After years of demonstrations and even what appeared to be firm action by local and national authorities to stop huge cruise ships from docking in Venice, a ban has now been written into law and takes effect August 1st.
Local residents complained that the huge ships, with as many as 6,000 passengers not only flooded the city with too many visitors but also were slowly or not-so-slowly undermining the delicate foundations that keep the city from sinking into its lagoon.
The action, finalized by the Italian cabinet on Tuesday, bans ships of more than 25,000 tons or 530 feet from entering St Mark's Basin, St Mark's Canal and the Giudecca Canal, including the Grand Canal, and declares them to be a 'national monument.' The action came quickly after Unesco threatened to put the city's status as a World Heritage site in danger.
Pending development of suitable permanent docking for the huge ships elsewhere in the area, they will dock at four temporary sites near the industrial suburb of Marghera on the mainland.