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Keeping tourists at bay in the Venetian lagoon—Italy’s new ban on large cruise ships

Piazza San Marco, Venice, Italy

Soon Maghera port may be a favored tourism destination. Located on the Italian mainland opposite Venice, the port is largely used by marine freight traffic. The new ban restricts cruise ships weighing 55,000 tons or more from sailing through the Guidecca Canal, making the ships visible from the Piazza San Marcos and the Doge’s palace. The proposed plan will re-route the largest cruise ships farther south of the Venetian islands to dock at the mainland port of Maghera.

This ban is yet the latest response to the long-standing problem of tourists overrunning the medieval merchant city. The move follows an earlier (unofficial) referendum approved by 18,000 Venetians to ban cruise ships from the city. But the problem is not only the number of tourists; the larger cruise ships are a visual blight in that they dwarf the city’s historic buildings and tourist destinations. (The view in the 2015 photo above by Behn Lieu Song, shared here under CC BY-SA 3.0, often is marred by large cruise ships in the canal just beyond the columns). Hopefully, the new ban will help restore the historic visual allure of this beautiful city.


Cruise ships are being banned from sailing through Venice after locals got sick of them dwarfing their city

By Kiernan Corcoran

Business Insider

November 9, 2017

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