After years of protest and collisions, the Italian government has decided to divert giant ships away from Venice’s central waterway, the Giudecca canal.
On Wednesday, the Italian government stated that the cruise ships would be “gradually” diverted away from city centers to help preserve the ecologically sensitive lagoon. The Financial Times stated that Danilo Toninelli, the Italian minister for transport, explained that the decision was “to avoid witnessing more invasions of the Giudecca by these floating palaces, with the scandals and risks that they bring.”
Venice has been debating what to do for decades over the matter, fearing it would affect not only tourism, but the economic costs as well. Venice typically sees 25 to 30 million foreign visitors per year, and less than a third of them spend a night there. The population is approximately 50,000 citizens.