The Italian government has imposed a permanent ban on large cruise ships in the Venice lagoon. The decree issued by Mario Draghi’s office follows years of protests and a recent risk of being included in UNESCO’s endangered list unless immediate action is taken.
The restriction comes into force on August 1st, 2021, and prohibits vessels weighing more than 25,000 tons or exceeding 180 meters in length from moving into the lagoon. The goal is to preserve the historic urban waterways of Giudecca, San Marco basin, and San Marco canal.
It concretizes a previous decision made by the Italian government on cruise ships in Venice. The Italian minister of culture, Dario Franceschini, said that he is ‘proud of the commitment kept.’
Activist groups have welcomed the decree like no Grandi Navi (no big ships), protesting the issue for years. However, the news won’t be celebrated by everyone; counter activist group sì ale Grandi Navi (yes to big ships) has said previously that the cruise economy is a vital pillar of the city’s economic base. According to the press release by Italy’s ministry of culture on July 13th, 2021, compensation will be given to shipping corporations and workers concerned by the ban.