The ban will take effect on August 1, and will apply to ships over 25,000 tons that are not allowed to enter the canal into Piazza San Marco.

The Italian government decided on Tuesday to ban cruise ships from the Venetian lagoon to protect the region’s ecosystem and cultural heritage. This move put an end to years of indecision, and placed the demands of residents and cultural institutions over tourism interests.

Government sources said the government took the decision after the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) intends to declare Venice a world heritage site in danger at a meeting of the relevant body in July.

The ban will take effect on August 1 and will apply to ships over 25,000 tons that cannot enter the Giudecca Channel into Piazza San Marco.

I am proud to have stayed true to our commitment

– Dario Franceschini, Minister of Culture, wrote in his message on Twitter, announcing the government’s decision.

Venice residents and the international community have been urging Italian governments for years to ban large ships from the lake, which pollute and threaten its fragile ecosystem and the stability of the city’s buildings.

These concerns were contrary to the interests of port authorities and tourism establishments that the city needed the traffic reported by ocean liners.

The 25,000-ton limit means that only small passenger ferries and shipping companies can use the Giudecca.

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Francesco Galletti, the Italian president of the Confederation of International Shipping Companies (CLIA), said the group welcomed the alternative route intended for large vessels and called the government’s decision a “huge step forward”.

In April, the government of Prime Minister Mario Draghi decided to build a terminal outside the lake for passenger ships and container ships over 40,000 tons. However, this is not yet complete.

Meanwhile, large ships were required to dock at the industrial port of Marghera, but there was no suitable port space for sailors. The government’s decision appointed a government commissioner to expedite the construction of the port.

Admission will be to St. Mark's Basilica in Venice


There will be a loophole: you can enter to pray for free.

Venetians protest against restarting oceangoing ships السفن


The larger ships in the center of Venice are causing more pollution and destroying the city’s underwater base.