Plans to ban large cruise ships from entering Venice will finally come into effect next month, the Italian government has confirmed.
From 1 August, ships weighing more than 25,000 tonnes will be barred from entering the city’s Giudecca Canal, which offers access to some of the city’s most iconic landmarks.
It comes after years of lobbying and threats from Unesco to blacklist Italy for failing to ban cruise liners from what is a World Heritage Site, Reuters reports.
Italy’s culture minister Dario Franceschini signed off the ban, tweeting he was "proud" the Italian government’s commitment to the move had been fulfilled.
Confirmation of the ban comes after protests in the city last month when MSC Cruises’ 92,000-tonne MSC Orchestra sailed through the city.
The Italian government last month gave permission for a new terminal to be built outside the Venice lagoon for ships weighing in excess of 40,000 tonnes.
Until then, large ships have been told to dock at the port of Marghera, although the port is ill-suited to cruise ships owing to its lack of a docking station.
In a statement, reported by The Guardian, Clia said: “The cruise industry has been supportive of a new approach for many years, so this is a major step forward.
"Also, the government’s decision to appoint a special commissioner to fast-track the process [to create a docking station] is a welcome development.
"We now look forward to progress being made towards the provision of alternative docking arrangements in time for the 2022 season.”