The restriction will come into force in early August, the Italian government has confirmed. Activists claim that ocean liners damage Venice’s ecosystem.
The Italian government announced on Tuesday that large cruise ships will be banned from entering the Venice lagoon from August 1.
This move comes after years of warnings that they risk causing irreparable damage to Venice’s ecosystem.
” The decree approved today represents an important step for the protection of the Venetian lagoon system ,” Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said in a statement.
The measure affects vessels over 180 meters or over 35 meters high.
Venice and the concern of UNESCO
The decision comes just days before UNESCO meets to discuss proposals to include Venice on its list of endangered heritage sites.
Venice was included in the prestigious list in 1987 after describing the city as an “extraordinary masterpiece of architecture”.
But the UN body said last month that the city needed “more sustainable tourism management”.
The fragile ecosystem of Venice.
Capital of the Veneto region in northern Italy, Venice is built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon of the Adriatic Sea.
Environmental activists claim that the giant ships generate large waves that destroy the foundations of Venice and cause serious damage to the lagoon’s ecosystem.
The city is roadless and its canals are lined with Renaissance and Gothic palaces.