News Update

Italy Fast-Tracked Its Decision To Ban Large Cruise Ships In The Centre Of Venice

Italy announced that large cruise ships would be banned from sailing into the centre of Venice from August 1; after years of warnings, they risk causing irreparable damage to the lagoon city. The decision was confirmed at a meeting of Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s cabinet. It came just days before UN’s cultural organisation UNESCO meeting, which proposed adding Venice to its list of endangered heritage sites.


The move will see big ships diverted to the city’s industrial port of Marghera. However, this is only a temporary solution, with ministers calling for ideas on a new permanent terminal. Campaigners have been calling for cruise ships to be banned from sailing past the iconic St Mark’s Square for years. They say the giant floating hotels cause large waves that undermine the city’s foundations and harm the fragile ecosystem of its lagoon. The debate was fueled by the return of cruises last month after the coronavirus pandemic when the throngs of tourists that generally fill the streets of Venice stayed away.


“The decree adopted today represents an important step for the protection of the Venetian lagoon system,” Draghi said in a statement. He added that there would be money to mitigate the impact on employment.