By Susan Sherren for Couture trips Published 7/14/21 4:25 PM CST
Grand Canal- Channel Venice, Italy
Today marks a long-awaited day in Venice, Italy. Finally, after years of debate, the Italian government bans large cruise ships from entering the fragile lagoon in Venice. Local Venetians applauded this announcement, and environmentalists who have been sounding the alarms also celebrated for years. Venice is a highly sought after destination by many tourists who arrive in the city by a cruise ship. Approximately 25 million tourists descend on Venice annually. Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini called this a "historic day". Franceschini added, the government decided to act fast “to avoid the concrete risk” that the United Nations culture agency UNESCO, which protects the fragile city and its lagoon, would add Venice to its list of “world heritage in danger.”
View from St. Marks Square
“It is a decision awaited by UNESCO, by all the people who have been to Venice at least once in their lives, by Italian and foreign travellers who were shocked to see these ships passing through the most fragile and beautiful places in the world,” Franceschini told reporters.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many locals were stunned to see clear water and sea life thriving in the lagoon. The water is usually murky and void of sea animals due to the pollutants from various ships and watercraft activity in the lagoon. The cruise ships will be rerouted to the mainland port of Marghera, where five docks are being constructed. Ships weighing more than 25,000 tons, longer than 590 feet will be affected by the ban. Visit Couture Trips to start planning your Venetian getaway. We make sure your holiday is designed just for you in mind.