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Italy bans cruise ships into Venice after years of protests on threat to marine life

The ban adopted by the Italian govt will take effect Aug. 1 and will cover the lagoon basin near St. Mark’s Square, Venice's most iconic landmark.

Italy has banned big cruise ships from sailing into Venice after years of protests from residents, culture bodies and environmentalists. The ban adopted by the Italian govt will take effect Aug. 1 and will cover the lagoon basin near St. Mark’s Square, Venice's most iconic landmark.

The ban applies to ships weighing more than 25,000 tons, longer than 590 feet or with other characteristics that would make them too polluting or overwhelming for Venice’s marine environment.

In 2019, the UNESCO had warned Venice about the “damage caused by a steady stream of cruise ships.” Last week, environmental activists demonstrated during the G20 summit that took place in the city, attracting international media attention on the issue.

Venice is one of the world’s most iconic tourism destinations, attracting an estimated 25 million visitors a year. Many tourists come on cruise ships, straining the city’s already overcrowded tourism infrastructure and overwhelming its delicate marine environment.

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