The Italian government has decreed that cruise ships will no longer be allowed in the lagoon in Venice’s city centre beginning in September.
Transport minister Danilo Toninelli said that the more than 500 large passenger vessels that would otherwise sail through the lagoon each year will be re-routed to other ports outside the city.
The government ultimately plans to establish an alternate location where Venice-bound ships could dock, Mr Toninelli added.
The announcement comes following a series of mishaps and increasing public outrage over the damage allegedly caused by the large vessels to the lagoon.
Specifically, the erosion being inflicted on Venice’s centuries-old foundations by the wakes of cruise ships has reportedly made flooding more frequent in the historic city centre.
Some operators have denounced the government’s ruling, countering that the influx of passengers helps boost the local economy.
These same operators state that the average cruise ship passenger spends up to €170 (US$190) each while staying in Venice.
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