Italy bans cruise ships from entering Venice after years of protests from locals and environmentalists

Posted 3 months, 1 week ago

Italy recently banned large cruise ships from entering into Venice in order to protect its ecosystem and heritage. This big move comes after years of protest from residents, cultural bodies, and environmentalists to protect a fragile ecosystem from the downsides of mass tourism.

The government of Italy decided to act on this crucial matter after the United Nations culture organisation body  UNESCO decided to put Italy on a blacklist for not prohibiting ships from sailing into Venice.

The ban will come into effect from 1 August. This ban will stop ships weighing more than 25,000 tonnes from entering the shallow Giudecca Canal leading past Piazza San Marco, which is the city's most famous landmark.

“The intervention could no longer be delayed,” Italy’s culture minister, Dario Franceschini said. He further explained that the government has come up with a quick verdict to avoid being listed on the blacklist of “World Heritage in Danger” sites which has been established by UNESCO.

Weeks ago, as cruise ships returned to Venice, protesters rallied on small boats with “no big boats” written on flags. Even during the Group of 20 summits for economic ministers that took place in the city days ago, demonstrators broke a protest that attracted international media attention.

However, in April this year, Prime Minister of Italy, Mario Draghi, announced that they were planning to ban large cruise ships from the San Marco basin but no further confirmation date was given on it.

Earlier in 2019, UNESCO had warned Venice about the damage being caused by the cruise ships.

Venice is one of the world’s most famous tourism destinations where people from all over the world come in large numbers. Most people arrive on cruise ships that have been affecting the already overcrowded tourism and its delicate marine environment.