In a desperate effort to push the Italian government to enforce a law passed in 2012 , Venetian voters took to the polls last Monday and with a 98% turnout, voted to have ocean liners dock off Lido instead of coasting through the canal just off St. Mark’s square and through the heart of Venice.
The battle between Venetians and both local and federal authorities has been ongoing for the past 5 years since the passing of the Clini-Passera law in 2012 prohibiting liners over 40 thousand tons to cruise the lagune and which has never been enforced by the local Venetian authorities who (claim Venetians) are pressured by big business.
Cruise liners up to 96 thousand tons, 300 meters long, and 8 stories high continue to coast through the Giudecca Canal so that passengers get a glimpse of St. Mark’s Square and other landmarks located along those banks. In a city where strict building codes prohibit any construction over 4 stories high, the 8-story liners stick out like a sore thumb. Off the top deck, smoke pours out from chimney stacks polluting the Adriatic air and below the water’s surface, enormous propellers push the weight of 22 million passengers per year through this historic UNESCO World Heritage waterway and ferociously dig up the fragile floor of this one-of-a-kind oasis which continues to sink more and more each year along with its monuments and precious renaissance architecture.
Controversial images show modern day monster cruiseliners creeping up behind ancient venetian buildings, a heartbreaking reality.
Photos below: 1. the Cruise Liner Pathway: blue line indicates passenger vessels, yellow line shows merchant vessels; 2. a cruise ship docked in Venice
Photos and data courtesy of the following websites: