Giant cruise ships will be banned from Venice’s iconic Saint Mark lagoon in order to curb the effect of growing traffic on Italy’s floating city. Last November, the Italian government had already limited traffic on the lagoon and Guidecca canal, which connects the main island of Venice and the island of la Guidecca.
The city’s historic centre will be completely off limits for large cruise liners exceeding 96,000 tonnes as of 2015, after the Italian government reacted to put an end to the issue that triggered an international outcry, The Telegraph reports.
The visits of smaller ships of no more than 40,000 tonnes will also be severely restricted.
The government had issued a plan to open up an alternative route for the gigantic ships, the plan which outraged the environmentalists and the residents fearing the impact on the lagoon’s frail environment.
“It seems to me to be a balanced solution which takes account of our duty to remove the skyscrapers of the sea from the canals of Venice, while safeguarding a world heritage city that is the envy of the world and protecting the city’s economy which is so linked to cruise tourism,” said Italy’s Minister of Transport Maurizio Lupi.
The passengers will have to come to terms with the fact that their ships will no longer be sailing mere 300 metres from St. Mark’s Square, offering amazing views of the city’s architecture.