Published on : Tuesday, April 6, 2021
Authorities in Venice have approved a ban on large cruise ships entering the historic centre of the Italian city. Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini, said that the decision came in response to a request from UN cultural body, UNESCO. Large ships will now have to dock at the industrial port on the edge of the city until a permanent solution is found.
Virtually all cruising in Europe is currently suspended in response to a resurgence of COVID-19 cases across the continent. Critics argue large cruise ships cause pollution and erode the foundations of Venice, which suffers from regular flooding. Ships will no longer be able to enter the Giudecca canal, which leads to the historic St Mark’s Square.
Franceschini hailed the move, and mentioned that it was a correct decision, that was waited for years. Pressure to pass a ban on large vessels began in 2019 after a cruise ship crashed into a harbour in the city, injuring five people. However, no permanent solution was found. Previous initiatives to stop cruise ship traffic have also failed. In 2013, the government banned ships weighing more than 96,000 tonnes from the Giudecca canal, but the legislation was later overturned.