NewsItaly: Cruise ships banned in Venice from August 1st

Italy: Cruise ships banned in Venice from August 1st

Cruise ships will no longer be allowed to enter the lagoon city of Venice in the future. Italy hopes that this will prevent irreparable damage.

Rome – From August 1st, large cruise ships will no longer be allowed to enter the lagoon city of Venice. Infrastructure Minister Enrico Giovannini announced the decision on Tuesday (13.07.2021) after a cabinet meeting.

Giovannini described this as a “necessary step to protect the environment, the landscape and the artistic and cultural integrity of Venice”. Prime Minister Mario Draghi spoke of an “important step in the preservation of the Venice Lagoon”. Banning cruise ships in Venice has been discussed for years, but has only now been implemented.

Cruise ships banned in Venice – longstanding discussion

Cruise ships weighing more than 25,000 tons, more than 180 meters in length or more than 35 meters in height are to call at the Marghera industrial port in the future. However, this is only a temporary solution. Smaller cruise ships should still be allowed to dock in the city center.

The year-long debate flared up again after the cruise ships returned at the beginning of June after a long break caused by the corona. Before the corona pandemic, millions of visitors flocked to the lagoon city on the cruise ships every year.

Corona reignited the discussion about the cruise ship ban

Waves caused by the huge ships damage the foundations of the world heritage city of Venice and threaten the sensitive ecological balance in the lagoon. The ships that sail extremely close along the coast also pose a threat to other ships. The UN cultural organization Unesco proposed at the end of June that Venice be put on the Red List of World Heritage in Danger.

Mick Jagger campaigned for a ban on cruise ships

International artists such as Mick Jagger, Wes Anderson and Tilda Swinton issued an open letter to Draghi and the Italian President Sergio Mattarella at the beginning of June calling for a complete ban on cruise ships in Venice.

In the letter, they also called for better management of tourist flows, the protection of the lagoon’s ecosystem and the fight against property speculation in order to preserve “the physical integrity, but also the cultural identity” of the city. (ktho / afp)

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