Italy has now banned large cruise ships from entering the Venice lagoon. The latest decree will be in place from August 1. The decision has been made after years of warnings regarding the risk that cruise ships pose to Venice’s ecosystem. By the new law, large cruise ships, as in those that are 180 metres long, or higher than 35 metres, will be barred from entering the lagoon.
The Italian Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, said in a statement, “The decree adopted today represents an important step for the protection of the Venetian lagoon system.”
UNESCO had recently proposed to include Venice to its list of endangered heritage sites, forcing the government in Italy to take this decision. UNESCO said last month that the city needs a more sustainable tourism management system. It was inducted into the UNESCO World Heritage Site list back in 1987. The ban has been demanded by the residents of Venice, and environmentalists for decades.
Protests were in full swing over the last few weeks, with protestors carrying flags that said, No Big Boats. International media also took note of this issue when protestors demonstrated in the Group of 20 summit for economic ministers ast Sunday in the city.
Venice is an extremely popular Italian tourist destination, attracting a large number of visitors every year. The problem with large ships adversely affecting the city’s ecosystem will now be addressed, and that is a good news for the historic city.