban comes in.
However, with travel restrictions still up in the air, it is unlikely many cruise passengers will be heading to the World Heritage site again.
From August 1, ships weighing more than 25,000 tonnes will not be allowed access to the shallow Giudecca Canal that leads past the famous landmark Piazza San Marco.
On average, cruise liners weigh four times the new limit at up to 200,000 tonnes.
This means only small passenger ferries and goods vessels can access the canal.
There have been campaigns to stop cruise ships visiting Venice for many years.
Those campaigning have claimed the ships have increased pollution and affected the stability of Venice’s fragile buildings and ecosystem.
However, it has still been frequently visited on cruise routes as it has always been popular among tourists.
Culture Minister Dario Franceschini praised the decision in a post on social media.
It read: “I am proud of a commitment that had been honoured.”
Others followed on social media and commented on the decision.
One posted: “About time” while another added: “This is important”.
A third wrote: “Those giant ships barely fit through Venice. They never belonged there.”
Another added: “This is very good news!”
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