Venice to ban cruise ships from centre

Venice is set to ban cruise ships from its historic centre, following a prolonged battle between residents and ocean liner companies.

Cruise ships have long been the scourge of Venice, a city already struggling under the weight of overtourism.

The Italian minister for transport, Danilo Toninelli, announced ships would be rerouted away from the centre of Venice to ports such as the outlying Fusina and Lombardia terminals. Both these terminals are still within the Venetian lagoon.

Mr Toninelli said the liners, which can carry around 3,000 passengers, would be diverted away from central Venice from next month, as reported by the Financial Times.

By next year, a third of cruise ships would be diverted away from central Venice.

Longer term, the city will consult with residents on where new berths for cruise ships would be situated.

The decision follows a June incident where a cruise liner hit a dock in Venice.

Four people were injured when a towering cruise ship crashed into a dock and a tourist river boat on one of Venice’s busiest canals. It happened on the Giudecca Canal – a major thoroughfare that leads to Saint Mark’s Square.

Following the June collision, the mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, threatened to request that Unesco put the city on its “blacklist” over an ongoing battle with cruise ships.

Mr Brugnaro said Venice residents had no faith in the Italian government.

In response, Venice locals took the streets in protest, carrying signs saying: “Keep large boats out of the lagoon.”