Venice Italy will start rerouting cruise liners away from city's historic downtown, in a victory for locals tired of the huge vessels. Some ships will be redirected to dock at Lombardia and Fusina terminals from September, Italy's transport minister announced - meaning they'll stay on lagoon's other side, away from the central Venice Islands.
Danilo Toninelli, Italy's minister of infrastructure and transport, said that starting now, Venice City decreases the number of large-sized liners passing through Giudecca Canal and near San Marco Square. The aim is "to reroute about one-third of the cruise ships already booked on Venice towards new berths by 2020."
A public consultation will be held to solve the problem of cruise liners in the longer term, with other cruise terminals including Chioggia, situated at the mouth of the lagoon, under consideration for use.
This announcement follows protests in the port city over the proliferation of enormous cruise liners, that flood the canals and waterways of Venice with thousands of tourists per day. Concerns have long been held over over-tourism and the aesthetic impact of the ships.
Safety issues have also been raised, especially after MSC Opera crashed into a Venice dock in June.
The vessels "take an environmental toll on the sinking city," with critics saying the waves erode the foundations of its ancient buildings.
In September, another measure requiring day-trippers to pay an entrance fee into the port city of up to US$11 (EUR10) will come into effect. Travelers staying overnight will be exempt as the city tax is included in the hotel rate.