Italy : can we still see Venice by cruise ship?

by Destination(s) Europe
Published: Last Updated on

📌 Read in / Lire en : Français (French)

Is it still possible to see the beautiful city of Venice by cruise ship? Fortunately or unfortunately, not anymore. If you go to Venice, you shouldn’t see these (filthy) liners passing by in the lagoon anymore. These boats, with extraordinary dimensions and accused of endangering the historic center of Venice , which is a UNESCO heritage site, will be banned from it as of August 1, 2021: they will no longer be able to enter the Saint-Marc basin, the Giudecca canal and the San Marco canal. This is a government decision.

It is a victory for the environmental activists, but also for those concerned about the cultural heritage. Indeed, for years, the latter accused these sea giants of damaging the foundations of the city as they generate large waves on their path. Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi welcomed this decision, underlining “an important step for the preservation of the Venetian lagoon”. From now on, these liners, which pour millions of visitors into the Serenissima each year, will have to moor at the industrial port of Marghera, which will be redeveloped for the occasion. This port is located west of Venice, on the mainland.

Venice’s heritage in danger?

The intervention of the Italian government was eagerly awaited, because the city risks an inscription on the list of the heritage in danger of UNESCO. If this can make it possible to release an emergency fund, and to mobilize the forces for the preservation of the places, it is also a mark very inglorious for the local authorities. Moreover, the Italian decision was greeted by the director of Unesco, Audrey Azoulay, who indicated that it was “very good news and an important step which contributes significantly to the safeguard of this heritage site. unique”.

But the problem is not unique to Venice. Other seaside towns with fragile architectural heritage are concerned. Just two years ago, the Venice port authorities appealed to other cities around the Mediterranean sea, also popular amid cruise passengers, to take collective action. Call to which Marseille, Parma and Barcelona responded, proof that awareness is European. 

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